Narcotics Agent

Bring drug pushers to justice.
picture of Narcotics Agent

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$39,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Narcotics Agents do?

As a Narcotics Agent, you’re a Police Officer who specifically handles drug cases. You uphold national, state, and local drug laws by arresting and investigating drug traffickers, dealers, and users.

Like any Police Officer, as a Narcotics Agent, you investigate crimes, serve arrest warrants, and question suspects. You also write up police reports, give evidence in court, and protect innocent people when you’re a Narcotics Agent. Unlike other Officers though, much of your work is done in secret.

In order to successfully put a person behind bars, you need solid proof that they’re selling or using drugs. This means you have to actually catch them in the act, or get indisputable proof. This requires a lot of undercover work.

You might pose as a drug dealer to get into a drug trafficker’s inner circle, or buy drugs to prove that a person is a dealer. You also use tools like wire taps, secret informants, and drug-sniffing dogs.

This job can be pretty dangerous. Not only do most drug deals happen at night in secluded areas, but many of the people involved also carry weapons. You deal with drug users, who are often unpredictable when high, and dealers, who will do just about anything to keep from getting caught.

To add to this risky mix, you have to keep up a pretty strict cover. This means you don’t get to use things like bulletproof vests or backup help, both of which can blow your cover. But in spite of the dangers of the job, you find satisfaction in the fact that you’re doing noble work by striving to keep the streets drug-free and the citizens safe.

Should I be a Narcotics Agent?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • 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.

  • Also known as: Drug Enforcement Agent

    How to become a Narcotics Agent

    Most Narcotics 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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