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.
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 Career Application Center. You can apply for up to four jobs.
Once you create an account and begin the application, you have three calendar days to complete and submit the entire package. Before starting your application, make sure you have read the job posting carefully and gathered all required information. When you’re done, save and print your application package so you can refer to it later.
Within two business days of submitting your application, check your Career Application Center account for a confirmation message from us. Once you receive the confirmation message, confirm your application status. Our recruiters will review your application. If you meet the position requirements, we will contact you in a timely manner. If you do not hear from us, we will not be offering a position to you.
For detailed instructions, view our application process videos.
What You'll Need: Application Package
The application requires you to provide information about your:
- Areas of expertise
- Work history
- Education, certifications, and licenses
- Foreign area knowledge
- Military experience
- Languages and proficiency levels
- Transcripts, writing samples, resume, and other supporting documents
We’ll also ask you to complete our Personnel Evaluation Form, which asks about:
- Security clearances
- Polygraph examination
- Background investigations
- Military discharge and disciplinary proceedings
- Selective Service enrollment
- Employment issues
- Drug use and activity
- Violations of law and criminal convictions
- Delinquent federal debt
- Peace Corps employment or association
The final section of the application is the voluntary Equal Employment Opportunity form.
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
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:
Throughout the hiring process, you may travel abroad for durations of 90 days or less. But, for your safety and security, do not contact CIA while you are physically outside of the United States or its territories. This includes hard copy mail, telephone, email, or Internet.
At CIA, protecting our employees’ identities and security is a top priority. For this reason, use discretion when discussing your application with close friends and family. Do not mention your CIA application on social media.
Re-Applying to CIA
If you are not accepted to CIA at any point in the hiring process, you can re-apply after 12 months.
Consent to a Background Investigation
By submitting an application to CIA, you are consenting to a background investigation by the U.S. Government and its agents, and to the use of any information you provide to CIA for any of its authorized activities.
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.