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The Average Salary of DEA Agents

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration enforces laws and regulations relating to federally controlled substances. It also investigates organizations and leading members of groups involved in growing, manufacturing and distributing controlled substances that are sold in the United States. The DEA employs more than 5,000 men and women as criminal investigators called special agents. They perform such duties as conducting investigations, collecting intelligence, working undercover, arresting violators, seizing illegal drugs, and preparing evidence for criminal and civil trials.

DEA Agents' Pay

The salary for DEA agents is based on the federal Law Enforcement Officer Pay Schedule. New agents are usually hired at the GS-7 or GS-9 level, depending on their education and experience. After several years on the job, agents can advance to the GS-13 level. In addition to their basic pay, DEA agents receive a locality payment that varies according to the cost-of-living rate in the city where they are based. According to the DEA website, new agents generally earn annual salaries of about $49,746 a year at the GS-7 level or $55,483 a year at the GS-9 level, as of 2014. Experienced agents at the GS-13 level earn annual salaries of $92,592 a year or more.