Drug Enforcement Officer

What is a drug enforcement officer?

A drug enforcement officer, also known as a DEA agent, is a special agent employed by the United States Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. A drug enforcement officer is responsible for implementing laws and regulations governing narcotics and controlled substances.

What are the responsibilities of drug enforcement officers?

Drug enforcement officers fulfill several duties, including, but not limited to:

  • Analyzing and collecting drug intelligence
  • Arresting subjects and seizing assets derived from illegal drug trafficking
  • Collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to target violent drug offenders
  • Dismantling drug trafficking rings
  • Enforcing controlled substance laws and regulations — including bringing to justice those who illegally grow, manufacture, distribute, and transport drugs
  • Gathering and preparing evidence to prosecute major U.S. drug law violations
  • Investigate criminals who violate interstate and international drug laws

What qualifications do you need to become a drug enforcement officer?

DEA agents must meet physical and medical requirements and have achieved minimum education requirements and/or work experience. DEA agents go through a rigorous hiring process before becoming special agents, including a background investigation, drug test, panel interview, polygraph examination, psychological testing, and more.

Preliminary eligibility requires that all drug enforcement officer applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between the ages of 21-36 years-old
  • Have a U.S. driver's license
  • Be willing to relocate within the U.S.
  • Be able to earn Top Secret security clearance
  • Be willing to carry and handle firearms
  • Be in excellent physical condition

Do you want to get further toward your goal of becoming a DEA agent? Check out our criminal justice program!

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