If you have ever considered a career where you help keep our country safe, working in federal law enforcement could be the right path for you. At the federal level, a variety of agencies function with the sole purpose of enforcing our country’s security in one way or another. These agencies work to prevent such activities as human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking and terrorism. Being a part of a team that works to stop any of these crimes from occurring can be a rewarding career for someone interested in criminal justice.
Typically, a criminal justice professional working at this level is known as an agent or investigator. Below is a breakdown of just a few federal law enforcement careers:
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. It focuses on stopping illegal drug trafficking.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for investigating federal crimes. Also a part of the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI is considered the agency’s investigative arm.
- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is responsible for collecting, analyzing, evaluating and disseminating foreign intelligence to aid in the decision-making process regarding national security.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) enforces federal law governing borders, customs, trade and immigration, all with the motive of maintaining homeland security and public safety.
- The U.S. Secret Service does more than just protect the president and other dignitaries. Also a law enforcement agency, the Secret Service fights crime on a global scale through field offices around the world, working closely with other federal and local law enforcement agencies.
There is a rigorous application process to join any of these agencies, frequently requiring interviews and background checks in addition to a formal application. Having an extensive educational background in criminal justice can give you an advantage. With an online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University, you can work to develop the investigative skills needed to help federal agents succeed. By honing these and other skills, as well as studying crime within a larger context, you could build a foundation in criminal justice that may support your career path in federal law enforcement at any of these agencies.