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Fresh out of college interested in Federal

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  • Fresh out of college interested in Federal

    So at the risk of sounding stupid I figured I would gather information. I am fresh out of college and am interested in going Federal (DEA, Secret Service, Maybe FBI?) II have no Law Enforcement Exp but do have some certifications and awards from college involving law enforcement. No military either. Ive heard a bunch of things from people ranging from Federal LEA love fresh out of college recruits to unless you have 20 years exp LEO dont waist your time. I guess my question is does anyone know whats correct and not or is it agency by agency?
    Thank you

  • #2
    Why the fascination with federal? Local and state LE, depending on the agency is the "bread and butter" of LE. Federal LE is too narrowly focused for the most part.

    Comment


    • dark321
      dark321 commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't mean to hijack but why is local/state LE the bread and butter? Curious because I'm currently in process of SA position for a state agency, but wanted to keep continuing with Federal SA careers.

    • mih pihsrow
      mih pihsrow commented
      Editing a comment
      I've been local, state and now federal and I would disagree with you 100%. Although the fed lines of jurisdiction are tighter, they all still work plenty of different types of crimes (exception DEA). Matter of fact, I would say the FBI "works" just as many types of crimes as i did as a state SA.

  • #3
    I'll second hangman.

    In addition, there is no correct answer to the information you are looking for. If you want to know what each agency is looking for, then look at the questions in the vacancy announcement.

    It sounds like you don't really have any life experience yet, which is something most places look for. Typically, but not always, some type of investigative experience is helpful in getting hired as a criminal investigator.

    All of the agencies you listed are primarily known for their special agent careers. You may want to broaden your search to some other career paths that many have found helpful in eventually moving into investigations. Most common would probably be the Border Patrol.

    Comment


    • #4
      I was at a week long training course a few weeks back. Mostly FBI, DEA, and HSI. Quite a few of them were mid to late 20s. These sorts of things are cyclical. My agency has had trouble filling slots. FBIs applications are down quite a lot in recent years. My CITP class was half USSS. Many of them were prior LEO but a few had backgrounds and experience that make you scratch your head a bit and they were very young for the most part.

      So do you have a chance? Tough to say but there have been worse times to try to get hired.

      Comment


      • #5
        For Federal, start by getting a job that either gives you a Secret, or Top Secret/SSBI. When you have a successful background on file, it makes you more marketable to agencies than just someone from off the street. Doesn't matter if its starting off in a contract job for a Federal Contractor, or filing paperwork in the HR Department at TSA. So long as you pass every other step in the hiring processes, you'll be good to go since you'll be a known quantity in the system. I'll probably get someone who disagrees with what I just said, but that is the most costly/time consuming part of hiring (also where a lot of people get bounced).

        Comment


        • #6
          I hope you guys dont bash me for throwing this out there, but here is something to think about. Law Enforcement is not at all what it is made to be like on TV, or from the war stories you hear from buddies or guys you know in the field.

          At the local level I have trained guys who are great cops and i have trained guys who are not. I have also seen guys quit during the training process because they cant handle the stress. They cant handle the dead bodies, drawing their weapon on suspects, or the PAPERWORK for that matter.

          If you havent already, try riding out with a local department, maybe even see if you can spend some time in their investigations division. You can also try and seek an internship with one of the federal agencies as well.

          good luck in whatever you do bud!!

          Comment


          • #7
            USSS and FB are pretty known for hiring people with no prior LE. I'd say the half of my citp class that was USSS, more than half of them had no LE or mil, but many had relevant experience; accounting, financial background etc.
            UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
            "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


            honor first

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            • #8
              Doesn’t matter what anyone tells you, it’ll all be situationally dependent. That said I believe the two biggest factors are building professional working experience and applying. Don’t go looking for more schooling, build your resume to get diverse and increasing responsibilities, and at the same time, apply to anything and everything that you are able to (and could stand doing for a number of years).

              Comment


              • #9
                So I’m an 1811 working for a LE agency. I am “recent” college grad and relatively new to the job. Here’s my .02

                You have to figure out what fits you best. Federal LE is different work from local/state LE work. Both have their own applications on how the law is enforced. Both have plenty of work to be had that can create a long lasting, successful career. And certainly, one isnt better over the other. Research the agencies you wish to apply and embody the values and mission you support most. There isn’t a right or wrong answer and for the most part, it’s just a matter of getting your foot in the door and timing. Right now, a lot of agencies are hiring and it’s best to apply to as many as you can, similar to college. I did and was very fortunate enough to be hired by the agency I wanted to work for the most. Will that happen for you? Who knows but you’ll only find out by putting yourself out there, applying to several agencies, staying on top of any paperwork you submit, showing up on time to your pt test and interviews, and giving the impression that you WANT the job. As a recent grad, you compete for a coveted position that many others are also competing for too. And there are many qualified candidates out there that sometimes make it and sometimes don’t for whatever reason. WANTING the job goes a long way.

                Don’t over think. Prioritize what you want your career to be like and the kind of work you wish to do. Going federal is nice and does have its perks, but it can also be of great benefit to start out locally to develop street smarts/experience and the skills for good police work. Especially when lacking experience. But working federal LE right out of school isn’t impossible to pick up and learn either.
                Last edited by patriot17; 09-23-2019, 04:05 PM.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by patriot17 View Post
                  So I’m an 1811 working for a LE agency. I am “recent” college grad and relatively new to the job. Here’s my .02

                  You have to figure out what fits you best. Federal LE is different work from local/state LE work. Both have their own applications on how the law is enforced. Both have plenty of work to be had that can create a long lasting, successful career. And certainly, one isnt better over the other. Research the agencies you wish to apply and embody the values and mission you support most. There isn’t a right or wrong answer and for the most part, it’s just a matter of getting your foot in the door and timing. Right now, a lot of agencies are hiring and it’s best to apply to as many as you can, similar to college. I did and was very fortunate enough to be hired by the agency I wanted to work for the most. Will that happen for you? Who knows but you’ll only find out by putting yourself out there, applying to several agencies, staying on top of any paperwork you submit, showing up on time to your pt test and interviews, and giving the impression that you WANT the job. As a recent grad, you compete for a coveted position that many others are also competing for too. And there are many qualified candidates out there that sometimes make it and sometimes don’t for whatever reason. WANTING the job goes a long way.

                  Don’t over think. Prioritize what you want your career to be like and the kind of work you wish to do. Going federal is nice and does have its perks, but it can also be of great benefit to start out locally to develop street smarts/experience and the skills for good police work. Especially when lacking experience. But working federal LE right out of school isn’t impossible to pick up and learn either.
                  I agree with this 100%. I'm an 1811 with less two years on. Prior local and then state. My experience working the road was a huge help to me. I would highly encourage getting some time in as a beat cop before becoming an 1811. A lot of fed processes take several years so you might as well be gaining exp while waiting.

                  Comment

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