How We Hire

CIA's Hiring Process

Know What to Expect Before You Apply

We protect the Nation and save lives. Our hiring process—from submitting your application to the day you walk across the seal for the first time—could take a year or more. While this process can be lengthy, it could lead to an exciting career where you can truly make a difference.


Apply Online

Step One: 45 Days

When you find a job that interests you and matches your skills, make a note of the requirements to join the CIA and the minimum qualifications for that specific job. When you’re ready, you can apply online through our official CIA Application Portal. You can apply for up to four jobs.


Screening, Testing, and Interviews

Step Two: 2 – 3 Months

If we are interested in your application, you’ll take part in phone screenings, testing, and in-person interviews at one of our secure sites. Testing may include taking an online aptitude test or personality assessment.


Conditional Offer of Employment and SF-86

Step Three: 2 – 3 Months

If you are a good match, you’ll receive a Conditional Offer of Employment. We’ll also ask you to complete the SF-86 form to move forward with the clearance process, which includes a set of medical and security evaluations. You’ll need a security clearance before you can start working at CIA.


Security and Medical Evaluations

Step Four: 6 – 12+ Months

Before you can start working at CIA, you will need to complete security and medical evaluations, including a:

  • Background investigation
  • Polygraph interview
  • Physical and psychological examination

For more on the clearance process, please review the requirements for joining CIA.


Official Job Offer and Onboarding

Step Five

If you make it through the Security and Medical Evaluations, you’ll receive a call to discuss specific onboarding activities and your start date. In the meantime, take a look at the following to get a head start:

More Considerations

CIA Requirements

To help us carry out our mission, we have certain requirements that all applicants must meet to be considered for employment.

Equal Employment Opportunity

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or sexual orientation.


If you need accommodations at any point in the hiring process, contact our Reasonable Accommodations Staff.

Explore Our Headquarters

Take a unique look inside CIA. You’ll see sights like our Memorial Wall, Museum, U.S. Presidents’ and CIA Directors’ galleries, and more.