Based in Washington, Secret Service agents are special law enforcement officials whose job is to protect the president, vice president and other high-ranking administrative officials, as well as their families. They often contribute to high-profile investigations involving financial fraud, money laundering and similar violations. Secret Service agents are rewarded for their hard work and risk taking with generous starting salaries compared to other law enforcement agencies.
Secret Service agents must be U.S. citizens between 21 and 37 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Candidates may qualify for GL-7 or GL-9 designation, both of which require a bachelor’s degree. GL-9 designation requires a master’s degree, J.D. or LL.B. in addition. All candidates must have prior military and law enforcement experience. Candidates must have worked in investigation, undercover activities, surveillance and evidence presentation. Candidates must also pass physical fitness tests, medical examinations, a drug screening and a full background check.
Most Secret Service agents spend their days following political figures around, keeping a close eye out for suspicious activities or potentially dangerous situation. They must remain professional and in uniform at all times to maintain the integrity of the government. Secret Service agents typically work unusual hours and may be required to work 24-hour shifts with few breaks.
Starting Salary Range
The starting salary range for Secret Service agents as of 2010 was $43,964 to $74,89 a year, according to the agency. Candidates who are fluent in a foreign language may qualify for a recruitment bonus of 25 percent of their annual salary if they pass a proficiency test. Exact starting salary is based on experience.
Secret Service agents start off with a wide range of benefits. These include health care, life insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement, savings plans, annual and sick leave and more. For more detailed information on benefits, see the U.S. Secret Service page (see Resources).