According to the Secret Service (SecretService.gov), since its inception in 1865, the Secret Service has been involved in protecting the integrity of the United States financial systems. The Secret Service has jurisdiction in the United States for investigations involving the counterfeiting of U.S. and foreign obligations and securities. This authority has expanded to include the investigation of financial institution fraud, access device fraud, computer crimes, fraudulent government and commercial securities, fictitious financial instruments, telecommunications fraud, false identification and identity theft.
The secret service has been mandated by statute to carry out two significant missions: criminal investigations and protection. During a career as a special agent a person will carry out assignments in each of these areas. A secret service agent has to be willing to go to any of the duty stations located throughout the world at any time.
Secret service agents protect the president, the vice president, and individuals in succession order of the presidential office including both the president and vice president that have been elected. Secret service agents are also in charge of protecting the families of the above individuals as well. Former presidents are protected by the secret service as well. A secret service agent may be called on to protect foreign presidents and their families when they are visiting the United States as well as anyone else the president gives executive order to protect.
Secret service agents not only provide protection to high profile government officials, but they also investigate crimes as well. The crimes investigated by the secret service include violations of the laws that are related to counterfeiting of securities and obligations of the U.S., financial crimes, and computer attacks on the financial and telecommunications structure of the United States.
Secret Service Agent Requirements
In order to be considered for a position in the secret service you are required to be a citizen of the United States no older than 37 when you apply. In addition, a person must have a valid United States driver’s license and have a visual acuity of 20/60 at the worst and that can be corrected to 20/20 for each eye.
A person must undergo a physical fitness examination. This includes a hearing, vision, and cardiovascular tests and the mobility of the extremities will be evaluated as well.
In order to qualify for a GL-7 position a person must have a bachelor’s degree from a college or university that has been accredited. A person must graduate in the top one third of their class and have a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. It is also recommended that a person applying for this position have at least a full year of graduate education on top of the bachelor’s degree in order to stand out from other applicants.
A treasury enforcement agent exam will be given to potential applicants as well as a writing test. A person must pass this test in order to be considered for a position.
There will be a number of interviews conducted throughout the application process. In addition, a background check will be conducted and a person will need to be able to gain top secret clearance. In order to obtain top secret clearance a person will have to take a pre-employment polygraph test and drug screening. Friends and family members may be interviewed during the background check process as well.
The entire process of applying for a position as a secret service agent can take up to a year or longer.