Veteran Job Opportunities with the U.S. Secret Service

Secret Service Careers

Veteran’s Guide to Joining the U.S. Secret Service

The Secret Service is committed to employing Veterans like you because the agency’s five core values: justice, duty, courage, honesty, and loyalty align perfectly with the core values shared by every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Secret Service knows that leadership is instilled in Veterans, like you, as well as loyalty, dependability, enthusiasm, initiative, integrity, and judgment. These are the exact characteristics the Secret Service looks for in a qualified candidate.

As a Veteran you also have a leg up on the competition due to the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, you must be honorably separated and either 1).  preference point eligible or 2). have substantially completed three or more years of active service. For additional information visit www.fedshirevets.gov. Veterans with specific questions regarding Secret Service employment opportunities, may email the U.S. Secret Service directly.

Secret Service Careers

Like all federal agencies, the Secret Service has both operational law enforcement and administrative career opportunities. The U.S. Secret Service breaks these careers down to three types: Special Agents, the Uniformed Division (Officers), and the Administration, Professional, and Technical (APT).

Secret Service Special Agents

The job of special agent offers you a challenging and fulfilling career in one of their two integrated missions – investigation and protection. While the executive protection mission is known worldwide, the U.S. Secret Service’s investigative mission continues to grow due to developments in technology.

The Investigative Mission: Today the agency’s investigative mission has evolved from enforcing counterfeiting laws to safeguarding the payment and financial systems of the United States from a wide range of financial and computer-based crimes. In the field of protection Secret Service special agents develop and implement innovative strategies to mitigate threats to our nation’s leaders.

The U.S. Secret Service has a pivotal role in securing the nation’s critical infrastructures, specifically in the areas of cyber, banking and finance. In response to the globalization of technology- based threats, the U.S. Secret Service’s investigative mission abroad is growing as well, creating the need for a heightened overseas liaison presence.

The Protective Mission: The Secret Service is recognized for the physical protection it provides to the nation’s highest elected leaders, visiting foreign dignitaries, facilities and major events. In order to ensure a secure environment for protectees, the Secret Service integrates a variety of innovative technologies and maintains a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Much of the Protective Service mission engages both Special Agents and Uniformed Officers.

A typical special agent career path, depending upon performance and promotions that affect individual assignments, begins with the first six to eight years on the job assigned to a field office. Newly-appointed agents may be assigned to field offices anywhere in the United States. After their field experience, agents are usually transferred to a protective assignment where they will stay for three to five years.

The special agent position starts at a salary of $49,016 (GL-7, step 1), with promotion potential to $144,676 (GS-13, step 10).

Special Agent Entry Level Education Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with superior academic achievement (based on class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership).   For more information please click here.
    OR
  • At least one full year of graduate level education (i.e. 18 semester hours).
    OR
  • At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-5 level.

Secret Service Special Agent Recruit Eligibility/Qualifications

To be considered for Special Agent positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 21 years of age at time of application and younger than 37 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process. Applicants with veterans’ preference must be at least 21 years of age and younger than 40 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process.
  • Possess a current valid driver’s license.
  • Qualify for the GL-07 level or the GL-09 level
  • Have uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100 binocular; correctable to 20/20.
  • Be in excellent health and physical condition
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass an Applicant Physical Abilities Test
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation, to include in-depth interviews, drug screening, medical and polygraph examinations
  • Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so, if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone).

Special Agent Pay and Benefits

In addition to federal employee benefits, special agent benefits also include:

  • Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) that provides an opportunity for special agents to receive up to an additional 25 percent of their annual base pay
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)

Uniformed Division (Officers)

The Uniformed Division’s mission is to protect facilities and venues secured for U.S. Secret Service protectees. Throughout its history, the Uniformed Division has accomplished this mission through a tradition of honor, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. The Officer position starts at a salary of $63,970 in the Office of Protective Operations, Uniformed Division.

Secret Service Uniformed Division officers may be selected to participate in one of several specialized units, including the:

  • Canine Unit: Performing security sweeps and responding to bomb threats and suspicious packages.
  • Emergency Response Team: Providing a coordinated tactical response for the White House and other protected facilities.
  • Countersniper Team: Utilizing observation, sighting equipment and high-performance weapons to provide a secure environment for protectees.
  • Motorcade Support Unit: Providing motorcycle tactical support for official movements of motorcades.
  • Crime Scene Search Unit: Photographing, collecting and processing physical and latent evidence.
  • Office of Training: Serving as firearms and classroom instructors or recruiters.
  • Special Operations Section: Handling special duties and functions at the White House Complex, including conducting the daily congressional and public tours of the White House.

Uniformed Division Officer Eligibility

To be considered for Uniformed Division officer positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 20 years of age at time of application and younger than 37 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process. Applicants with veterans’ preference must be at least 20 years of age at time of application and younger than 40 at the time of receipt of a conditional offer of employment to continue in the application process.
  • Have uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100 binocular; correctable to 20/20 in each eye (NOTE: Lasik, ALK, RK and PRK corrective eye surgeries are acceptable eyes surgeries for applicants provided specific visual tests are passed. The following are the waiting periods before visual tests are conducted after the surgery: Lasik surgery–three months; PRK–six months; and ALK and RK–one year.) Applicants must meet the vision requirement at the time of application.
  • Be in excellent health and physical condition.
  • Complete an Applicant Physical Abilities Test.
  • Complete interviews and pass a written test.
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation, to include driving record check, drug screening, medical and polygraph examinations
  • Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so, if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone).

Uniformed Division Officer Benefits

In addition to federal employee benefits, Uniformed Division officer benefits also include:

  • Competitive starting salary
  • Overtime compensation at the rate of time and one-half, or through compensatory time off
  • Uniforms and equipment furnished at no cost
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Reasonable moving expenses paid for out-of-area hires
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)

For more information on the Secret Service Uniformed Division click here.

Administrative, Professional and Technical (APT)

If dedicated., mission driven and committed to excellence describe you, you should take a closer look at the APT job opportunities being offered at the United States Secret Service. The agency is seeking talented, diverse individuals from all segments of the American society to serve in the Secret Service. APT employees play a critical role in ensuring the overall success of our protective and investigative missions.

Here is a sampling of the APT jobs:

Administration, Professional, and Technical Eligibility

To be considered for administrative, professional and technical positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Pass a drug test (urinalysis)
  • Certify you have registered with the Selective Service System if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, or certify you are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation. Some positions require successful completion of a polygraph and/or medical examination.
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone). If you have visible body markings, you will be required to medically remove such visible body markings at your own expense prior to entering on duty with the Secret Service.

Administration, Professional, and Technical Benefits

In addition to federal employee benefits, administrative, professional and technical position benefits also include:

  • Competitive starting salary
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)

Join the U.S. Secret Service

If you think you think you have the sense of justice, duty, courage, honesty, and loyalty it takes to join the U.S. Secret Service, then you should visit the Secret Service website to start the application process and check out the current openings for Special Agents Uniformed Officers, and Administrative, Professional and Technical positions.

 

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About the author

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Terry Howell is a retired Coast Guard veteran, where he served for 20 years.

He is currently the Executive Director for Veterans' Legacies, a non-profit that works to preserve veterans personal stories to help educate our youth.

Terry is also the author of The Military Advantage, an annually updated guide to military and veteran benefits.