How to Become an Undercover Agent

Undercover Agents are professionals who use an alternate identity in order to provide detective work for a special assignment.

Undercover Agents may work for a local or state agency, the FBI, the CIA, the DEA or another federal government providing support to a special assignment.

Many of these individuals work under pressure and unsafe conditions when working on an assignment which can attract many individuals who work well under this environment.

Individuals who want to become an Undercover Agent will need a combination of skills, job experience and education in order to enter this field.

Some skills that can help individuals succeed in this profession include: inquisitiveness to help individuals ask the right questions, persistence to help individuals continue their work as some assignments can last years and communication skills.

Education Requirements to Become an Undercover Agent

Individuals who want to become an Undercover Agent will need a minimum of a high school degree and some experience.

Individuals are encouraged to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to have better job prospects.

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Individuals must also have experience in the detective field and a license in order to perform detective work.

Individuals pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree are encouraged to focus on a criminal justice or police science program.

Undercover Agents focusing on computer forensics are required to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or criminal justice in order to work in this specialty.

Individuals can complete a computer forensics certificate or program.

Some postsecondary schools also offer this program at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

Individuals who want to become an Undercover Agent are encouraged to gain experience in the field at the entry level to help them enter this field.

These individuals can complete police academy to enter the field as a police officer and work at a law enforcement agency.

Individuals specializing in computer forensics may also gain on the job experience by working at a law enforcement agency.

A license is also required in order to become an Undercover Agent.

Licensure requirements vary by state.

Individuals are encouraged to contact their state for specific requirements to gain a license.

Undercover Agent Job Description

Undercover Agents use a false and made up identity to gather information in relation to a crime.

These individuals are typically in demand when an agency does not have information or evidence to press charges against an individual.

Undercover Agents use their made up identity to focus on a group or an individual who is directly linked to a crime.

They will use a variety of techniques in order to become close to a target to gather a variety of information and evidence that will be used to prosecute an individual.

Undercover Agent Salary and Career Path

Exact salary information doesn’t exist for Undercover Agents.

These professionals work for several different law enforcement agencies including local police departments, the DEA, the FBI or other state government agencies.

Salary and pay will depend on several factors including the agency an individual works for, the geographical location they are employed and the risk involved in the undercover job they have been assigned.

In 2012, the median salary for all police and investigators was approximately $56,980 per year.

The median salary for detective and criminal investigators, the profession Undercover Agents fall under, was approximately $74,300 per year.

Figures for the job outlook for this profession are not available.

However, the job outlook for police and detectives is expected to grow at a slower than average rate when compared to other professions.

The projected job growth for police and detectives is expected to grow by 5 percent through the year 2022.

Local and state governments have strict budget to adhere to limiting some of the growth.

Individuals with advanced degrees, several years of experience and knowledge of two or more languages will have the best job prospects for this profession.

A career as an Undercover Agent can be a rewarding one that has a big impact in gathering evidence for big crimes.

Because of its nature, a career as an Undercover Agent may also be dangerous and is not for the faint of heart.

This career can be a perfect fit for individuals who are risk takers and are persistent when solving crimes.

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