DEA Pilot

Look for illegal crops and drug manufacturing buildings from the skies.
picture of DEA Pilot

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$35,000 – $120,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do DEA Pilots do?

It’s amazing what Pilots can see from the sky: amazing oceans, majestic mountains and, even their own home sweet home. The views are gorgeous — unless they’re DEA Pilots. In that case, the views aren’t at all pretty because what DEA Pilots are looking for are illegal substances.

As a DEA Pilot, you help the federal government find, prosecute, and stop the trafficking of illegal drugs into the United States. At once a professional Pilot and a trained DEA Agent, you do that not on the ground but rather in the air, where it’s your job to fly planes on behalf of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Like an Airline Pilot, your job starts with safely flying aircraft from one destination to another by operating them during takeoff, flight, and landing. It doesn’t end there, however. Like a Military Pilot, your flights are more like “missions” than “trips.” Part of the DEA’s elite Aviation Division, you spend your days flying everything from helicopters and single-engine planes to large military-grade jets.

One day, you might fly over South America searching for drug crops. Another day, you might conduct surveillance of a drug cartel as it transports its drugs, or photographic reconnaissance of the facilities where it stores them. And still another day, you might transport a team of DEA Agents to the scene of a drug bust, or to a remote jungle where they interrupt and intercept a drug shipment. Every day is different, but your mission is always the same: You keep the streets safe and drug-free from high above them!

Should I be a DEA Pilot?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Drug Enforcement Administration Pilot

    How to become a DEA Pilot

    Dea Pilots often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:s9jraa&chl=no+college+%2814%25%29|certificate+%2846%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2832%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,14,46
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