CIA Special Agent Qualifications

Save
CIA agents are involved in clandestine operations on behalf of national security.
CIA agents are involved in clandestine operations on behalf of national security. (Image: Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

CIA agents work in internal investigations and in clandestine operations abroad. The CIA only takes the top applicants who pass its rigorous screening process, which can take several months to a year.

Education

To work as an agent with the CIA, applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants are expected to show superior academic performance in their field of study. The CIA does not specify a specific field of study, but those who pursue degrees in a field useful to the agency are likely to receive first consideration. Above all, applicants need to have a degree in a field that emphasizes research and strong analytical skills.

Experience

Experience is essential to qualifying to be a CIA agent. The CIA prefers applicants with a minimum of three years' experience in a field related to the position they seek. Experience in law enforcement or as a private investigator can serve as a launchpad to a career as a CIA agent.

Background and Testing

Applicants for special agent positions with the CIA should have a clean criminal background. The CIA conducts an extensive background check of each applicant. A polygraph examination is required of those who make it through the initial background check. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens and have an exemplary background with an indication of complete loyalty to the United States. An extensive psychological and physical examination is also required.

Other Qualifications

Agents with the CIA must be able to work in high-pressure situations with short deadlines to complete projects. They also have to be able to work both independently and collaboratively. Agents need to have a penchant for working in a multicultural environment and must be keenly aware and sensitive to other people's cultures. They need excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to negotiate in high-pressure situations.

Related Searches

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!