Criminal Investigator Job

Vacancy No. SA-SB001-22 Department U.S. Secret Service
Salary $49,508.00 to $102,526.00 Grade 07 to 11
Perm/Temp Temporary FT/PT Full-time
Open Date 10/1/2021 Close Date 9/30/2022
Job Link Apply Online Who may apply Public

Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)
  • Open & closing dates

    Opening and closing dates 10/01/2021 to 09/30/2022

  • Service


  • Pay scale & grade

    GL 07 - 11

  • Salary

    $49,508 to $102,526 per year

  • Appointment type


  • Work schedule


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Relocation expenses reimbursed


Telework eligible


This job is open to
  • The public

    U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

You are encouraged to apply for all 3 grade levels to maximize your consideration for this position. You are also encouraged to submit unofficial transcripts(s) for each degree (i.e. Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D) to receive consideration for this position. If you are a "No Show" or fail the Special Agent Entrance Exam, there is a six month waiting period before you can reapply and retest.

Announcement number


Control number


  • Videos

  • Duties
    Duties Summary

    Joining the Secret Service as a Special Agent will allow you to perform critical protective and investigative assignments. The special agent position starts at a salary of $49,508 (GL-07, step 1), with promotion potential to $146,120 (GS-13, step 10). For more information on the Secret Service click here.

    This position is covered by Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) and additional compensation of 25% of the base salary will be added to locality pay.

    Learn more about this agency

    During the course of their careers, special agents carry out assignments in both investigations and protection and may be assigned to multiple duty stations throughout the U.S. and abroad. Duties include:

    • Providing protection for various protectees.
    • Conducting criminal investigations pertaining to financial obligations of the United States.
    • Planning and implementing security designs for National Special Security Events.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Travel is required 25% or less

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential

    13 - Full Promotion Potential grade 13 is assigned from the General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale

  • Job family (Series)

    1811 Criminal Investigation

  • Requirements
    Requirements Conditions Of Employment
    • U.S. citizenship is required
    • Possess a current valid driver's license
    • You must obtain a Top Secret Clearance and retain it during your career.

    Conditions of Employment you will be required to:

    • Possess uncorrected visual acuity of no worse than 20/100 binocular, possess corrected visual acuity of 20/20 or better in each eye.(Note: Lasik, ALK, RK, and PRK corrective eye surgeries are acceptable eye surgeries for special agent applicants. Applicants will be considered eligible for the special agent position provided specific visual tests are passed. The following are waiting periods for visual tests:Lasik-2 months after surgery, PRK-6 months after surgery, and ALK and RK-one year after surgery).
    • Hearing loss, as measured by an audiometer, must not exceed 25 decibels (A.S.A. or equivalent I.S.O.) in either ear in the 500,1000 and 2000Hz ranges.
    • Be at least age 21 at the time of application and less than age 37 at the time you receive a conditional offer of employment, unless you have previous service in a Federal Civilian Law Enforcement position covered by special law enforcement or firefighter retirement provisions, including early or mandatory retirement. Applicants with veteran's preference must receive a conditional offer of employment prior to reaching age 40 to continue in the application process.
    • Submit to a drug test prior to your appointment and random drug testing while you occupy the position. Disclose any prior drug use, attempted use, and/or experimentation.
    • Carry and use a firearm. Maintaining firearm proficiency is mandatory. You will be ineligible to occupy this position if at any time you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, unless you received a pardon or your conviction was expunged or set aside.
    • Complete 13 weeks of intensive training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center(FLETC) in Glynco, GA and 18 weeks of specialized training at the James J. Rowley Training Center in Laurel, MD. Failure to pass the training program on the first attempt may result in separation from the Secret Service. Click here to review standard.  
    • Sign a mobility agreement stating your willingness to accept assignments anywhere within the United States and overseas.
    • Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so, if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959.
    • Be appointed to this position under an excepted appointment which is limited to 3 years and 120 days. Upon completion of this period, you will either be converted to career status or separated based on the expiration of the appointment.


    You are minimally qualified for the GL-07 Level (starting salary $49,508) if you possess one of the following: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with superior academic achievement (S.A.A.) which is based on class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership (for more information on S.A.A. please click here); OR at least one full year of graduate level education (i.e., 18 semester hours); OR at least 1 year of specialized experience in, or related to, the investigative methods, protective methods, and law enforcement techniques that provide the specific competencies to successfully perform the position's duties. Experience also includes exercising initiative; attention to detail; judgment in collecting, assembling and developing facts, evidence or other pertinent data; the ability to analyze and evaluate data or evidence to arrive at sound conclusions including applying new information; and the ability to partner with or lead others in the accomplishment of mission activities.

