We regularly receive questions about life in the National Clandestine Service (NCS). Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. For a look at a complete list of our FAQs*, visit the full CIA website.
1. What is the mission of the National Clandestine Service (NCS)?
The mission of the National Clandestine Service is to strengthen national security and foreign policy objectives through the collection of human intelligence (HUMINT) and covert action.
2. How does the NCS fit into the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?
The CIA is one of 16 agencies in the IC. The CIA is comprised of four directorates - one of which is the NCS. The NCS serves as the clandestine arm of the CIA, collecting human source intelligence (HUMINT) worldwide through human and technical means. In addition, the NCS serves as the national authority for the coordination, de-confliction and evaluation of clandestine operations across the Intelligence Community.
3. Who leads the NCS?
The Director of the National Clandestine Service (DNCS) leads the NCS workforce and the Clandestine HUMINT Community. In coordination with the HUMINT Community, the DNCS jointly establishes and implements Community HUMINT standards and best practices; integrates the Community's operational HUMINT capabilities through collaborative planning, targeting, and synchronized operations; and monitors and evaluates the performance and status of the Clandestine HUMINT Enterprise.
4. How is the NCS organized?
The NCS is organized by geographic regions and issues.
5. Who works for the NCS?
Scientists, engineers, economists, lawyers, historians, linguists, mathematicians, secretaries, accountants and computer specialists are but a few of the professionals continually in demand. Applicants are expected to have a college degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must be willing to relocate to the Washington, D.C., area. For further information, see the CIA Careers page* on the full website.
6. Is the NCS for me?
The NCS is shaped by a diverse ethnic, educational and professional cadre. Common qualities of NCS Officers include a strong record of academic and professional achievement, good writing skills, problem-solving abilities, and highly developed interpersonal skills. Overseas experience and language capabilities are a plus but not a requirement for those wishing to apply.
7. What jobs are currently available?
Carefully read the Careers Opportunities* section on the full website for current vacancies and application details.
8. Where will I serve?
Officers of the NCS serve worldwide. More information is available once the applicant enters on duty.
9. Can I disclose that I work or have applied to work for the CIA?
We strongly encourage applicants to refrain from disclosing information concerning employment with the CIA, regardless of application status. Knowledge by non-Agency personnel of your association with the CIA or IC may limit your ability to perform or preclude you from certain assignments.
10. What if I want to eventually work for CIA?
To qualify for a position with the Agency, you must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and a high school graduate. A college degree, preferably an advanced degree, is a standard requirement for overseas officers, intelligence analysts, and other non-clerical positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is also helpful.
Carefully read the Careers Opportunities section of the full website for current vacancies and application details.
*Link will take you to the full website.