How to Become an INS Agent

Becoming an INS Agent can be a challenge because there are often a lot of hoops to jump through. However, INS Agents have interesting and unique jobs that are continually changing from day to day. INS Agents are charged with protecting the nation’s security from drugs, weapons and other threats. They monitor customs checkpoints, enforce counter terrorism measures throughout airlines and are responsible for upholding laws related to immigration.

Becoming an INS Agent is ideal for anyone who wishes to support their nation, and there are many other jobs that are associated with becoming an INS Agent that a person can move into if they later decide that they are interested in another career path.

The Educational Requirements of an INS Agent
High School or GED

Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

An INS Agent is usually required to have at least a bachelor’s degree, though the focus of this degree can be in anything related to the field. A degree in criminal justice is often used as it is a very versatile and diverse degree that can be appropriated into many different criminal justice fields.

Other degrees, such as those related to law enforcement, can also be applicable to an INS agent. Many schools offer degrees in criminal justice, and some of the schools will also allow students to focus in terrorism or law enforcement. This can be very beneficial for someone who is seeking to become an INS Agent. It is also very useful for those that want to navigate through various careers in the criminal justice realm.

Becoming an INS Agent

INS Agents need to meet strict requirements for education and background, and they need to pass rigorous tests and interviews. The path to becoming an INS Agent a slow one, and those who are waiting on an INS determination may wish to pursue a position in a similar field such as in the police department or as a security guard. This will show the INS that the applicant has sufficient experience in the area of law enforcement.

According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department, there are internships available for those that want to get a head start on their career. INS Agents will have to pass a very thorough background check and they may also be required to undergo a credit and financial check in regards to secret clearance. This means that those applying for work as an INS Agent should strongly consider checking and fixing their financial and credit situations before applying.

As with many other types of agent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that INS Agents have a median income of $55,010, similar to other related fields of law enforcement and criminal justice.

Succeeding as an INS Agent

An INS Agent needs to be extremely detail-oriented and conscientious about their work. INS Agents need to catch absolutely any potential threat to national security, as well as enforce immigration laws and standards. It can be a very difficult job, but it is also extremely rewarding and offers those who love their nation a way to pay it back. A successful INS Agent needs to be dedicated, observant and extremely disciplined overall.

Similar Career Paths to Being an INS Agent

Those that are waiting to hear back from the Immigration and Naturalization department may consider other, similar types of work. Working with the police and even becoming a police detective is an extremely similar field. Those that would prefer to go on their own path could consider becoming a private detective, and those that are simply waiting for their application to go through may find a job as a security guard beneficial for additional experience in the justice field.

The FBI Secret Agent career path is also very similar to that of the INS career path, and those that are in either sector may be able to successfully transfer from one to the other if they so desire.

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