    You are minimally qualified for the GL-09 Level (starting salary $55,214) if you possess one of the following: A master's or equivalent graduate degree (such as LL.B. or J.D.) or two full years of progressively higher graduate education, in a related field, leading to such a degree from an accredited college or university; OR have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-7 level such as experience applying law enforcement, protective, or investigative techniques in the performance of job duties; identifying problem areas and proposing and implementing solutions; taking responsibility for own actions and those of team members to ensure the goals and deadlines for the team are met; and leading meeting or seminars on behalf of a professional or academic group; setting work priorities and allocating resources; partnering with other individuals from within and outside the organization; OR a combination of specialized experience, as described above, and related graduate level education, beyond the first full year of graduate level study.

    You are minimally qualified for the GS-11 Level (Starting salary $64,649) if you possess one of the following: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree, or LL.M., OR have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-9 level which is defined as experience in, or related to planning and conducting complex criminal investigations to determine violations of Federal laws and regulations; collecting and assembling facts  to identify logical conclusion; gathering, analyzing, and evaluating evidence or data; conducting interviews and interrogations; making arrests; conducting searches and seizures; taking responsibility for own actions and those of team members to ensure the goals and deadlines for the team are met; partnering with or leveraging networks or relationships from outside the organization, experience managing complex projects including setting priorities and determining resource requirements; OR a combination of specialized experience, as described above, and related graduate level education, beyond the first full year of doctoral level study.

    Qualified applicants will only be referred at the highest grade level for which they qualify. Consideration will be given to performance appraisals and incentive awards as an indicator of quality of prior experience.

    Applicants must successfully complete and pass Phase 1 assessments (see below) to be certified. In addition, applicants must successfully complete and pass Phase II (see below) to receive final consideration for employment.

    Phase I: 

    • Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE);
    • May be subject to an Applicant Physical Abilities Test
    • Interview; and
    • Review Panel (Final grade and quality category) 
    • Conditional Job Offer

    Phase II:

    • Credit Check;
    • Security Interview;
    • Polygraph examination;
    • Drug screening;
    • Medical examination; and
    • Background investigation (a top secret security clearance)

    The Secret Service follows stringent guidelines relating to illegal drug usage. An applicant's history is reviewed and a determination for employment is made according to our guidelines. For more information regarding the U.S. Secret Service drug guidelines please click here. 

    For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here.


    This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

    Additional information

    Recruitment incentives may be available depending on an applicant's qualifications. An employee accepting a recruitment incentive must sign a service agreement.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

    Applicants selected for this position will be required to sign a continuing service agreement before being assigned to an initial training class. The continuing service agreement will commit the applicant to a specified period of employment with the U.S. Secret Service upon the successful completion of training.

    Applicants will be required to travel to all phases of the hiring process at their own expense. If a final job offer is extended, relocation expenses will not be authorized for first duty location.

    The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone)(exception: a single conservative and unobtrusive tattoo in the form of a ring is authorized on one finger). 

    Pursuant to an exception granted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), your application must contain a completed Optional Form 306, Declaration of Federal Employment. If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to update your OF-306, and to again sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.

    E-Verify Statement: DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Click here to learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.

    General Medical Requirements:

    As determined by the Office of Personnel Management, the duties of this position require moderate to arduous physical exertion involving walking and standing, use of firearms, and exposure to inclement weather. Manual dexterity with comparatively free motion of fingers, wrist, elbows, shoulders, hips and knee joints is required.  Arms, hands, legs and feet must function sufficiently in order for applicants to perform the duties satisfactorily.

    Since the duties of this position are exacting and involve the responsibility for the safety of others under trying conditions, applicants must possess emotional and mental stability.  Any condition that would hinder full, efficient performance of the duties of this position or that would cause the individual to be a hazard to himself/herself or to others is disqualifying.

    There are also specific medical requirements for this position, and any chronic disease or condition affecting the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, digestive, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic, nervous, genitourinary, and other systems that would impair full performance of the duties of the position may also be disqualifying. 

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your resume and supplemental documentation will be submitted to a review panel wherein you will be placed in one of three categories, Qualified, Well Qualified, and Best Qualified, based on your experience, education, training and competencies. You will receive a conditional job offer if you are determined Well Qualified or Best Qualified for a grade level by the panel.     

    You are encouraged to apply for all 3 grade levels to maximize your consideration for this position.

