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  • Cia sps

    Hi, I was looking for feedback from anyone who knows about the Security Protective Service position with the CIA. Suppose an applicant is employed full time as a Police Officer (about 2 years) and has a Master's Degree. Considering those factors, I was wondering how competitive it would make the individual in applying with the agency? I know there is quite a bit of information about this position on here already and I've read through all of it. For the online test portion of the application process (cognitive ability test and personality inventory) I was wondering how much the agency might weigh the test results relative to the overall background of the applicant? In other words, suppose the applicant didn't score as high as other applicants on the test, would the agency look primarily at the test scores or more so at the individual applicant as a whole? In addition, suppose the individual also speaks another (none critical) language such as Hebrew (conversational level). Do you think that the individual's language skills would help in this scenario?
    I appreciate the nature of the agency, therefore, I understand that some information cannot be disclosed. However, any information you guys might have regarding my questions or the hiring process in general would be extremely helpful and most appreciated. Thanks in advance guys
    Last edited by Agent117; 05-15-2019, 04:50 PM.

  • #2
    You do know that this is a security gig, right?
    Now go home and get your shine box!

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    • #3
      Yeah I do, but I figured that if someone were to get hired as an SPS officer it might open other doors within the agency, such as a Protective Agent down the road. Or even just having a Top Secret security clearance and working as a Federal Police Officer for a couple of years might help with getting hired by another agency as a Special Agent.

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      • #4
        Understand that being a SPO isn't like working a patrol gig somewhere else. It's more like a security guard as stated. It is also not 6C/12D covered, so your time in does not count towards Fed LE retirement.

        That said, SPO gigs have been touted as stepping stones into the agency for some time. I'm sure it's true in some sense. I knew people in other DS positions that started as SPOs, but can't think of any DO folks that did. So if you are just looking at moving up in the security realm, it might make sense. If you're looking at it for a Federal LE position or 1811 position somewhere, it makes no sense.

        With a few years in LE and a masters, why not apply to an MDSO position? Bypass the protective stuff and leverage training and experience for something more interesting?

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        • #5
          Really? I didn't know that..kinda sucks. What about Criminal Investigator under DS? that would basically be the CIA's version of an 1811 position right?
          That's a good point, might be a better option in the long run. It would probably be easier to move up from MSDO than SPO right?

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          • #6
            The investigator positions are with the IG, but they're not covered 1811 positions. I think it would be helpful for you to figure out why you want to work at the agency. Then base what you apply for on that knowledge. There's not a lot of cross over between agency jobs and jobs elsewhere, at least not in the traditional sense. Don't get me wrong, you definitely have better exposure coming in as a SPO and doing your 3 years or whatever, than going somewhere else and then applying to an agency position later. That is if you actually want to do the SPO job. If you want to do operational work in the intel community, just know that positions in DS enable operational work, but aren't necessarily operational positions, if that makes sense.

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            • #7
              That's weird it seems like the CIA's positions are pretty isolated from the rest of the federal agencies. I've been looking at different positions within the agency, but it is kinda difficult to find the information I want to know about them, which is understandable, but still a little frustrating. You think I'd have a good shot at getting hired as an SPO? I don't think I'd mind it that much. I'm sure it can get pretty boring, but then again it wouldn't be like a career thing, more of a stepping stone. I'm not sure I follow you, what do you mean by enable? Have you ever worked for the agency if so what position (if you can talk about it).

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              • #8
                You can't just transfer out of the CIA SPS since they're an excepted service agency.
                I don't answer recruitment messages....

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                • #9
                  What's your career goal?

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                  • Agent117
                    Agent117 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm kind of torn between doing working a gig that's more protective detail oriented and working as a Special Agent. I looked into Diplomatic Security Service and I've applied with Secret Service so I'm just wanting to hear back. I recently applied for an 1811 position with the FBI. I would say if I had to focus on one of my options being a SA would be it so I think I'm just going to focus on getting hired by the FBI.

                • #10
                  Originally posted by Agent117 View Post
                  Yeah I do, but I figured that if someone were to get hired as an SPS officer it might open other doors within the agency, such as a Protective Agent down the road. Or even just having a Top Secret security clearance and working as a Federal Police Officer for a couple of years might help with getting hired by another agency as a Special Agent.
                  If you want to go 1811 down the road, in my humble opinion, you're wasting your time not jumping into a '6c' gig out the gate. All you're doing is delaying your retirement. Something like BP or Customs gets you the clearances you need, while being '6c' (12d), and also gives you the chance to do real hands on law enforcement (at least BP). If the VA DC area is a requirement for you, I'd say go USSS UD. You're over qualified for that job, it is a covered position, and no more or less of a security gig than CIA SPS. Gets you the clearances, and recently, UD was doing paid move for new hires.

                  My two cents
                  UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
                  "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


                  honor first

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                  • izamsilas
                    izamsilas commented
                    Editing a comment
                    This....I'd only suggest agency gigs if you actually WANT to work in the IC. There's very little that easily translates to other agencies. Don't ask me how I know

                  • orlandofed5-0
                    orlandofed5-0 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    CIA is offering moving expenses to the DC area

                  • izamsilas
                    izamsilas commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That’s nothing new. They pay for all blue badge moving expenses.

                  • Agent117
                    Agent117 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Gotcha. It seems like maybe the CIA isn't for me right now, because I'm looking for versatility. If I decided on a career with the agency it seems like my options would be extremely limited if I went in as an SPO. Though PA or Criminal Investigator may be available options down the road, not being covered under FERS and not being able to easily transfer out of the agency is a pretty big turn off for me. One thing I do like about the agency though is there is no age requirement for the positions i'm interested in so it may be an option later down the road.

                • #11
                  Just realize that with CIA SPS, you will be required to sign a 3 year contract with them.

                  I don't answer recruitment messages....

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Thanks guys for the insight, you've all been really helpful. I think I'll just stick with trying to get hired as an Special Agent with ICE or the FBI for now. I'm waiting to start phase 1 testing and I found resources online to help prepare me for it.

                    Comment

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