Top Federal Law Enforcement Internship Opportunities Complete Guide

Criminal Justice Career Guides

Top Federal Law Enforcement Internship Opportunities Complete Guide

Internships are the gateways for students to get firsthand experience of the practical jobs that they will be doing. Of course, classrooms are useful for conveying the theoretical knowledge of a subject. Still, the practices that are being followed in the professional life for that particular subject cannot be demonstrated in the classroom. For this purpose, internships are being offered to the students to get knowledge about the future job they are going to do.

Similar is the case with law enforcement internships, in the classrooms, the students are taught about the theoretical concepts of the field, for example, a student will be taught about theories of criminology, the practices of conducting raids, and the methods of handling violent criminals but the federal law enforcement internship opportunities are going to allow him to implement the concepts that he had learned from his/her classroom.

The Internships at the federal law enforcement agencies are of great importance for the students of criminal justice. These law enforcement agencies are incredibly selective with the candidates for new openings; recently, they have started preferring their interns for new positions rather than looking for candidates from outside. So, if you want a good career in law enforcement agencies, you must think of completing an internship with them.

Below we have categorized federal law enforcement internships based on the federal enforcement agency that offers these internships. After reading the article, we are sure that you will have a distinct vision about the internship that you are going to do.

Best Federal Agencies For Internship

Federal law enforcement internships are a great way to gain experience in the criminal justice system. These internships offer an opportunity to learn about federal law enforcement agencies and their operations. Interns may have the opportunity to work with agents and officers on various projects and assignments.

Internship programs at federal law enforcement agencies vary in terms of duration and the types of assignments offered. Some internships last for a few months, while others may last for a year or more. Interns may be assigned to work in field offices, investigative units, or other divisions within the agency. They may also be assigned to work with federal law enforcement partners, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Interns who participate in federal law enforcement internships can expect to gain valuable experience and knowledge. They will learn about the functions and operations of federal law enforcement agencies and the challenges and complexities of working in this field. Interns may also have an opportunity to develop their skills in areas such as research, analysis, and writing.

If you are interested in a career in federal law enforcement, consider applying for an internship at one of the agencies below.

Agencies that offer federal law enforcement internships:

  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • United States Marshals Service (USMS)
  • United States Secret Service (USSS)
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Department of State (DOS)
  • Department of the Treasury (DOT)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG)
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • American Embassy or Consulate in a foreign country.
  • Bureau Of Intelligence And Research Internships
  • Defense Intelligence Agency DIA Internships


Federal Bureau Of Investigation  FBI Internships

No one across the globe has not heard the name of the FBI. I’m sure everyone has. The prime responsibility of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against domestic and international terrorism, enforce criminal laws of the United States, uphold criminal investigations, and provide criminal justice leadership to state, local, and municipal law enforcement agencies.

Joining the FBI might be a daydream for many of us, but it requires hard work, dedication, and commitment, and one of a great way to show your commitment is through the internships that you do at the FBI.

Many of you might have this question in your mind, how to get an FBI internship. Well, the FBI offers a 10 Week honor internship program for graduate and undergraduate students. If you have a GPA of 3, try applying for the FBI internships by visiting their online website.

The selected candidates will work with the field agents to get firsthand experience of the FBI’s working procedures. Alongside the field experience, they will also work in the administrative section to get firsthand experience of the administrative and file work.

FBI Honors Internship Pay

Not only the experience but doing the internship at the FBI will also get you some extra money that you can spend on your needs. So the question is, how much does the FBI pay interns, well, there are different pay scales for different interns.

  • Students who have a bachelor’s degree and are enrolled as full-time internees at the FBI will receive the Gs-5 Payscale. The annual income on GS-5 pay scale is $30,110
  • All the other internees will receive a GS-4 pay scale. The average yearly salary on a GS-4 pay scale is $26,000

How To Join The FBI – The Best Degree Paths


Drug Enforcement Administration DEA Internships

The drug enforcement administration is a federal law enforcement agency that enforces the laws and regulations of controlled substances. The agency’s prime responsibility is to monitor and control the growth, manufacturing, supply, and distribution of these prohibited substances.
Along with enforcement, the agency also supports non-enforcement programs, including education of people with regards to these substances, their harms to the human body, and the punishments they might face if found involved in any of the activities, as mentioned earlier.

The DEA internships are being announced regularly for graduate and undergraduate students to expose them to the practices of drug enforcement. The internees will work with the shadow investigators, forensic scientists, and administrative personal and assist them in their routine work.

To ensure that you don’t miss any of these internship opportunities at the DEA, make sure to check the USA JOBS regularly and apply for every announced position.

Can you become a DEA agent with A felony? 

United States Marshals Service USMS Internships

The USMS is a federal law enforcement agency that works to provide security to the courts and correctional facilities. The agency’s prime responsibility is to ensure the safety of the judges, court staff, and courtrooms. The USMS might also provide security and transportation services to the criminals whenever they are brought in the courtrooms for hearings.

The USMS work the orders of the court and enforce whatever the judge’s order them; for example, if the judges have found someone guilty during a proceeding of the court, the USMS will be requested to arrest and take them to the respective correctional facility. Besides this, the USMS might also seize the property that has been bought using illegal means.

Us marshals service internships are being offered to the students of the criminal justice programs to expose them to the agency’s operational practices. Usually, the internees are given the administrative task and non-sensitive field operations so that their safety can be ensured.

