Diplomatic Security Special Agents carry a lot of responsibility, from protecting U.S. facilities to personnel both domestically and internationally.
As a special agent, you should be prepared to work overseas for a large amount of your career, but as federal law enforcement professional you'll also be a huge asset to your country.
What Do Diplomatic Security Special Agents Do?
Upon completion of the seven month training program, Diplomatic Security Special Agents are considered federal law enforcement officers and carry a firearm.
In most cases, Diplomatic Security Special Agents are assigned to a domestic location for the first two years of their career. After that, many agents are given assignments overseas at embassies and related facilities.
Duties performed by Diplomatic Security Special Agents include:
- Managing the security for the facility they are stationed at
- Protecting Foreign Service personnel, facilities and sensitive information stored at the facility
- Providing protection for the Secretary of State and foreign dignitaries visiting the U.S.
- Criminal investigations
- Counter intelligence
- Counterterrorism investigations
- Developing and implementing security programs for their facility and coordinating with local security agencies
To be considered for a Diplomatic Security Special Agent position, you must be a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor's degree, be between 21 years old and not yet 37 years of age by time of appointment.
A bachelor's degree in criminal justice or law enforcement is a popular choice among special agents. Applicants may be considered as long as they receive their bachelor's degree within nine months of the closing date for applications.
Diplomatic Security Special Agent Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for police and detectives is $56,980.
Special agents are paid based on the Foreign Service FP-6 pay scale. Your experience and educational background will impact what pay level you start at. Fluency in another language can also increase your chances for a higher salary.