DEA Agent — Degree, Career & Average Salary

If you want to become a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent, you’ll work for the U.S. Department of Justice. This branch of government requires all DEA agent applicants to earn a bachelor’s degree, and special consideration is given to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, police science or a related field. Agents also must be U.S. citizens, in excellent physical condition, 21-years-old and no older than age 36.

DEA Agents and Special Agents come from a variety of backgrounds and enforce U.S. controlled substances laws and regulations. These agents bring organizations involved in terrorism, controlled substance growing, manufacturing and distribution to justice. Tasks include dismantling drug trafficking rings, prosecuting drug traffickers and destroying financial infrastructures that are attached to organizations involved in drug trafficking.

To qualify for a Special Agent position, you must successfully complete all phases of a rigorous and in-depth hiring process. This process may take up to twelve months or longer to complete. Some of the tasks include a qualifications review, written assessment and panel interview, a drug test and medical examination, a physical task test, polygraph assessment and a full-field background investigation. All applicants must successfully complete all phases of the hiring process, and remain among the “Most Competitive” candidates, to receive a final offer of employment.

Once hired, you will attend a training course. The DEA Agent training facility is located in Quantico, Virginia. A sixteen-week training program is required, where you are educated in report writing, law, drug recognition, leadership and ethics. You also will learn marksmanship, weapons safety, tactical shooting and deadly-force decision making.

New DEA agents are hired at the GS-7 level ($35,369 to $44,729) or GS-9 level ($39,448 to $50,905), depending upon experience and education (BLS.gov). Within three years it is very possible to reach the GS-12 pay level. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.

Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Kaplan University
AS in Criminal Justice
BS in Criminal Justice
MS in Criminal Justice

Kaplan University — Kaplan University is one of the largest accredited online colleges, and it offers a wide range of degree programs in the field of criminal justice. These programs include associates, bachelors, and masters in criminal justice, with possible specialties (depending on degree level) in Computer Crime, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Law, and Global Issues.
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Saint Leo University
AA in Criminal Justice
BA in Criminal Justice
BACJ in Criminalistics
MS in Criminal Justice
MSCJ in Forensic Science
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Saint Leo University — For years, Saint Leo University has helped students across the county obtain Criminal Justice degrees through online programs. These programs cut many of the costs associated with campus programs and have the added benefit of being accessible from any computer. SLU has several degrees available including an Associates, Bachelors, and Masters in Criminal Justice as well as specialized programs for BACJ in Criminalistics and MSCJ in Forensic Science.
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Liberty University
BS in Criminal Justice

Liberty University — Liberty University is an online university that prepares students for success in their careers following graduation. Liberty University offers two programs in the field, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice, and a B.S. In Multidisciplinary Studies - Criminal Justice.
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Walden University
BSCJ in Psychology
BSCJ in Admin
MPA in Criminal Justice
PhD in Criminal Justice
PhD CJ in Human Services
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Walden University — Walden University is one of the largest providers of college education in the country. Walden takes a practical approach to education by developing curriculum that is industry-driven with assignments that engage students in their coursework. WU has several Criminal Justice degrees available, including BSCJ in Psychology or Administration, MPA in Criminal Justice, and PhD in Criminal Justice or Human Services.
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American InterContinental University
BSCJ in Generalist
BSCJ in Law Enforcement
BSCJ in Case Mgmt and Corrections

American InterContinental University — American InterContinental University online is one of the most popular online universities for students interested in a criminal justice career. Degree programs at AIU include an BS in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement), and B.S. in Criminal Justice (Case Management and Corrections).
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