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Federal law enforcement agencies that will hire straight out of college?

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  • #16
    Border Patrol, Customs, BOP and USSS UD will take pretty much anyone that can clear a background. Absolutely no degree required. Border Patrol is probably the most fun work, and of those four relatively easy entry agencies, the most likely to get you an 1811 spot. USSS UD has some of the worst retention in federal LE, and ranks dead last in federal employee viewpoint surveys most years. But you can make 120K your second year in. BOP has very low non-competitive pay max, like GS-6 or 7. My brother is UD and it is a shame the agency has the reputation for grinding people down and spitting them out like it does. Almost everyone in his FLETC class knew what they were facing on the other side of graduation and had 2-3 year plans to move on. Me personally, I would never do BOP.

    USBP and Customs both get you a 12 in a few years, and Border Patrol is probably the most hands on, dirty, boots on the ground making more arrests than any other agency in the government. It is a great time, and I truly regret leaving all the time. But I received two 1811 offers from USMS and HSI within two months of each other based solely off my BP resume, and I do not have a degree or have vet preference. It should be noted I did not have a solely-patrol resume, I earned some great opportunities on details and assignments that I enjoyed and they made my resume worthwhile. Point being is, in my opinion, with you college experience and BP on your resume, you can go far.

    I have had multiple friends from BP go 1811 with USSS, probably a dozen that I know personally go HSI, a few DEA and ATFs here and there.

    If USMS is your goal, I would say half of my USMS academy class was prior FLEO (other half military), and probably half of those FLEOs came from BOP, since the work is very similar, and BOP is also under DOJ. Had 4 BP guys in it. For what is worth, not my opinion, but what I was told, all those BOP guys in my class hated BOP with a passion. Almost every one of them said they were going to take the next 6c job they got, anywhere it was offered in the country. Plus we had a guy who did 15 years BOP and was a 7 step 8 or something like that. Pay is pretty low considering the job.

    If HSI is your goal, BP is hands down the way to go. More than half of my HSI academy class was BP.

    ICE DO is a mirror for BP. For a while, ERO was hiring BP Agents into DO with no academy and a memo, nothing more. I received an offer for DO but turned it down due to location. This same path was not offered to Customs Officers. So if DO is a goal, BP is the way to go. Have had many BP friends go DO.

    DEA has a lot of similar work to BP and Customs with title 21 authority, but I really don't know anything about DEA, so I won't speculate.

    Half of my second CITP class was USSS, and they seemed to have the most diverse group from any agency I have encountered. They had a ton of local cops, some uniform feds, but also a huge portion of new hires that had no LE whatsoever. Many accountants, people who worked financial investigations for corporations, things like that.

    As you can see above, based on my encounters and experiences, BP will open the most doors. But that's my two cents and should not be taken as concrete fact. Plus people who see me post know I'm a shill for Border Patrol since I loved the job so much, it paid so well, and opened so many doors for me. Good luck.
    Last edited by battlewagon; 07-07-2018, 12:50 PM.
    UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
    "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


    honor first

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    • battlewagon
      battlewagon commented
      Editing a comment
      It is anywhere between 5-11 months right now, if there are no medical issues. You choose a region, such as South Texas, West TX/New Mexico, Arizona, etc and they offer you any stations that need people in that region at the time they call.

    • Exbpa340
      Exbpa340 commented
      Editing a comment
      With a masters you could possibly start as a GL 9

    • FNG41YR
      FNG41YR commented
      Editing a comment
      BP experience does not exactly prepare you to be an 1811. DO is not a mirror of BP. You're making the BP sound like its the best thing since sliced bread.

    • battlewagon
      battlewagon commented
      Editing a comment
      My BP resume and nothing else (degree, vet) got me two 1811s at the same time (meaning I didnt have the first 1811 on my resume or application for the second one). You're correct in that being a BP Agent (or really any other uniformed FLEO job) doesn't involve a lot of investigations or skill sets that are utilized in a SA position, but obviously these agencies see something since BPAs make up so much of their classes.

      The job isnt a mirror in terms of work functions, which everyone knows. However as stated above, ERO was hiring BP Agents to be DOs with nothing other than a memo and SF-50. Which means ICE clearly sees a connection between the skill set and knowledge of a BPA and DO. Maybe mirror isn't the right word, but that is pretty solid evidence of what I was trying to say. Furthermore, they waived the DO academy for BPAs. So yeah....And again, nothing other than my BP resume led to an offer from ERO for a DO spot. Look at any DO academy class right now and see how many are prior PAs. If it isn't over half, it is close.

      My BP time has also landed me firm job offers for competitive positions such as those elusive '1 vacancy' in a prime location announcements that everyone assumes they've 'already picked someone'.

      Between all this first hand experience serving as a pretty solid piece of evidence, and between 1/3 and a half of my BP class having left for the positions we are discussing (1811s and DO), I'd say BP is definitely the sliced bread of the entry-level-jobs-leading-to-desirable-jobs world. And on top of that, one of the easiest jobs to get, especially compared to other suggestions like USPP which hire for one or two classes worth of people at a time and which requires you to travel to DC at least twice.

  • #17
    US Park Police, takes recent grads, and you get some good experience on the job as well

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    • #18
      Genuinely surprised no one has mentioned starting at doing background investigations for OPM/contractor first then applying to Fed agencies. You get a TS clearance, and you get good experience writing reports. If you are looking to be an investigator being able to write good reports will be an invaluable skill. Military service is a good idea if you are looking to stop your clock, theres a few agencies that will waive the age limit.
      Last edited by Levithane; 07-07-2018, 03:50 PM.

