A Guide on How to Become an Undercover Agent

undercover agent

Undercover Agents work for police departments or detective agencies. They forego their uniforms in order to mix inconspicuously among criminals. These operations might take weeks or months as undercover agents observe and investigate the activities of suspected individuals. Their main goal is to get the evidence necessary to successfully prosecute criminals.

Agents work secret assignments as law execution officers, face unsafe circumstances with a high level of personal danger. They need commitment, good relation-building skills, dedication, and long working hours. They might need to work without proper sleep, work late nights, and follow their leads meticulously. Once they have the evidence, they serve the arrest warrant and usually reveal their identities.

If you are sure you are ready to become an undercover agent then here are the career details.

Undercover Agent Job Description

Undercover agent jobs normally require officers to fulfill the below duties:

  • Learn the cultural norms and patterns of criminal organizations
  • Their job is to be inconspicuous — to blend in with the criminals they’ll be associating with.
  • Present themselves as criminals without engaging in illegal activities
  • Obtain warrants and arrest suspects.
  • Observe the activities of suspects.
  • Collect evidence such as DNA, documents, and audio recordings to help build a case that will stand in court.
  • Alert the police to approaching operations or purposes
  • Appear in the court as witness

How to Become an Undercover Agent in Steps

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Undercover agents normally begin their careers as police officers before being promoted to a detective. Undercover Agents need to cover a topic related to law enforcement like criminal justice, criminology etc. Openings in such positions are limited.

Moreover, the agency provides voluntary internships via the Student Volunteer Service Program, where the students have to work at least 12 hours each week.

Participating in an internship can help students expand their education outside of a classroom environment and gain hands-on training in the field. Students can apply for both paid and non-paid internships directly through the FBI.

Step 2: Apply for Employment

Along with schooling, U.S. citizenship, and age necessities, applicants should go through a drug test and polygraph test. Applicants meeting all the requisites should finish an online application from usajobs.gov. This website lets aspiring people upload resumes and other documents. They must go through a complete background investigation. The whole process will take at least 9 months to finish and contains authentication of police records, work history and credit history.

[Also Read: How to Become a Paranormal Investigator ]

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

The average work experience required for a potential undercover agent position is three years in the field related to their degree. The FBI seeks out candidates with certain critical skills, comprising knowledge of engineering, accounting, law, foreign languages so professional full-time work in these areas is favored.

Step 4: Complete Training

New agent apprentices are sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for a two months Criminal Detective

Training Program covering analytical methods, firearms, laws of arrest and police measures. After this, the applicant must complete an agent training course where advanced and basic instruction in emergency medication, physical guard, and fighting forging and monetary device deception, along with widespread training in physical fitness, water endurance skills and shooting skill are taught.

New undercover Agents spend their first 7 years allotted to field offices and later they are transferred to a defense detail for an additional four years. An agent then pursues additional tasks at a teaching office, head office, or a global office only if they have foreign linguistic training and skills.

Step 5: Obtain a License

You will need to obtain a license in some states like California, Washington, and Texas. However, the specific number of hours of pre-licensing classes, training, and passing an inspection exams are standard constraints.

Undercover Agent salary

Salary and pay will depend on several factors like experience, location, and the risk involved in the job. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has stated that the average police detective and officer earned a yearly salary of $50,200 in 2018, so undercover agents on average earned more than $70,300 in 2018.

However, like other occupations, the salary differs from state to state and service development inside the occupation is set to rise by 5% in the next 6 years. Undercover agent jobs are highly competitive and openings can be viewed online at USAJobs.gov.(1)

Bottom line:

Undercover Agents are professionals who use an alternative identity in order to offer detective work for a special assignment. Undercover Agents use their made up individuality to focus on an individual or group who is directly linked to a crime. Though it is quite flexible and suitable profession, an undercover agent job requires a high-tolerance level, a tranquil mind, sturdy law information, and an able reasoning skill.