5 Characteristics of a Secret Service Agent

Whether looking for a career that appeals to a strong patriotic nature or just some of the best benefits in the world, there are five characteristics of a Secret Service agent that must be met before looking into this field. Now a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service only recruits the highest caliber of applicants to their department. The following list of characteristics of a Secret Service Agent is an important checklist for applying.

1. Living A Clean Life

As a characteristic of a Secret Service agent, this one seems like common sense but it is goes much deeper than just clean living. Besides not doing drugs or being an alcoholic, an agent must also have no visible tattoos or body markings. An individual who wants to be an agent must have a clean driving record, excellent 20/20 vision, no current debt issues, no student loans in default, a clean criminal and drug background, and must be able to pass a polygraph test. The Secret Service will do an extensive background check, talk with former employers, look into a person’s social media accounts. Basically, they will look under every stone of an individual’s life to make sure they are qualified to protect our country.

2. Well-Educated Individual

A person must also be well-educated having the minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a stellar academic record. If a candidate’s GPA is less than 3.0, they must have either continued on to a graduate program or had a career in the field of law enforcement prior to applying to become an agent. Another characteristic of a Secret Service agent is the ability to speak a foreign language fluidly. If a person can demonstrate the ability to use this language in the field, they will get a recruitment bonus of up to 30% of their annual pay upon being hired.

3. Strong Ability to Adapt

Frequent travel and reassignment is the life of a Secret Service agent. Working in foreign field offices or being assigned dignitary protection detail to foreign ambassadors are the typical roles played by an agent. For the first six years, an individual will find themselves assigned to various field offices all over the world investigating financial crimes and cyber-security attacks. The next five years, an agent can end up on protective detail overseas protecting important dignitaries and politicians. Having a strong will to adapt to an ever changing world is one of the most important of the five characteristics of a Secret Service agent.

4. Physically Fit

It should be obvious that being physically fit is on this list but it goes much deeper than being able to do a few push ups. First, there is the physical fitness evaluation that tests how many sit ups, push ups and chin ups that a person can do followed by a 1.5 mile run. After passing this evaluation and being accepted into the Secret Service, there is an intensive 17 week training that tests the limits of a candidate’s physical and mental abilities.

5. Dedication to the Task at Hand

An individual can’t just wake up one day and decide to become a Secret Service agent. There must be a long succession of events leading up to becoming an agent. From living a healthy and physically fit life, getting excellent grades in school, and having the training to prepare to one day take on this career path and excel in this field, being an agent means a person must dedicate their life to protecting the United States above all else including personal freedom. It is a job that not only comes with a sense of satisfaction but holds the highest level of duty and honor to the country.

Related Resource: 5 Great Careers in Cybersecurity

It is crucial to understand that an individual wanting to work in this field must meet the five characteristics of a Secret Service Agent. Working for the Secret Service is an exciting and rewarding career, but it is not for everyone. Understanding the steps necessary for entry into this field is important.