Any bees or their SOs in federal law enforcement? FBI, DEA, CIA, ATF, etc?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

 

gingerkitten:  I cant help much since technically I havent been with these agencies. I work for SSA and am prior military/law enforcement and I had my top secret so I did look a lot into these jobs. My issue always was the mobility agreement. What I do know is that its difficult to get into federal organizations in general. People say veterans preference makes it easier however I have applied to 20 jobs within the last six months. I was referred as highly qualified for most jobs and had 1 phone interview, another job called my supervisor for a reference but never contacted me (despite a great review according to supervisor), and secret service invited me to take their entrance exam but i declined based on a recent job transfer. What I have been told is that these agencies have to advertise the “vacancies” even if they have already made the decision for who fills that vacancy. Whether its someone in office or a referral. The VRA appointment for veterans also makes it so they dont actually have to advertise the positions but can still hire an eligible veteran. Most of these jobs require the mobility agreement which means you apply to the job and then they tell you where you are assigned. I did go to a job fair in Cincinnati in July and many of these organizations were there. Maybe see if something like that is available in your area. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help though.

Post # 4
Member
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Mr. LK is not law enforcement, but was required to spend a good chunk of time at FLETC for his job. It was an unaccompanied stay (meaning DS and I stayed home). Could we have paid for our own transportation and housing while Mr. LK was down there? Yes. But Br. LK would have still been required to sleep at FLETC an all that jazz.

Post # 6
Member
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

 

gingerkitten:  It will be tough to plan these things out but if anything he can always go for it and see what happens with it. Its always reassuring to know that you tried. I think moving would be dependent on each organization. I did meet with FBI at job fair and an employee did say she really didn’t have to relocate. Secret Service was the exact opposite though. The other thing I wanted to mention is the federal government is unpredictable in general and sometimes you will get a call back within a few weeks for an interview and others it can be 6 months. Hiring tends to also take a long time and OMG filling out the job vacancies also takes forever.

Post # 7
Member
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

gingerkitten:  I actually had an interview with ICE the other week and wanted to update you. the interviewer actually asked me why I hadn’t applied as an agent since my past experience exceeded the qualifications and then we discussed mobility agreements. So what I learned… You get no control over where your first assignment is. A smaller agency like ICE or ATF is more likely to take your choices into consideration. Also, they let you know before FLETC training where you go. Once you get your assignment you are unlikely to move unless you request it or you become a gs14. most agents start out as gs 7/9 and gs 14 is very high up in federal government so we are talking typically 15 or more years of service for that. I thought like you that once established you will move less but I was told the reason they move you is to allow others to promote. That’s small agencies.  The larger agencies will let you know your assignment after FLETC. With FBI you will move typically every 2 years. Secret service you will also move and there will be an assignment in DC. Dept of state is also an agency that will have you move. The other thing I learned that along with mobility agreements you may sign a service contract dedicating whatever number of years to agency after the training. If they ask you to move during that time and you refuse they can also have you repay the cost of your training or any bonuses that were based on the agreement to stay the set amount of years. not sure how much that is enforced. i know the agent/interviewer I spoke with classified DEA as the large agency but he did not specifically say what to expect within that agency

Post # 8
Member
11722 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If he wants DEA, you’re most likely going to be reassigned to the Southwest border.  Given the climate on the border, there’s a huge need for DEA agents there.  Everyone I know who has gone to the DEA has been assigned to that area.  

Agents are going to start at a GS-7, which, without locality pay, is about 42k.  Other qualifications aren’t really mattering too much — “entry level” is no longer that.  People want experience in their entry level new hires.  Make sure a 42k per year salary is doable. 

Most federal LE agencies won’t tell you your duty location until you’re most of the way through the Academy, fyi.  I’ve never heard about people knowing before they went, like the above post said.  You will almost definitely have to move, even though you are in a city where there are lots of Field Offices for the different agencies.  You go where they need you, not where you want to be.  Also, generally, first-time duty location moves are not paid (after that, they generally are, unless it’s a voluntary no-cost transfer).

Post # 9
Member
332 posts
Helper bee

Both BIL and SIL are federal agents (different divisions), and both were able to stay in the same state that they were born and raised. Neither one will ever likely have to move. However, they are also from a big metro area, where there is demand for them. Both make in the six figures. They are the exception. 

DH was one of 50 interviews for ATF, out of tens of thousands of applicants. So, yeah. Getting an actual position with something like ATF, DEA, etc can be difficult. They do tend to post the jobs even if there is a shoe-in for the candidate that they plan to promote within. It’s government and they have a very specific system they follow. It’s all about scoring on the tests, additional points (like veterans preference and any other special qualifications), some politics and lastly the interview. 

DH is currently an investigator at a state level, and state candidates are sometimes selected for FBI training. If he ever went for the several months that would be required, we decided that I would not go due to my own career. We would just coordinate weekends together. 

I’ll be honest… Every DEA, ATF, ICE, etc. that we know (which is several) seem to hate their jobs. While the federal level is considered the pinnacle of law enforcement, it’s not always all that it’s cracked up to be. There is great job security and benefits. However, aside from a “fancy title”… Pay can be relatively low, it can be demanding and their is slow opportunity for promotion within due to the very competitive nature. As your SO would promote within (if he even gets that lucky), I can guarantee you will be moving. You go wherever you get the job… And to reach one position, you have to be in the one before for so long. For example, to be a Captain, you may have to be a Lt. for at least 5yrs. So, he may get an Lt. position in Iowa, but he better take it and move (despite the modest raise in salary) if he ever wants to be Captain… Because, really, who knows when he will get that offer again. That’s what makes it difficult. 

If my DH was looking to plant his roots anywhere in Law Enforcement, I’d much rather him pay his dues as a patrol cop until he can hopefully move through the ranks up to Police Chief over the years, until retirement.

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