Secret Service Special Agents


Secret Service Special Agents


Secret Service special agents are employed by the U.S. Secret Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security. Secret Service agents work to protect the president and other political leaders of the United States, as well as heads of foreign states or governments when they are visiting the United States. Special agents also investigate financial crimes. The U.S. Secret Service employs about 6,500 people, about 3,200 of whom are special agents.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Three years' experience in law enforcement or a related field or





Personality Traits



Special agents generally receive Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) on top of their base pay. Agents usually start at the GS-7 or GS-9 grade levels, which in 2020 were $37,301 and $45,627, respectively, excluding LEAP. (Salaries may be slightly higher in some areas with high costs of living.) Agents automatically advance until they reach the GS-13 level, which in 2020 was $78,681, excludin...

Work Environment

A Secret Service special agent is assigned to a field office or the Washington, D.C., headquarters. Agents on investigative assignments may spend much time doing research with the office as base, or they may be out in the field, doing undercover or surveillance work. Protective and investigative assignments can keep a special agent away from home for long periods of time, depending on the situa...


Compared to other federal law enforcement agencies, the Secret Service is small. The agency focuses on its protective missions and is not interested in expanding its responsibilities. As a result, the Secret Service will likely not grow much, unless the president and Congress decide to expand the agency's duties.

In spite of increased high-alert conditions as a result of terrorist threat...