CIA Agent

Keep the nation safe from foreign threats.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$39,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do CIA Agents do?

CIA Agents collect confidential information overseas and advise the United States of security threats. You’re employed by the CIA, which stands for Central Intelligence Agency. Much of your work is done in secret, and you often work with real-life Spies. The job is so secretive that you won’t even be able to tell your family what you do for a living.

As a CIA Agent, you can handle different types of assignments. If you want an analytical career, you can get a position gathering data, determining what they mean, and reporting your findings to top officials. Or you can focus on science or engineering, developing advanced weaponry and studying the military capabilities of other nations. If you’re fluent in a foreign language, you can specialize in translating top-secret documents. And if you want to concentrate in computer technology, you’ll develop applications that transmit data more securely.

So is the life of a CIA Agent really like the cat-and-mouse games portrayed in movies? Sometimes, yes. But without the glamour and big explosions. You must be discreet in your dealings. This is especially true if you work for the National Clandestine Service, which is where CIA Agents in most movies work.

In this role, you recruit people in other countries to advise you about their governments’ plans concerning the United States. You meet with them in private to collect information, and always keep their identities a secret. This is by far the most dangerous type of CIA work, plus you spend much of your time traveling and keeping a low profile.

It’s a big sacrifice, but it’s worth it to protect the country you love.


Should I be a CIA Agent?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Central Intelligence Agency Agent

    How to become a CIA Agent

    Most CIA 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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