EPA Agent Career Overview
Are you looking for a law enforcement job with an environmental bent? Consider working as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) special agent. Not your typical police job, an EPA agent investigates the most serious crimes made in defiance of national environmental laws.
EPA agents are highly trained federal law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry weapons and execute search warrants. As a protector of the environment, an EPA agent might investigate a company illegally dumping hazardous waste into waterways or exceeding its air pollution limits. Investigations often lead to arrests and prosecutions, and it is not unusual for environmental criminals to be guilty of fraud and conspiracy, as well. The EPA typically has approximately 750 cases open at one time.
EPA Agent Training & Education
The minimum requirement for applicants is a bachelor's degree and superior academic achievement. Many EPA agents also have related work experience. There are no strict requirements regarding the type of degree, but if you're serious about getting one of these highly competitive jobs, consider a campus-based or online degree in environmental science or biology. Criminal justice degrees can also prepare you for work in the field. Once hired, special agents receive basic law enforcement training, as well as training related to federal environmental laws.
EPA Agent Salary & Job Description
The EPA has more than forty area and resident offices nationwide and a total of 190 special agents.
The number of EPA agent jobs waxes and wanes depending on the administration, so job growth is difficult to predict. At present, the agency intends to increase the number of special agents to 200 by the end of 2010.
*Depending on qualifications, salaries range from $43,200 to $73,354.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics