How Can You Become an ATF Agent?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has special agents that enforce the laws controlling these substances. In order to become an ATF agent, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in a related field, meet all basic requirements established, pass special tests and complete a training program.

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Full Answer

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree

    Potential ATF agents must have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, criminology or law enforcement. Candidates without a degree, but with three years' specialized work experience, are also considered.

  2. Meet the basic requirements

    In order to become an ATF agent, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 21 and 37. A candidate must be able to obtain a top-secret security clearance and must possess a valid driver's license. All candidates have to take drug, medical and polygraph tests, which they must pass.

  3. Take the ATF special agent tests

    All candidates who meet the basic requirements have to take the ATF special agent exams, which include a written exam and a physical task test.

  4. Complete the ATF training program

    ATF basic training is a two-part, 27-week program in which candidates learn fundamental topics such as firearm handling, tactical driving skills, explosives, undercover procedures and constitutional law. Candidates who graduate from ATF basic training become ATF special agent trainees.

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