The CIA provides the President and top policymakers with foreign intelligence that helps keep this country safe. Much of that information is obtained by special agents operating covertly in many countries. The CIA is not a law enforcement agency and does not collect domestic intelligence – that’s the purview of the FBI.
CIA jobs are very competitive and the requirements are quite stringent; however, the CIA offers 10 reasons why it’s all worthwhile.
- Feel good about making a difference for your country
- Be on the leading edge in your specialty
- Work with highly intelligent people
- Every day will be different
- Involvement in current global events
- Many possible career directions
- Work with a diversity of people
- Be at the center of national intelligence
- Don’t have to talk about your work
- Great salary and benefits
Most people tend to think of CIA employees only in relation to spy work. Although special agents who carry out clandestine operations play an extremely vital role, the CIA has many other career choices, including analytical, business, financial, legal technological and scientific positions as well as opportunities in engineering, computer technology and linguistics. All of these positions require at least a bachelor’s degree and a background investigation.
How to Become a Core Collector with the CIA in Washington
In Washington, the CIA’s National Clandestine Service gives applicants two entry-level options for a career as a Core Collector.
- The Professional Trainee Program (PT): A program for applicants who hold a Bachelor’s degree or greater, no prior work experience and are between the ages of 21 to 25.
- The Clandestine Service Trainee Program (CTS): A program for applicants who hold a Bachelor’s degree or greater, along with related work history or military service. Applicants for this program are usually within the age range of 26 to 35.
Educational Requirements – To be considered for a Core Collector position, applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants interested in this career path in Washington should also have an educational background in one of the following fields: economics, finance, international business, international relations, biological engineering, chemical engineering, nuclear science, or physical science.
Required Job Related Skills – Each applicant should have superior communication skills, the ability to “think on their feet” in a fast-paced work environment and the capacity to work both alone and in a team-based environment.
International Expertise and Experience – To be considered for a Core Collector position, each applicant must possess extensive knowledge of foreign countries. Candidates must also be fluent in a second language.
Employment Screening Requirements – Each applicant must undergo a complete psychological evaluation, background screening, full medical examination, polygraph interview, have no evidence of drug usage for the last 12 months and complete two preliminary interviews.
Meeting the Requirements to Become a CIA Special Agent Investigator
Education Requirements – A bachelors or master’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with at least a 3.0 GPA is the minimum requirement. Majors in the following fields are relevant to future careers with the CIA:
- Criminal Justice
- Homeland Security
- Public Safety
The State of Washington has five accredited, four-year state universities and over 20 private colleges/universities. Three of the state university systems have campuses in multiple cities, making getting a degree convenient for any Washington resident.
General Requirements – CIA agents must meet all of the following requirements:
- Bachelors degree or better with at least a 3.0 grade point average
- US citizen between the ages of 21 and 35
- Three or more years experience in a relevant field like criminal investigations
- Able to pass a drug test and a polygraph
- An interest in international affairs
- Pass both a medical and psychological examination
- Extremely thorough background investigation
- Successfully complete two interviews
Training requirements – Completion of the Criminal Investigation Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA is required of all new hires during thier first year of employment.
CIA Activity in the State of Washington
It has recently been discovered that the Washington Department of Licensing has a special office, “the License Integrity Unit,” which has been secretly issuing Washington driver’s licenses to the CIA for use by special agents. The confidential license program has been operating since the 1980s.
When the program was revealed in 2013, the licensing office requested formal legislative approval to continue producing licenses. Licenses have been produced for federal, state and city undercover law enforcement officers; however, the greatest number are made for the CIA which has received 288 of these licenses since 2007. Washington is home to numerous global corporations which makes the licenses credible for a CIA agent posing as a business traveler.