How to Become a US Marshal
US Marshal Careers & Degrees

US Marshal Service is a branch of law enforcement that forms a part of the Department of Justice.

When you become a US Marshal, you will have a wide range of duties that could include transporting prisoners, serving arrest warrants, and hunting down fugitives.

They also provide protective services to people who may be in danger.

The United States Marshal Service, sometimes known as USMS is the oldest branch of law enforcement in the country.

If you are interested in law enforcement, have a good attention to detail, and want a job where you can make a positive contribution to your community, then you might consider becoming a US Marshal.

Those that join the ranks can look forward to job security, as well as a good salary.

US Marshals are stationed all around the country.

Education Requirements to Become a US Marshal

To become a US Marshal you must be a US citizen between the ages of 18 and 36.

You will need your high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree from college.

If you have three years of experience in law enforcement, you do not need to have a college degree.

It’s also important that you have your driver’s license, and no criminal record.

Once you have met all of these requirements you will be able to take an entrance exam.

Based on your scores in this exam, you may be selected for a face to face interview.

You will be questioned about your personal qualities, background, and past employment.

After the personal interview, you will need to give permission for a background check to take place.

Your background, criminal history, and employment will all be looked into.

This takes roughly 90 days to complete.

You will also need to complete a medical screening as well as pass a fitness test.

The fitness test will require you to complete a run within a specific time frame, be within a certain body weight, and also prove your strength and flexibility.

Different standards of fitness are required for men and women, as well as people in different age groups.

If you are selected to become a US Marshal, you will then need to head to the training academy in Georgia.

US Marshal Job Description

A US Marshal may accompany a prisoner from a jail to a court, or to other locations.

They also serve arrest warrants and hunt fugitives.

The USMS also runs the witness protection system, so you could be moving a witness or guarding them.

They also work as guards for people whose lives may be at risk.

Here are some of the job requirements of a US Marshal

  • Enforce federal laws
  • Receive prisoners into federal custody
  • Escorts prisoners to jails and courts
  • Guard prisoners receiving medical care
  • Protects court personnel, including jurors
  • Protects witnesses in court
  • Provides witness protection outside of court
  • Serves warrants
  • Aids other law enforcement agencies in raids or large operations

The job description of a US Marshal can vary somewhat.

When you become a US Marshal, there is also scope to specialize in one particular area of service.

The three major branches are judicial protection, transport, investigative operations, prisoner operations, tactical operations, asset forfeiture, and witness security.

US Marshal Salary and Career Path

When you become a US Marshal, you will start your career in an entry level position, no matter what your background or education in law enforcement is.

These entry level positions pay between $46,000 and $56,000 a year.

After one year of service, most are eligible for promotion.

While you will start out completing generalized duties, you may at this point decide to work within one particular area.

There are also health insurance, life insurance, and a pension plan on offer for US Marshals.

There are good sick leave and annual leave benefits which increase with years of service.

If you are looking for a career in law enforcement that offers flexibility, security, and a promising future, then you might like to become a US Marshal.

Initial entry into this agency may be competitive, but those who qualify are well looked after and offered many opportunities for professional development and career advancement.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$67,600
$36K
$47K
$67K
$84K
$105K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$46,510
Alaska$87,870
Arizona$66,970
Arkansas$40,570
California$105,220
Colorado$75,720
Connecticut$73,270
Delaware$73,740
District of Columbia$76,680
Florida$60,720
Georgia$44,700
Hawaii$78,720
Idaho$54,120
Illinois$78,350
Indiana$56,780
Iowa$59,730
Kansas$49,910
Kentucky$46,720
Louisiana$42,470
Maine$53,170
Maryland$71,170
Massachusetts$72,400
Michigan$58,770
Minnesota$71,840
Mississippi$36,290
Missouri$51,860
Montana$56,710
Nebraska$58,860
Nevada$73,660
New Hampshire$58,820
New Jersey$86,840
New Mexico$53,750
New York$77,490
North Carolina$47,340
North Dakota$58,770
Ohio$62,880
Oklahoma$48,060
Oregon$73,300
Pennsylvania$68,940
Rhode Island$63,690
South Carolina$43,520
South Dakota$49,690
Tennessee$45,370
Texas$63,740
Utah$56,170
Vermont$53,070
Virginia$58,330
Washington$80,200
West Virginia$44,450
Wisconsin$63,970
Wyoming$56,120
Puerto Rico$32,900

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $105,220.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

California - $105,220
Alaska - $87,870
New Jersey - $86,840
Washington - $80,200
Hawaii - $78,720
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers, OCC Code 33-3051, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat is a US Marshal?

The US marshals provide a variety of services: they safeguard federal witnesses and transport prisoners, they protect federal judges and oversee seized assets.

US marshals have the broadest arrest authority, are involved in the arrest of fugitives from federal charges and help catch dangerous fugitives.

They may also be assigned to tactical missions within the US and abroad.

In order to be able to perform their job duties, US marshals need strong attention to detail, critical thinking skills and the ability to work under pressure.

QuestionHow much does a US Marshal make?

The entry-level salary is somewhere around $45,000 per year.

As they gain experience, US Marshals are eligible for promotion and their salary increases accordingly.

Other benefits include paid leave, pensions and a thrift savings plan.

US marshals can retire at 50 if they have an experience of at least 20 years in the field.

The mandatory retirement age for US marshals is 57.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a US Marshal?

The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the educational institution where you choose to complete your training and the program.

Most US marshals hold a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology or a related field and have one year of specialized experience.

The average cost for a four-year bachelor’s degree program in criminology for out-of-state students is around $40,000 per year.

Two-year criminology programs are also available and cost around $30,000 per year, on average.

In order to make sure that you receive a high-quality education, you should choose a reliable school that is accredited by government institutions.

QuestionWhat is the demand for US Marshals?

The demand for employment and hiring campaigns cannot be exactly predicted since it depends on a variety of factors, such as retirement and funding.

You can apply for a deputy US marshal position through the USAJOBS site where you can also check for available positions.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a US Marshal?

In order to qualify for a position as a US marshal, you need a combination of experience, education, and physical fitness.

In order to have better chances of getting hired as a US marshal you need around 4 years of law enforcement management experience and you must be in excellent physical condition.

Most US marshals also have a bachelor’s degree in criminology, law enforcement or criminal justice.

The first step is to apply for an open position on the USAJOBS website.

After an extensive background examination, you will have to complete an interview and various assessments and also pass a medical examination.

Those selected attend the United States Marshal Training Academy in Glynco, GA for 21 and a half weeks.

Candidates also have to pass a US Marshals Service Fitness-In-Total certification test that consists of four individual tests: a 1.5-mile run, a one-minute push-up test, a one-minute sit-up test, and a sit and reach test.

In total the hiring process may take 9-12 months.

The process of becoming a US marshal is unique because marshals are approved by the Senate and appointed by the president.

After being sworn as a US marshal you will also receive on-the-job training.

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