Requirements for CIA Jobs in Arizona

Thanks to its international boarder and its thriving technology sector, Arizona is a state of interest for a number of federal agencies, including the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In fact, according to the FBI, Arizona could be a target for commercial espionage, terrorism, trafficking, and public corruption.

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For example, an April 2012 report found that a number of American universities, including the University of Arizona, were being “infected” by foreign spies. National security officials, including CIA special agents, have discovered that, as schools become more global and become engaged in more international collaboration, they become increasingly vulnerable to theft of research conducted for the government and for private industry.

Countries in East Asia, including China, often attempt to obtain classified or proprietary information through “academic solicitation,” which includes requests to review academic papers or study alongside professors. This activity has increase eightfold from 2009 to 2010 alone, according to a 2011 U.S. Defense Department report. Similar approaches from the Middle East have doubled, as well.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow stated that these attempts are “perplexing and overwhelming,” and that it becomes difficult to address this issue because “we’re in the business of trying to recruit more students from China.”

Requirements for Joining the CIA’s National Clandestine Service in Arizona

In Arizona, the CIA’s National Clandestine Service provides two options for individuals wishing to pursue a career as a Core Collector: the Professional Trainee Program and the Clandestine Service Trainee Program.

  • The Professional Trainee Program

No work experience is necessary for this position, but applicants must be between 21 and 25 years old and have a Bachelor’s degree.

  • The Clandestine Service Trainee Program

Applicants must have prior work or military experience, be between the ages of 26 and 35 and have a Bachelor’s degree. Age 35 is the cut off for application consideration.

Academic Skills

Applicants need a 3.0 GPA or higher, as well as a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Preferred areas of study include biological or chemical engineering, economics, finance, international business, international relations, nuclear science or physical science.

Job Related Requirements

Each candidate applying for the position of Core Collector in Arizona should also have several occupational related skills, which include:

  • The ability to maintain any overseas interactions
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills
  • Ability to “think on your feet”
  • Effectively working as part of a team or independently

International Experience and Expertise

Applicants should have significant knowledge of foreign countries, have previously resided internationally and have proficiency in at least one second language, with preference given to those who are fluent in:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Dari
  • Indonesian
  • Korean
  • Kurdish
  • Pashto
  • Persian
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
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Additional Core Collector Requirements for Successful Employment

During the hiring process, candidates must:

  • Participate in two preliminary interviews
  • Abstain from illegal drug use for one year prior to date application is submitted
  • Agree to a polygraph interview
  • Submit to a medical exam and psychological evaluation


Steps to Becoming a CIA Agent in Arizona

Meet Employment Requirements – CIA special agent jobs are reserved for a very select group of men and women who can prove they are able to use their professional knowledge to expertly employ criminal and investigative techniques and procedures.

These highly trained investigative professionals must be able to:

  • Communicate clearly and concisely
  • Disseminate large amounts of information
  • Work under pressure with tight deadlines
  • Prioritize multiple tasks and projects

Minimum requirements for CIA agent jobs include being a United States citizen, possessing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 minimum GPA, and possessing at least three years of experience in criminal investigative work.

Typical degree programs for CIA agent jobs in Arizona include:

  • Homeland security
  • Criminal justice
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Criminology

Individuals with fluency in a foreign language are considered preferred candidates.

Beyond meeting the minimum requirements for employment, individuals who want to learn how to become a CIA special agent in Arizona must be able to pass the agency’s thorough background investigation and top-secret security clearance.

The application process includes the completion of an online application, which requires candidates to outline their background, expertise (major skills and abilities), work history, education, certification and licenses, military experience, and foreign area/language knowledge. From there, applicants must complete a personnel evaluation form (PEF), which is used for the completion of the background investigation and security clearance.

Candidates for CIA agent jobs in Arizona can expect to undergo a polygraph examination, medical and psychological evaluations, and several interviews.

Complete Training – The CIA recommends that individuals complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center prior to applying to become a CIA agent in Arizona. Applicants who have not completed this program must do so as a condition of employment with the agency.

CIA-FBI Task Forces at Work in Arizona

The FBI operations in Arizona are among the largest of the bureau’s 56 field offices nationwide, with operations and satellite offices in Tucson, Sierra Vista, Yuma, Lake Havasu City, Flagstaff, and Lakeside. Given the CIA-FBI partnerships on domestic anti-terrorism teams, the CIA presence in Arizona is also strong, though less known.

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Aerospace and defense firms in Arizona generated $14.9 billion in sales in 2012 alone. Federal agents have attempted to identify threats to these firms and other high-value targets in the state, including military installations. The CIA has identified threats from foreign countries and foreign and domestic terrorist organizations.

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