DEA Agent

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a federal agency that enforces drug laws and oversees foreign investigations. DEA agents conduct investigations, setup surveillance operations to monitor suspected drug dealers, and organize covert operations to infiltrate drug cartels.

What's required to become a DEA Agent?
Potential DEA agents must possess prior legal or police experience. The DEA only selects the most qualified candidates. DEA agents are required to meet one of these requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.95 GPA or graduate degree in any of these fields:
    • Finance
    • Criminal Justice
    • Economics
    • Police Science
    • Information Systems or Computer Science
    • Accounting
    • Psychology
    • Mechanical, Electrical Engineering, or Telecommunications
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • One or more of the following languages (fluency will be tested)
      • Arabic
      • Spanish
      • Hebrew
      • French
      • Mandarin Chinese
      • Russian
      • Japanese
      • Various Nigerian dialects
  • Possess applicable work experience or extensive experience investigating narcotics violations or other criminal activities, participating in surveillance or undercover operations, arresting suspected criminals, or collecting evidence used to prosecute criminals

  • Possess 3 or more years of specialized foreign language, technical or mechanical, information technology, accounting or auditing, military, or maritime or pilot experience, in addition to holding a bachelor's or graduate degree related to job skills

  • Hold a J.D. or LL.B. degree and have some experience prosecuting criminal cases

Additional job qualifications
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Be between 21 to 36 years old at time of hiring
  • Hold a valid driver's license
  • Be physically fit
  • Uncorrected vision in both eyes at or above 20/200 or corrected vision of 20/20 in 1 eye and 20/40 in the other
  • Willingness to relocate anywhere nationwide
  • Qualify for a top secret security clearance and pass a criminal background check

Those interested in DEA careers should learn about the qualities the specific field office they are interested in working seek in candidates. Typically, holding a bachelors or graduate degree enhances applicant's opportunities. Applicants holding criminal justice degrees or possessing prior law enforcement experience have a better chance of being hired. The DEA is constantly recruiting individuals who speak Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, or Russian.

To apply for open DEA agent positions contact the DEA's nearest field division recruitment center. Locate the nearest facility by visiting

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