Secret Service Special Agents


Employment Prospects


The Secret Service warns that because they have many well-qualified applicants and few anticipated vacancies, the chance that you will be hired is limited. On top of that, the hiring process can take up to a year or more because of the thoroughness of the selection process.

Starting Out

If you are ready to apply for a special agent job, you can visit the application page on the Secret Service's Web site, at Be sure to check with the Secret Service field office nearest you before submitting your forms, though; the application process can be complicated, and you'll want to make sure you have completed the required paperwork. You can also find the field office in your area on the Secret Service's Web site.

Advancement Prospects

Generally, special agents begin their careers by spending six to eight years performing primarily investigative duties at a field office. Then they are usually assigned to a protective assignment for three to five years. After 12 or 13 years, special agents become eligible to move into supervisory positions. A typical promotion path moves special agents to the position of senior agent, then resident agent in charge of a district, assistant to the special agent in charge, and finally special agent in charge of a field office or headquarters division. Promotion is awarded based upon performance, and since the Secret Service employs many highly skilled professionals, competition for promotion is strong.

Special agents can retire after 20 years and after they reach the age of 50. Special agents must retire before the age of 57. Some retired agents are hired by corporations to organize the logistics of getting either people or products from one place to another. Others work as bodyguards, private investigators, security consultants, and local law enforcement officials.

Tips for Entry

Visit the Career Fairs page of the U.S. Secret Service’s Web site,, to learn more about recruiting opportunities in your area. You can also call (888) 813-8777 for a list of current vacancies.

Visit to learn about different career paths in the Secret Service.

Conduct information interviews with special agents and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.