How to Become an Intelligence Research Specialist

In order to apply to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a job as an Intelligence Research Specialist, candidates must possess the following basic qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Possess a valid state driver’s license
  • Resided in the United States for the three years prior to hiring
  • Pass a comprehensive background check, polygraph test and qualify for Top Secret clearance
  • Pass a drug test
  • Willingness to travel
  • Willingness to work extended and late hours

How to Apply for Intelligence Research Specialist Jobs

In order to apply for an Intelligence Research Specialist position, a vacancy must be posted on  The candidate should follow the link to the Office of Personnel Management, where they will be questioned about basic qualifications.  If the candidate meets these pre-requisites, then they will be asked to submit an application package that should include the following:

  • College transcripts
  •  Resume
  • Documents attesting to federal employee, military veteran or law enforcement status

If the candidate’s application meets with approval, they will be required to submit to a Logical Reasoning Test and a Writing Skills Exercise.  If the exams are successfully completed, the candidate may be asked to interview with CBP hiring personnel.  Upon final approval from HR, the candidate will be required to submit to a comprehensive background check, drug test and polygraph.  The candidate must also complete the Mandatory Intelligence Specialist Training.

Degree and Experience Requirements for Intelligence Research Specialist Jobs

Intelligence Research Specialists typically enter the CBP at the GS-7, GS-9 or GS-11 pay level.  In order to enter at the GS-7 level, candidates must possess at least one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Foreign Affairs, International Relations or Security Studies
  • At least one year of professional experience performing
    • Investigations or research for production of reports of findings
    • Management of classified documents including storage, control and destruction
    • A combination of post-secondary education and professional experience

Entering Intelligence Research Specialists at the GS-9 level should possess at least one of the following

  • Master’s degree, J.D. or LL.B
  • At least one year of experience performing duties equivalent to a GS-7 intelligence specialist including
    • Assisting senior analysts collect information and analyze it for trends, patterns, estimates and profiles
    • Review data and research in order to generate intelligence products
    • Develop intelligence collection programs
    • Producing recommendations based on intelligence
    • A combination of professional and academic experience

GS-11 professionals should possess one of the following:

  • A PhD or 3 years of doctoral studies
  • At least one year of experience equivalent to a GS-9 intelligence officer performing the following duties
    • Processing intelligence to produce recommendations
    • Producing intelligence reports for government officials
    • Identification of terrorists using intelligence
    • Liaison with other intelligence agencies and personnel with regards to classified information
    • A combination of professional and academic experience

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