Being a protective agent within the CIA is a pretty broad term. This could apply to those working security details at the political level or working in an office environment disseminating security information. We have chosen to look more specifically at the Protective Agent career profile.
Daily Activities of a CIA Agent
One of the first things to understand around the daily activities of a CIA agent is that you work at a very fast pace and will be required to multi-task (several different reports will be worked on in one single day). Depending on your role, you might also become focused around a certain topic or subject matter. Another big part of a protective agents job is communication (both written and verbal). Sometimes your communication that is extended to your superiors can make its way all the way up to some of the highest levels of the CIA and federal government. You will also need to be able to keep a calm and cool head when you get stretched between several different jobs or reports too.
Requirements of CIA Agents
According to the CIA career section you will need at least a high school diploma to become a CIA Protective Agent. While it does not appear that you need a criminal justice degree for this particular career, it does mention that anybody hoping to gain employment should have 7+ years of military, law enforcement, or security experience. A bachelors degree is preferred but that does not mean required (so the right experience could have the same weight as a degree). You will need to research the requirements around that other experience to make sure you qualify for it (and the level of degree it requires). They also prefer candidates that have:
- Any kind of warzone experience (this could come from active duty military or private security firms)
- Understand of protective protocol
- Experience in documentation and reporting
Flexible schedules are also a requirement for protective agents as nights and evening shifts are a common occurrence. This career can require an employment contract that spans for several years placing a bigger emphasis on being able to dedicate a lot of time to this job. Holiday and weekend shifts are pretty common and should be expected in protective agent career. You will also be expected to pass a medical exam and be physically fit (as the job can often demand it). As with many government jobs, you will be subject to a background check/investigation which will look to see if you have used illegal drugs in the past 12 months.
Career Outlook for a CIA Agent
In order to give you a complete understanding of the career outlook and profile around a CIA agent,we utilize ONET summary reports to help you understand. They didn hat have a direct summary around CIA agents but did for Special Agents. At a glance, they show the following data around the career:
- 2014 Median Wage of $38.40 hourly or $79,870 annually
- As of 2012, there are 115,000 employees in this career role
- Projected job growth from 2012-2022 is minimal at less than 2%
- Projected job openings during that same time period is 27,700.
The actual CIA career profile website lists the salary range for a Protective Agent at $70,095 – $78,592 which puts the ONET estimate fairly in line. While the growth for the career profile as a whole is minimal, check the anticipated growth around your state as it can vary greatly. Also, as this is a government job, make sure to keep up with political and budgetary changes as that landscape can have a great effect on career growth.