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Directorate of Operations Language Officer

Directorate of Operations Language Officers use their foreign language skills, cultural experience, and expertise to support clandestine operations.

  • Full time
  • Starting salary: $67,747-$112,240*
  • *Higher starting salary possible depending on experience level
  • Bachelor’s degree; no preferred major or program of study
  • Foreign language bonus eligible

About the Job

As a Directorate of Operations Language Officer at CIA, you will perform a critical and dynamic function within the Directorate of Operations by using your advanced foreign language skills combined with cultural experience and expertise to produce high-quality, accurate, and timely translations, interpretations, and other language-related support to Directorate of Operations clandestine operations. Language Officers are key to the success of many foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, cyber, and covert action operations and have native or near-native level fluency in one or more of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • Dari/Pashto
  • Korean
  • Persian/Farsi
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Vietnamese

Language Officers generally are assigned to the Washington, DC area, but have opportunities for overseas travel. Opportunities to serve multi-year postings overseas are very limited and these positions are highly competitive.

You will receive specialized training to acquire an understanding of clandestine operations tradecraft and to maintain and/or advance your foreign language skills. Classroom training, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience are all part of the training process.

Who You’ll Work With

At the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), we recognize our Nation’s strength comes from the diversity of its people. People from a broad range of backgrounds and viewpoints work at CIA, and our diverse teams are the reason we can keep our country safe.

Read more about diversity and inclusion

What You’ll Get

Our benefits support every aspect of a working professional’s life, including health and wellness, time off, family, finances, and continuing education. Our programs include highly sought-after government health benefits, flexible schedules, sick leave, and childcare. In some cases, we also offer sign-on incentives and cover moving expenses if you relocate.

As a CIA employee, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing your work is part of something bigger than yourself. Our work is driven by one mission: to keep our Nation safe. Every day is an opportunity to enhance U.S. national security.

Learn more about working at CIA

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (applicants within one year of earning a four-year degree will be considered); there is no preferred major or program of study (degrees from foreign academic institutions are accepted, but you are responsible for obtaining and providing CIA with a credential evaluation from an accredited firm confirming that the foreign degree is the equivalent of a BA/BS and/or MA/MS degree conferred by a U.S. college or university)
  • At least a 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale is preferred
  • Personal integrity
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Action- and results-oriented
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to the mission of the CIA and the Directorate of Operations
  • Ability to meet the minimum requirements for joining CIA, including U.S. citizenship and a background investigation

Desired Qualifications

  • Willingness and ability to establish strong personal relationships
  • Ability to “think on your feet” and develop creative yet practical solutions to anticipated and unanticipated problems
  • Interest in seeking answers, learning foreign languages, and studying other cultures
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and the ability to deal with individuals from all cultures and backgrounds

What You’ll Need to Apply

The following items must be attached to your on-line application (PDF format preferred):

  • Unofficial transcripts for all degrees
  • Cover letter: please describe your knowledge, skills, abilities, and aspirations not evident from your resume that make you a good candidate for the Directorate of Operations (1 page).

At the time of application, DO applicants select specific DO occupational specialties (i.e. Collection Management Officer, Staff Operations Officer, Operations Officer, Targeting Officer). Competitive applicants will continue to be asked to identify their DO occupational specialty preference(s) at various stages in the hiring process. It is not unusual for applicants to adjust their preference as they progress and learn more about the expectations and requirements of each occupational specialty.