CIA Job Requirements

Collection Management Officer – Specialist

The Collection Management Officer-Specialist (CMO-S) manages the collection, evaluation, protection and dissemination of raw intelligence. They serve as the bridge between the consumers of intelligence–policymakers and the Intelligence Community -and the core collectors overseas who are handling sources of foreign intelligence. They are substantive experts in their field, must know how NCS operations are conducted overseas and have a solid understanding of international issues and consumer requirements for foreign intelligence.

Core Collector

The Clandestine Service (CST) Program is the entry-level program for field-based Core Collector careers. CSTs have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and several years of substantive business/work or military experience before applying, and are generally in the 25-35 year age range. The 35 year maximum age requirement can be waived on a case-by-case basis.

Paramilitary Operations Officer/Specialized Skills Officer

The Clandestine Service is looking for U.S. citizen candidates to fill Paramilitary Operations Officer and Specialized Skills Officer positions. Paramilitary Operations Officers and Specialized Skills Officers serve both at our Headquarters in Washington DC and overseas. Qualified candidates can expect to focus on intelligence operations and activities for U.S. policymakers in hazardous and austere overseas environments. Paramilitary Operations Officer candidates are normally trained in the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) Program. Specialized Skills Officers conduct and/or directly support CIA operations leveraging their media, technical and/or military experience including aviation, maritime or psychological warfare skills.

Professional Trainee Program

The Professional Trainee (PT) Program is the entry-level program for field-based Core Collector careers. PTs have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree but may often lack substantive work or military experience, and are generally in the 21-25 year age range. Upon entry on duty, PTs are offered the opportunity to gain experience through a series of responsible Headquarters-based assignments that expose them to core aspects of the NCS mission prior to joining the CST program for training and field deployment.

Specialized Skills – Targeting Officer

The Targeting Officer is primarily based in the Washington, DC area with some opportunities for tours and short assignments overseas. In today’s fast-paced and technologically savvy world, targeting is critical to the success of the National Clandestine Service’s (NCS) global mission. Officers in this career track will directly support and drive complex worldwide NCS operations to develop actionable intelligence against the highest priority threats to U.S. national security.

Staff Operations Officer

Based out of CIA Headquarters in Washington, DC, Staff Operations Officers (SOOs) plan, guide and support intelligence collection operations, counterintelligence activities and covert action programs. SOOs develop expertise on a particular geographic region or transnational target (such as terrorism, counterintelligence, proliferation, or crime) and perform the Headquarters-based coordination and investigation that drives operations in the field. The role of CIA Headquarters is to provide strategic guidance, capabilities and resources to the field components pursuing tactical operations worldwide. The SOO is the interface between Headquarters and the field, and the SOO serves a critical role in translating executive guidance into operational action overseas. SOOs provide the ‘big picture’ in their guidance to field operations.

NCS Language Officer

Performing a critical and dynamic function within the National Clandestine Service (NCS), the Language Officer applies advanced foreign language skills, experience, and expertise to provide high-quality translation, interpretation, and language-related support for a variety of NCS clandestine operations. In addition to expert language skills, Language Officers provide in-depth cultural insight—an important dimension of the job. Language Officers also work closely with officers in other NCS disciplines, particularly field collectors, to support the overall mission of intelligence acquisition. As with other NCS professions, foreign travel opportunities and certain specialized training are also integral elements of the job.