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Operations Officer

Work Schedule: Full Time
Salary: $54,044 – $82,840
Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

The Directorate of Operations (DO) is a cadre of action- and results-oriented professionals who accept significant, demanding responsibilities and accountability for results. Minimum requirements for a DO position include:

  • US citizenship at the time of application (dual national US citizens are eligible)
  • Personal integrity
  • A four year college/university degree from an accredited institution (applicants within one year of earning a four year degree will be considered)
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written)
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to the mission of the CIA and DO

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 begin their careers spending one to two years learning the foundations of clandestine operational tradecraft via classroom training, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience gained through a series of interim assignments. Following successful completion of the foundational training each DO officer will transition into advanced training activity to prepare them to serve effectively in the following career occupational specialty:

  • Operations Officers (OO)

Directorate of Operations (DO) Operations Officers focus on clandestinely spotting, assessing, developing, recruiting, and handling non-US-citizens having access to foreign intelligence vital to US foreign policy and national security decision-makers. OOs build relationships based on rapport and trust using sound judgment, integrity, and the ability to assess character and motivation.

OOs have:

  • The willingness and ability to establish strong personal relationships
  • Well-developed communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills
  • The 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

OOs spend most of their careers serving in multi-year assignments in a variety of overseas locations. All OOs address a highly diverse and dynamic set of intelligence requirements on country- and region-specific issues, as well as transnational issues such as counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and cyber.

All candidates for OO positions must be under 36 years of age at the time of application.

Ready to Apply?

The hiring process for DO positions can take 12 months or longer to complete. All applicants must successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview, and a comprehensive background investigation. To be considered suitable for CIA employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during medical and security processing.

Applicants hired for DO positions join CIA with Contract Employee status. As a Contract Employee you will receive federal employee benefits, such as annual and sick leave, life and disability insurance, and healthcare insurance in the same manner as a Staff Employee in accordance with US Government regulations. Click here to view the full text of the contract agreement, including the terms for conversion from Contract Employee to Career Employee status (Paragraph 12).

The initial period of employment with the CIA for Contract Employees will be limited to the specified number of years. The CIA is not obligated to convert employees in this status from contract to staff either during the term of this contract or following the expiration of this contract.

Applicants submitting an application for a DO career should attach a copy of their college transcript(s) and also a cover letter (not exceeding two pages in length double spaced with 12 point font) that addresses all of the following:

  • Why are you interested in a career with the CIA?
  • Why are you interested in a career with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations (DO)?
  • What characteristics and experiences distinguish you from other applicants to the DO?
  • What other careers are you considering and why?

At the time of application, DO applicants select specific DO occupational specialties (SOO, TO, CMO, OO). 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.


All applicants must successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation. US citizenship is required.

To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing.

Important Notice: Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are seeking employment with the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest. Once you reveal your interest you lose control of that information. We ask all applicants to exercise discretion and good judgment in disclosing your interest in a position with the CIA. You will receive further guidance on this topic as you proceed through your CIA employment processing.

To Apply:

If you are ready to apply, save this position (Clandestine Operations Officer) in the job cart. You can add up to four (4) positions. Job cart selections will only be retained during this site visit, so be sure to click “Apply Now” before closing the browser window. After clicking “Apply Now” you will be taken to the application account creation page. The positions will appear in the cart once you have created an account. DO NOT submit multiple applications; this will only slow the review of your application and delay processing. Please read the Application Instructions carefully before you begin the online application process.

Application Instructions

An equal opportunity employer and a drug-free work force.

Posted: Apr 21, 2007 06:16 PM
Last Updated: Sep 30, 2015 09:12 PM