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What Are the Different Types of Federal Law Enforcement Jobs?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Feb 22, 2024
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The variety of federal law enforcement jobs allows individuals the opportunity to work in various settings. For example, U.S. Border Patrol agents may work in airports or at sea ports. The Park Police offer jobs that allow individuals to work at national memorials and monuments. Employment with the Secret Service can provide the opportunity to work in close proximity to the president in the White House and to travel around the country with his family.

The U.S. Border Patrol is an agency that provides a significant number of federal law enforcement jobs. Border Patrol agents, as the title suggests, are employed to protect the nation's boundaries and entrance points. There are two major categories of these jobs. Immigration officers are employed to interview and screen individuals who want to enter the U.S. Customs officers are employed to enforce laws regarding the items that enter the nation.

Federal law enforcement jobs are offered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which includes a division known as the Federal Air Marshal Service. Air marshals are employed to help make air travel and operations safe. Their jobs include protecting travelers, infrastructure, and air carrier assets. These individuals are often indistinguishable from an average person because their assignments commonly require them to blend in with the crowd. Some air marshals are also selected for assignments where they work with personnel from other federal agencies when the national threat levels are high.

The U.S. Secret Service employs special agents who are responsible for protecting some of the nation's most important people. These include the president, vice-president, and major presidential candidates. These officers also bear the responsibility of protecting foreign heads of state and their families when they are in the U.S. Special agents may travel for extended periods of time within the nation, and some are stationed internationally.

Federal law enforcement jobs are also provided by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Officers working for this agency conduct investigations and enforce laws regarding illicit substances. When focusing on trafficking, they aim to stop the flow of drugs into and out of the country.

DEA law enforcement may work closely with agents employed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF agents may also work with state and local authorities. In many ways, ATF agents operate like police officers, but with their focus on particular categories of crime. They investigate potential leads and crime scenes, serve warrants, and conduct raids.

The U.S. Park Police is a federal law enforcement body that operates within the National Park Service and other designated areas across the nation. These individuals protect monuments and memorials and the people who visit them. They may work in connection with Secret Service agents, protecting figures of national importance, and they have the authority to enforce federal, state, and local laws.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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