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A career as a secret agent may seem glamorous and exciting, as portrayed in books and films. However, it requires preparation, education and work to meet the essential standards of the agency that hires you. It is necessary to view being a secret agent as a job like any other form of employment. According to the Secret Agent Magazine website, several government and private organizations hire secret agents, like the CIA, FBI and Interpol. The requirements are similar in many ways to those of careers in politics and technology.
Be a native of the country where you want to be a secret agent. The first requirement of being a secret agent is that you be a native of the country where you apply for this employment. There is also the requirement with some that, if you are married, your spouse be a native of the country, too, according to the Legal-Criminal-Justice-Schools website.
Be physically fit. The work of a secret agent is easier if you are in good physical shape and exercise regularly. Also, there is usually an age cutoff. Check with the agency to see how old you must be to apply to the particular organization.
Research the career requirements for the agency that you want to work for as an agent. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), for example, recommends that you research the five career paths of Language Opportunities, Science, Technical and Engineering, National Clandestine Service, Analytical Opportunities and Support Services, states the Legal-Criminal-Justice-Schools website. Review the jobs in the career tracks that are offered by the agency and choose the one that you want to pursue or are qualified for. Obtain education that prepares you for that job specialty.
Earn a degree in criminal justice, political science, public administration, psychology or other fields and work experience in these specialties. The CIA requires a bachelor degree for most entry level jobs and an advanced degree for overseas officers and intelligence analysts.
Learn specialized skills such as electronics, computer, foreign languages, chemistry, weapons and marksmanship. Mastering a Middle Eastern dialect is an added benefit. Speaking one or more languages is encouraged as a requirement for employment.
Get military experience. Prior experience in the military with an honorable discharge can give you the career edge for the necessary credentials to work as a secret agent.
Anne Cagle has been writing ever since she was a toddler who could scribble with crayons. Her first published article, at age 12, was in a teachers' newsletter. She was published in "Optical Prism" magazine and has worked as a reviewer for the Webby Awards. She holds a degree in English from the University of Oregon.