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      • #19
        Originally posted by Levithane View Post
        Genuinely surprised no one has mentioned starting at doing background investigations for OPM/contractor first then applying to Fed agencies. You get a TS clearance, and you get good experience writing reports. If you are looking to be an investigator being able to write good reports will be an invaluable skill. Military service is a good idea if you are looking to stop your clock, theres a few agencies that will waive the age limit.
        1810s are very tough positions to get, I'd say arguably even tougher than an 1811. The positions always seem to all the non-competitive candidates; military spouses, and whatever categories they are open too. Plus, in my opinion, if someone eventually wants to go 1811, anything other than a 6c job is wasting time. 1810s dont stop the clock, and if you do seven years there for example and then pick up an 1811, none of those years count towards your 6c enhanced/early retirement, so you will still owe the 20 or more years.

        That is of course my opinion, but might as well start your 6c time out the gate.
        UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
        "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


        honor first

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        • Exbpa340
          Exbpa340 commented
          Editing a comment
          He’s talking about the contract positions. BP is still a much better route in my opinion.

        • Levithane
          Levithane commented
          Editing a comment
          BP like you said is a good route, provided you pass everything (polygraph). The primary reason I listed contract a position like that is because you get a clearance. Once you have that more doors will open to other positions for you. Thats one of the reasons veterans get preference apart from doing a service to the country. Everyone in the military has to get a clearance of some sort, so agencies know what they're getting compared to street hires.

      • #20
        I say apply bop also. I started in custody. After my first year I got hired for a non custody opening after applying for about 50 of them. I moved and got a 20k base pay raise. Now I'm finally about to move home to work at a prison less than 30 mins from my home town. It will be my third duty station in less than 4 years. Gonna stay there till i get into management more than likely

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        • #21
          Here's a fed LE position with near 100% guaranteed employment straight out of college: National Park Service seasonal LE ranger.

          You have to pay for your own academy and the job is May-September. The pay is peanuts and the required housing is usually sub-standard and rodent-infested. No permanent status no health care no retirement contributions. But you do get to work in some interesting places and it's a way to get experience. Many LE careers with many agencies started out as NPS seasonal rangers.

          The other thing that comes to mind about the OPs question is that very few people get hired in fed LE straight out of college. The vast majority spent a few years doing something- military, state or local LE, private sector, Peace Corps, law school, etc. I can recall only a handful 21-22 year olds who were hired just after graduation day and they were primarily from under-represented groups and were already in a special hiring program that assured permanent employment upon graduation.

          The exception to this is unpaid internships. I have seen a small number of people win the lottery and get an internship. They didn't do a whole lot other than make copies and watch the action from afar but it looked good on resumes and they had an edge down the road as known entities in a stack of applications. Like I said though, it's akin to winning the lottery. Some years there are no interns and many agencies never have interns. Competition among students is intense: I helped out at a college CJ career fair recently and every 19 year who walked up to the booth had only one question: "Do you have internships??"
          Last edited by Ratatatat; 07-08-2018, 10:33 AM.
          One day, lad, this will all be yours.

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          • Exbpa340
            Exbpa340 commented
            Editing a comment
            My office has a GS-2 student intern that will be heading off to the academy sometime later this year. He does have experience in local law enforcement and management is very fond of him.

            He will be able to tell everyone that he started from the very bottom (GS-2)

        • #22
          U.S. Park Police is another agency to think about. About 6 people in my class of 24 (including me) have moved on to 1811 positions. They hire straight from college all the time.

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          • #23
            Go to an NPS seasonal academy, you pay your own way. Strange way of hiring but you get your feet wet by working seasonally anywhere in the US. You can get perm quickly if you are legit and you can get experience to use with applying for other agencies. Feel free to message me if you have questions.

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            • #24
              Originally posted by AGInvestigator View Post
              U.S. Park Police is another agency to think about. About 6 people in my class of 24 (including me) have moved on to 1811 positions. They hire straight from college all the time.

              That's a good point, but they don't hire too often. A good one with Park Police is if you get tired of the city, you can transfer to being a U.S. Park Ranger all over the country without much process. I'm working with a Park Police officer right now that transferred from Park Police to being a Ranger and then went back to when he decided it wasn't for him. My former boss was Park Police and now is a Chief Ranger. It gives you some interesting options, and you can always go 1811 after getting some experience.
              Last edited by hawaiitexas; 07-10-2018, 01:54 AM.

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              • #25
                Some agencies, such as the USMS have started a Pathways Program for recent grads, however I think you have missed that window for this phase. The FBI, DEA, and most other fed 1811 gigs will not hire you without a degree, and rarely with just the degree, unless it's something very marketable like a foreign language. You'll need some experience under your belt, whether it is military, local law enforcement, business or law.

                I would say straight out of college, the only agency that would probably hire you with no experience is the BOP

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                • #26
                  I’d bet most squared away recent college grads could get hired Secret Service UD and Capitol Police. Gotta move to DC though.

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                  • battlewagon
                    battlewagon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    UD is desperate for people. They will hire retail workers, mechanics, and all kinds of entry level hourly or salaried employees without a degree or vet status. Similar to border patrol, if you can pass the background and polygraph and other hiring steps, you're in.

                • #27
                  Retail to LE isn’t bad at all, you know how to talk and communicate effectively with people from all cultures and walks of life. Yep. Good points battle.

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