About the Job
As an Operations Officer for the CIA, you will focus on clandestinely spotting, assessing, developing, recruiting, and handling non-U.S. citizens with access to foreign intelligence vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security decision-makers. You will be expected to build relationships based on rapport and trust using sound judgment, integrity, and the ability to assess character and motivation.
Operation Officers spend most of their careers serving in multi-year assignments in a variety of overseas locations. As such, all Operation Officers must be able to be medically cleared for world wide deployment. All Operations Officers address a highly diverse and dynamic set of intelligence requirements on country- and region-specific issues, as well as transnational issues such as counterterrorism, counter proliferation, and cyber.
All Directorate of Operations (DO) officers are hired at an entry level and train as they are expected to work – as one team. DO officers are hired into one of two programs: the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) program or the Professional Trainee (PT) program. A CST has three or more years of professional experience, while PT has less than three years of professional experience. DO officers begin their careers learning the foundations of operations via classroom training, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience gained through a series of interim assignments. Based on the program into which each applicant is hired, the number of interim assignments will vary.
As part of the program, some DO officers will be expected to:
- Operate a motor vehicle without second-party assistance in daytime and nighttime conditions;
- Traverse uneven terrain, to include climbing and descending staircases, over fixed minimum distances and in varying weather conditions;
- Work non-traditional or erratic schedules;
- Make reasoned decisions under time constraints.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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 (Collection Management Officer, DO Language Officer, Operations Officer, Paramilitary Operations Officer, Specialized Skills Officer, Staff 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.
In a separate PDF attachment address the following questions:
- Why does a career in public service with the CIA appeal to you?
- Why do you wish to work in the specific roles to which you are applying?
- Describe one thing from your academic, military, professional, or personal background that has prepared you for success in the CIA.
- Complete this thought: “I do my best work when…”.
- Outside of the careers to which you are applying, what other careers have you considered?
- Describe a time when you did not succeed, professionally or academically, and what you learned from that experience.