    The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are: 

    • Ability to display a high standard of ethical conduct and can be trusted in all work situations; chooses an ethical course of action and does the right thing, even in the face of opposition; encourages others to behave accordingly.
    • Ability to deal calmly and effectively with high stress or dangerous situations; remains calm, even-tempered, and in control of emotions, as appropriate for the situation.
    • Skill in demonstrating good judgment by making sound, timely and well-informed decisions without deferring actions when decisions need to be made; considers the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action and follows through on decisions.
    • Ability to identify problems, determine underlying issues and potential causes and generate and evaluate alternatives to arrive at and implement an effective solution.
    • Ability to demonstrate fairness, professionalism and tact when interacting with others; understands and interacts effectively with a variety of people to include those who are difficult, hostile, or distressed; adjusts interpersonal style, as needed, to interact with differing individuals.
    Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category. Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify.  For more information on veterans' preference, please click here.

    Your on-line application will be rated on the extent, quality, and relevance of the following:  your experience, education and training, and competencies. All applicants are evaluated on competencies related to law enforcement methods and techniques, protective methods and techniques, investigative methods and techniques, initiative, problem solving, attention to detail, learning, partnering, planning and organizing, and leadership. All answers in the online process must be substantiated by your resume. Upon review, your resume and transcripts need to support your answer choices.  Overstating your qualifications and/or experience in your application materials or on the application questionnaire may result in your removal for consideration. 

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance
    Security clearance

    Top Secret

    Drug test required


    Position sensitivity and risk

    Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

    Trust determination process

    Credentialing, Suitability/Fitness, National security

  • Required Documents
    Required Documents

    In addition to addressing the job opportunity announcement specific questions, you must also submit the following documentation:

    • Resume - In order to receive credit for experience contained in an uploaded resume, your employment history should show work experience in detail and in month/year format (MM/YYYY), reflecting starting date and ending date, and include the number of hours worked per week.
    • If you have earned a college degree, you must include a copy of your unofficial college/university transcript with your application.
    • If you are qualifying based on education or you are qualifying based on a combination of education and experience , or are claiming Superior Academic Achievement (overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 recorded on the unofficial college/university transcript) to qualify at the GL-07 level (as explained in the Qualifications section), you must submit a copy of your college/university transcript (unofficial is acceptable) which must show school name, student's name, credit earned, degree, and date awarded.  Education must be obtained from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For example, specific courses accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university, or foreign education evaluated by an organization recognized for accreditation by the Department of Education as education equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. college or university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information. Those with Foreign education, click here.
    • Are you a Veteran? Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) or notice form. If a DD-214 is not available, submit certification from the Armed Forces that list the beginning and ending dates of active service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions. Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. Click here for more veterans' information.  
    • Are you a current or former Federal Employee? Submit a copy of your SF 50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing your tenure code, position occupied and highest grade and step. In addition, if you have or had service in a Federal Law Enforcement position covered by law enforcement or firefighter retirement provisions, including early or mandatory retirement, the SF-50 must show the retirement code. An award SF-50 does not contain the required information. Also submit your performance appraisals and/or incentive awards.
    • Did you previously take the Special Agent Entrance Exam (SAEE)? Submit a copy of your SAEE results.

  • Benefits

    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply
    How to Apply

    This position is being advertised via Secret Service Hire which is an automated staffing system. To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, complete the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents. See Required Documents section for more detail. You must complete the application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement.

    If you cannot apply online, you may contact the Talent and Employee Acquisition Management Division, Special Agent Support Branch at OR by calling (202) 406-5271 between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:30 pm EST (excluding Federal holidays) prior to the closing date of this announcement to receive assistance.  The Secret Service provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities, on a case-by-case basis.

    Agency contact information TAD TAD






    United States Secret Service (DHS-USSS)
    Please read entire announcement
    Please apply online
    Washington, District of Columbia 20223
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

    Next steps

    Applicants who receive a passing score on the SAEE or structured interview may retain and use the score indefinitely unless significant changes are made to the test, at which point applicants who reapply for a vacancy must retest on the newest version of the assessments. Applicants who have taken but did not pass the assessments must wait 6 months before reapplying and to retest for this position.

    You may check the status of your application for this position by going to  Click on the “My USAJOBS” tab, enter your user ID and password, and click on “My Applications”.  You will also receive an e-mail notification regarding your application status. For more information on applying for Federal employment, please click  here.    

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

Note: We cannot accept applications on behalf of Federal Agencies. Application instructions are listed within the Job Description.