When you think of getting a job with the secret service, you might imagine a recruiter in a suit and dark sunglasses furtively passing you a manilla envelope stamped “TOP SECRET” with instructions to meet later. Or perhaps you imagine answering a mysterious phone call directing you to a secret lair where you’ll get your first assignment, just like in your favorite spy flick. But the first steps to getting a job as a special agent aren’t quite as exciting as that.

Applying for the Secret Service

You can apply for a job with the Secret Service from the comfort of your own home. That might be the only part of the process that is comfortable, though, as applicants also have to undergo a series of steps including testing, a fitness exam, interviews, and a grueling polygraph test before actually being offered a job. In 2016 there were over 23,000 applicants for special agent and uniform division roles; only 636 were hired.

If you have questions about working for the Secret Service, they offer several recruiting events and career fairs throughout the year. This is an opportunity to discuss your career options with the Secret Service recruiters, but you should apply for an open position before attending an event.

What does it take to be in the Secret Service?

Special Agents in the Secret Service perform a variety of tasks, including everything from protecting Presidential nominees and their families to performing financial investigations. The application process is daunting and, besides the application itself, the entrance exam contains sections on logic-based reasoning, an experience inventory, language usage, detail observation, and a physical fitness exam.

Agents can work all over the world, not just in Washington, DC. There are locations across the United States and even as far away as Brazil and Thailand. .

A variety of roles with the Secret Service

The Secret Service isn’t just looking for agents, either. Since part of their job includes investigating crimes and forensic computer data, they need people in administrative and technical roles as well. For example, in 2020 they created the Cyber Fraud Task Force to help minimize malicious cyber activity across the U.S.. This task force investigates fraud schemes and combat ransomware attacks.

The United States relies on the men and women in the Secret Service to protect our leaders, maintain the integrity of our currency, and investigate financial fraud. If you make it through the application process you’re almost guaranteed an exciting career supporting the continued security of the United States.

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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at brynn.mahnke@gmail.com.