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How to Become a Secret Service Agent

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The United States Secret Service has two main duties -- national security protection, mainly for presidents and vice presidents; and federal criminal investigations related to national security threats. Secret Service agents can be stationed anywhere in the world. Applying to become a Secret Service agent is a highly-selective process, with only the most qualified candidates receiving the job.

Basic Requirements

To become a Secret Service agent, you must be a U.S. citizen, between the ages of 21 and less than 37 years old at the time of appointment and possess a current driver's license. Your vision can be no worse than 20/60 uncorrected and correctable to 20/20 in each eye. Applicants must pass both a medical and physical fitness evaluation conducted by a government authorized physician.

Tests & Evaluations

Applicants must pass the Treasury Enforcement Agent examination, a report writing test, polygraph examination, drug screening and extensive background investigation. You will also undergo a series of in-depth interviews and successfully obtain top secret security clearance.

Obtaining a Higher Entrance Rank

Special agents are typically hired with a GL-5, GL-7 or GL-9 level rank. To qualify at GL-7 level, you must have a bachelor's degree along with superior academic achievements, including being in the upper third of your graduating class. Alternatively, you can have one full year of graduate education or one year of specialized work experience equivalent to a GL-5 level. Applicants with a master's degree or one year of specialized work experience equivalent to a GL-7 level will enter the Secret Service at level GL-9.