ATF Agent

Run after criminals involved in alcohol, tobacco, and firearms offenses.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$39,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do ATF Agents do?

Every successful society follows a set of laws and regulations. And along with this comes a need for law enforcement agencies—without them, a society’s laws can fall to pieces. ATF Agents cover a special division of law enforcement that handles cases dealing with alcohol, tobacco, and firearm violations. Additionally, ATF Agents also deal with criminal investigations related to arson—fires set on purpose—and explosives.

As an ATF Agent, you deal with high-profile criminals in this field. But luckily, you rarely come face-to-face with them. Often, a successful operation involves collecting evidence, raiding the suspect’s home, and placing them under arrest before they even know they’re being investigated. You charge them with their crime, be it illegal weapons or drugs. Testify against them in court, and it’s case closed.

Since your actual days of raiding and making arrests don’t roll around every week, you spend the rest of your time in the office gathering evidence and filing the necessary forms. A criminal would go free without you ensuring that a proper warrant is granted before you search his property. Other evidence might include a suspect’s bank account statements or surveillance footage of your target. When you’re needed in the field, you spend your time following the suspect, recording his actions, or staking out his house.

Gathering evidence and catching criminals are more than just a job for you. They’re necessary to guarantee the safety of your country and its people.

Should I be an ATF Agent?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agent

    How to become an ATF Agent

    Most ATF Agents have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:95weaa&chl=no+college+%2842%25%29|certificate+%2839%25%29|associate%27s+%2815%25%29|bachelor%27s+%283%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,42,42
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