|ATF agents, working under the supervision of the Treasury Department, enforce laws involving the illegal possession and sale of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. ATF agents obtain search warrants, raid buildings, search for evidence, interview suspects and witnesses, conduct surveillance, and make arrests. ATF agents work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. ATF agents gather and analyze date and prepare reports used by an U.S. attorney preparing for a trial. |
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agent is considered by many law enforcement professionals to be of the most challenging careers in Federal law enforcement. ATF headquarters are in Washington, D.C. and has field offices located throughout United States. Highly skilled and trained ATF agents investigate violations of Federal law relating to firearms, arson, explosive, alcohol and tobacco diversion. These investigations involve surveillance, interogating suspects, interviewing witnesses, obtaining and executing warrants, making arrests, and searching for physical evidence to support legal proceedings. Forensic chemists and other specialty technicians and professionals provide expert assistance in preparing cases.
A career as a ATF special agent can be exciting and very rewarding. To be successful ATF agents must be physically and mentally tough. They must also be able to handle rigorous training, irregular working hours, personal risks, and a lifestyle that permits extensive travel. As an ATF agent you can expect to be reassigned to any ATF office in the United States, to any U.S. Territory or a location overseas if you're need to on a foreign assignment.
ATF Agents are responsible for:
Special Agent Applicants must:
The Foreign Language Award Program provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives provides ATF agents and employees cash awards for those who possess and make substantial use of one or more foreign language(s) in the performance of their jobs. The cash bonus is based upon proficiency as well as substantial usage of the foreign language.
Promotions as and ATF agent are based on superior performance and must receive supervisory approval.
Criminal Justice Careers
Learn More About the Most Popular Criminal Justice Careers by Specialty
Featured Criminal Justice Articles
Explore Articles on Hot Topics in the Field of Criminal Justice
Forensic researchers in Tucson, Arizona have developed a revolutionary method that could allow scientists to predict what a person might look like using only their DNA. Scientists at the University of Arizona conducted a research project measuring the following characteristics of nearly 1,000 individuals: eye color, skin, and hair.Read more
For the first time in over a generation, the question of whether the death penalty deters murders has captured the attention of scholars, sparking an intense new debate. About 12 current reports indicate each time a convicted murderer is executed, between 3-18 homicides do not occur.Read more
Are bounty hunters legitimate law enforcement professional? There has been increasing controversy in the United States over bounty hunters, with concern voiced over the lack of control that a state has over their behavior. Court jurisdictions have permitted bounty hunters broad authority to locate and detain individuals fleeing to evade the legal process.Read more