1. News & Issues

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Jobs at the CIA
Types of jobs at the CIA, minimum qualifications and more
More Resources
Answers to More Questions About Jobs at the CIA

Government Job Finder

Jobs in Federal Government

None of the thousands of career opportunities in government service generate more interest among readers than those offered by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency -- the CIA.

In response to many of your questions, here is the latest information about finding and getting jobs at the CIA.

Basic Requirements for All CIA Positions
Before seeking any position with the CIA, you should know that the following requirements will apply:

  1. U.S. Citizenship is required. The CIA does not assist individuals in applying for US citizenship.
  2. Successful completion of a thorough medical examination, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation.

Are You CIA Material?
Also take a look at the Agency's Mission, Vision, and Values and About the CIA sections good descriptions of what the CIA does and what kind of people they are looking for.

What college courses should I take or what major should I choose?
The CIA does not recommend any one academic track over another. CIA employees come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, as you will see by studying the positions advertised under the All Positions link.

Types of Jobs Available
The CIA hires to fill both immediate and ongoing needs for personnel. Here are just a few examples.

Clandestine Services

A.K.A. -- spies. Or, as the CIA says, "...the vital human element of intelligence collection. These people are the cutting edge of American intelligence, an elite corps gathering the vital information needed by our policy makers to make critical foreign policy decisions."

Much more than stealth is required to land one of these trainee positions. At a minimum, you need a bachelors degree, outstanding grades, great interpersonal and communications skills, and "...a burning interest in international affairs." A masters degree is even better. Being fluent in foreign languages, military experience, and experience in living abroad will help, too.

Good college degrees to hold include international economics and business and the physical sciences. Look for starting salaries to range around $34,000 to $52,000 per year.

Needless to say, the background check is extensive, unforgiving, and will include a ride on the polygraph.

The maximum age for Clandestine Services Trainees is 35. Well, you'll not get any competition from me.

Scientists, Engineers, Computer Technologists

All the intelligence information gathered by the Clandestine Services folks is processed, analyzed, and disseminated by the Agency Technology Service (ATS), one of the largest and most technically advanced computer installations in the world.

Name a current LAN or WAN topology, programming language, or computer platform, and the ATS does it.

Besides the minimum qualifications, you'll need a bachelors or MS in computer science with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 system.

Where Is the CIA Located?
It used to just be called "Langley." Now, the George Bush Center for Intelligence in suburban Langley, Virginia, on the west bank of the Potomac River, seven miles from downtown Washington, D.C. is the home office of the CIA.

Except for Clandestine Services, most jobs are located in and around DC. and the CIA will, "...reimburse new appointees certain costs for personal and dependent travel expenses and shipment of household goods not to exceed 18,000 pounds."

Lots of people wonder how spies are paid. The answer is pretty much like regular folks. Pay normally comes every two weeks and employees can get overtime, holiday pay, night differential, Sunday premiums, bonuses and allowances.

More Questions and Answers
Answers to more of the most commonly asked questions about jobs and working at the CIA.

More Government Job Resources

Government Job Finder
Find a job tailored to your skills and experience.

Job Openings At Government Agencies
Quick links to job vacancy pages of dozens of US Government agencies and offices.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.