What Does the CIA Do? How to Become a CIA Agent?

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created in 1947 by the National Security Act with the primary goal of providing the president and other high-ranking government officials with foreign intelligence to aid in national security decisions.

The CIA does not set policy but collects information for those who do. The CIA may also execute covert operations at the instruction of the President, within permitted legal limitations.

How to Become a CIA Agent?

To get hired, these experts frequently need to meet educational requirements, complete specialised training, and pass tests. Here are some actions you should take if you want to become a CIA agent:

1. Get a Bachelor’s degree

A degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a similar field is an excellent starting point for a career as a CIA operative.

What Does a CIA Do?

A degree in computer science or another subject, nevertheless, might be useful depending on the position you seek at the CIA. For an agent post, the CIA typically needs candidates to have a GPA of 3.0 or better from an authorised college.

2. Take Into Account Getting a Master’s Degree

Although a master’s degree is not required to work for the CIA, your employment prospects will be greater if you have one. Additionally, you might discover that as your education level rises, so do your chances and compensation.

You can also provide yourself with a stronger base and more honed abilities for your position by obtaining a master’s degree in a particular topic relating to security, technology, foreign affairs, or another area.

3. Master One or More Foreign Languages

You might need to be fluent in more than one language if you want to operate as a CIA operative overseas. Languages from the Middle East and Asia, such as Arabic, Korean, Russian, and Japanese, are very helpful because intelligence operations are carried out in these regions.

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Multilingual agents can also assist in translating foreign documents, publications, and other media that may be pertinent to an investigation. If you’re working in covert services while pretending to be from abroad, being fluent in a foreign language is also essential.

4. Acquire Pertinent Experience

Even while it’s not necessary, it helps if you have prior law enforcement, security, or military experience. Any expertise you have with security services or national service is helpful because the CIA is concerned with national security.

It also helps if you have any prior experience working and living abroad. Many CIA operatives travel for their jobs, thus having experience assimilating into various cultures is helpful.

The CIA does provide undergraduate co-ops and internships. College students have a great opportunity to learn about and develop a respect for national service through these paid internships.

Depending on your skills and interests, you can apply for internships and co-ops in the following five categories: analysis, covert, STEM, enterprise and support, and foreign language. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be ready to work in Washington, DC, and pass background, drug, and polygraph exams.

5. Complete the Necessary Tests and Medical Checks

Each potential agent is subjected to a rigorous background investigation and a drug test. Additionally, you can be asked to submit to a polygraph exam and permit a credit check. Your criminal history must be clear, and you must be free of any conditions that might put the agency at risk.

6. Complete a Programme of Internal Training

After receiving approval for your application, you will participate in an internal training programme. You will receive training specific to the service you are entering in addition to receiving a basic education in policies and procedures.

You will enrol in the 18-month Clandestine Service Trainee Program to prepare for clandestine service, often known as the directorate of operations (DO). You will finish the Criminal Investigator Training Program if you are conducting investigations.

How Many People Work for the CIA?

At present, this information is classified. The total budget for all U.S. intelligence agencies, of which the CIA is one part, was first made public in 1997 and 1998 and was respectively 26.6 and 26.7 billion dollars. No more numbers have been released since the late 1990s.

How Much Money Does a CIA Agent Earn?

A CIA operative makes an average of $81,207 annually. From $25,000 to $169,000 is the salary range. Your real pay will depend on your qualifications, work history, the CIA branch you join, and the role you have.

Who May Qualify for CIA Jobs?

The CIA hires highly skilled individuals from a wide range of academic backgrounds. It takes a team of experts from a wide range of disciplines to collect data that could have an influence on national security and deliver it to decision-makers.

Employees are chosen through a competitive process that includes polygraph tests, medical exams, and background checks. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum grade point average of 3.0. However, field operatives may accept tasks that require them to travel outside of the country.

What is the Job of a CIA Agent?

A CIA agent is a member of the government workforce who gathers and assesses intelligence data related to national security. Some CIA agents travel abroad to gather data on foreign intelligence, although the majority of them are stationed in the United States. Depending on your exact function, your responsibilities as a CIA operative may vary, however they may include:

What Does a CIA Do?

  • Collecting and examining information that might be crucial for national security
  • Reviewing international newspapers, magazines, and other media for details about prospective intelligence
  • Analysing satellite images to keep an eye on potentially dangerous behaviour
  • Searching for critical information in coded messages from other countries
  • Evaluating any information that has come from a foreign source in order to see if it is reliable
  • Using the information gathered to create reports for the appropriate government agencies.
  • Designing and researching information-gathering technologies
  • Collaborating with other organisations to support the investigation of global crime and terrorism

Does the CIA Conduct Spy on U.S. Citizens?

The CIA’s objective is to collect information on foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence, hence spying on the domestic activities of U.S. people is illegal.

It is necessary to obtain senior permission and, in some cases, the sanction of the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General before conducting any investigation into a U.S. citizen suspected of espionage or terrorist activity on American territory.

What Part Does the CIA Play in the War Against Terrorism?

The CIA collects, analyses and disseminates intelligence in support of the wider U.S. government effort to combat terrorism. The CIA also shares material of this type with friendly foreign countries.

Does the CIA Conduct Assassinations?

Executive Order 12333 of 1981 bars the CIA from engaging directly or indirectly in assassinations, with internal safeguards and Congressional supervision in place to insure compliance.

Does the CIA Participate in Drug Trafficking?

On the contrary, the CIA plays a significant role in countering drug trafficking by sending information to the Drug Enforcement Administration, State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Does the CIA Take Act on Its Own?

Internally, the Office of Inspector General controls programmes and operations. The National Security Council, which includes the president, vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defence, is the CIA’s primary line of accountability on the outside.

In Congress, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as other committees regularly monitor CIA reporting, programmes and activities.


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