How to Become a CIA Agent

What if someone said that not all professionals working for the CIA are secret agents? Would that come as a surprise? It shouldn’t. According to the mainstream media Central Intelligence Agency only employs secret agents. However in reality there is a lot more to this agency that meets the eye.

So when someone says ‘How do I become a CIA Agent’, they are specifically talking about Clandestine Service Agents, but there are other more diverse and challenging opportunities available at the Central Intelligence Agency as well.

Mentioned below are some of the opportunities with their job descriptions available at the CIA.


This elite corps does employ “secret agents”, however the CIA does not make their job description public. In addition, this division may have openings in operations, management, linguistics and public relations.

Cyber Security
How to Become a CIA Agent

Cyber Security

The main objective of the agency’s cyber defense mission is to thwart all cyber attacks that may jeopardize the national security of the United States. The professionals in this division, plan, coordinate and implement information security programs.

Geography & Cartography

Geographers are professionals who have extensive insight in foreign mapping, geographical information and geospatial technologies. Cartographers are experts who produce maps that help in complex intelligence analysis for senior policy makers.

Legal Services

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) within the CIA employs attorneys, litigators, paralegals and law clerks. These professionals interact with government agencies, Congress, and federal and state courts.

Medical Services

The CIA also requires healthcare professionals. These include medical technologists, occupational health nurses, physicians and psychiatrists. The Office of Medical Services at the CIA also employs research psychologists to give an insight into social, political and economic global environments.

The abovementioned were just a few of the opportunities available with the CIA. If you are specifically interested in becoming a CIA agent, here is what could make you stand out.


CIA is always on the lookout for the best and brightest. A minimum of a bachelor degree is highly recommended to be considered at the CIA – however it is not necessary. The GPA needs to be 3.0 or higher. Depending on the requirement, CIA may require professionals with different majors. These include International Affairs, Political Science, Languages, etc.


Having lived abroad and extensive insight into a foreign culture could be very beneficial. Also your experience in the armed forces or law enforcement could give you an edge over other applicants.

Key Skills

Strong interpersonal and leadership skills are some of the key attributes CIA looks for.

The Application Process

CIA recommends all applicants to apply online. If the applicant is outside of the United States, then CIA forbids online application. No communication between the CIA and the applicant should take place over phone or the internet if the applicant is not stationed in the US. This is for the protection of the applicant. The applicant must thoroughly investigate all the positions available and only apply for what they believe is their core area of expertise.

Background Investigation

CIA reserves the right to thoroughly investigate the applicant’s background. And the applicant accepts the terms when he/she sends an application for employment to the CIA. The main purpose behind the background check is to determine whether the applicant is being truthful in their application. Also this is to check if the applicant is trustworthy, reliable, and incoercible under duress and does not have conflicting allegiances. Recruiters at the CIA also check if the applicant can work in a team.

If the CIA is interested in hiring an individual, they will contact him/her via e-mail. The e-mail from CIA will have a .gov extension. It will be counterproductive to check the status of your application before the required 45 days for processing are up.  Once the initial contact has been made, the applicant will be given all the details for the recruitment and training process. This will include a polygraph test to ensure all the information given is accurate. After the applicant has been cleared, they will be inducted into the CIA training program that may last somewhere between weeks and months.

A Few Important Pointers

The applicant needs to be honest in their application.

  • If the applicant has any prior convictions, they must be disclosed.
  • Also if the applicant has been a drug user, they must disclose this information as well.
  • The applicant must also be a citizen of the United States to be considered. Foreign nationals are not eligible to apply at the CIA.
  • The best browser to use for application is Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  • CIA is not a veteran preference agency. If you are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, you application may be preferred but the success of your application depends on your qualification, qualities and requirements of the agency.

If you are interested in how to become a CIA agent you need to make sure you satisfy the entire required criterion. Once the CIA shows interest in your application, they will contact themselves.


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