The best way to apply for these internship opportunities is through their website and email. Look for the internship opportunity that is being announced for your region, meet their educational requirements, and get enrolled as an internee.

United States Secret Service Internships

The United States secret service has two responsibilities: the first one is to protect the important persons of the United States and foreign delegates. The second one is to protect the US’s financial system.

When it comes to protection, the secret service mainly protects the President of the United States and his other essential government members. The security of these individuals includes protection at the house office and even outside the country. Secondly, whenever a foreign delegate visits to the United States, secret service is tasked to make arrangements for their security.

Protecting the United States’ financial system is also the responsibility of the secret services, this protection includes illicit financial transfers, mail fraud, wire fraud, and financial institutions fraud.

United States secret service internship is offered for two different positions. 

  1. Secret service student volunteer program
  2. Administrative Internships

The secret service student the volunteer program is a non-paid opportunity in which the students work with the field agents to get firsthand experience of a secret service agent’s duties. While the administrative internship is a paid opportunity during which the students will work in the offices to get familiar with the administrative tasks that are being carried out in US secret services.

The pay grade depends on the individual; someone with higher educational scores will be able to get top pay while other candidates who don’t have good grades might get low pay.

The internship programs of the United States secret services are being announced twice a year, i.e., July and February. If you have maintained three or above GPA, you are eligible to apply for these positions. Start navigating these jobs on the relevant platform and ask them to gain firsthand experience of United States secret service.

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco And Firearms ATF Internships

The ATF regulates the laws related to firearms, explosives, and drugs. Its prime responsibilities include protecting individuals from these substances, illegal trafficking of firearms, ammunition, tobacco, and alcohol and preventing acts of terrorism.

The ATF is responsible for the prevention of using these unlawful substances, which include possession, manufacturing, and supply of these substances. The ATF regulates these substances by offering licensees to the individuals, and only those individuals are allowed to keep and supply tobacco, alcohol, ammunition, and firearms

Two different ATF internships are being offered to the students of criminal justice degree.

  1. Student career experience program (SCEP) 
  2. Student temporary employment program.

Both the ATF internship programs are being offered to the students to get firsthand experience of the working procedures of ATF. The career experience program will allow students to work with senior officers in the field and office to understand the ground operations and organizational work of the agency.

Once the students have completed their temporary employment program, they might get permeant employment at the ATF as a civilian or sworn officer subject to their excellent skills and good educational grades.

Suppose you are an aspiring candidate for the internship at the ATF. In that case, you are advised to maintain an excellent educational score during your degree and look for the announced internship opportunities.

What Does The ATF Do? ATF Police Salary and Career Guide

Federal Bureau Of Prison BOP Internships

The Federal Bureau of prisons works under the Department of Justice US. Their Prime responsibility is to confine the offenders in a controlled environment so that they work on themselves to become law-abiding citizens. The bureau is responsible for managing the prisons’ daily affairs, which includes fulfilling the needs of offenders such as food, water, electricity and washrooms, their security, and other similar prison affairs.

The prisons’ bureau provides such an environment in the prison where the offenders have an opportunity to realize their misconduct and try to remove it from their personalities. Usually, consultation is being offered to habitual offenders in jail.

The bureau of prisons provides two different internship opportunities to the students

  1. Student volunteer positions
  2. Pathways student internship program

The student volunteer program is offered to the students of schools and colleges where they can learn about the operations of the bureau of prisons. The things that they learn during their internships will help them decide about their future career path. The internship is a non-paid opportunity designed for learning purposes only.

On the other hand, the pathway internship program is designed for college students to graduate level, which helps them develop professional knowledge about their field. The students who are enrolled in this internship opportunity are about to enter their professional life. Therefore, this internship is designed to make them familiar with the professional duties in the bureau. Alongside the learning, they also get paid for whatever task they are doing to meet their financial requirements.

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Central Intelligence Agency CIA Internships

CIA is responsible for protecting the Homeland from foreign and domestic threats. The agency offers internship programs for students from different academic backgrounds, during the internship programs, the students work at different positions to understand the agency’s working.

The paid internships are available throughout the year for the students of undergraduate and graduate courses from the following academic backgrounds

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Foreign languages
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Information technology

At the CIA, three programs are being offered to the students

  1. Internship Program
  2. Cooperative Education Program
  3. Scholarship Program

All three programs are designed so that the students can learn about the operation of the Central intelligence agency. If you get enrolled in one of these internship programs, you will be tackling the most critical work essential for protecting the nation.
You must look for these positions on the Central intelligence agency website and apply for these opportunities whenever they are announced.

CIA Agent Salary And Career Guide 2022 All You Need To Know

Department of Homeland Security DHS Internships

The department of homeland security is responsible for protecting the Homeland from foreign threats. To ensure that none of the states across the globe are planning to threaten the United States, the hone land security department has a vast network of agents working around the world to protect the country. Guess what? You can be one of them if you have the right skills and education required to carry the duties.

The department of homeland security is offering four different programs for the students

  1. Secretary’s honors program – This program is initiated for the recent graduates who are exceptional in their academic backgrounds. The opportunity is paid; therefore, high completion can be expected.
  2. CBP explorer program – this program is launched explicitly for youngsters who are among the age of 14-21 with the aim of character building and fitness among young individuals. The internees will assist the border patrol agents.
  3. Student internship and training opportunity –this program is designed for the students who are currently enrolled in their educational degrees to provide the learning and training opportunities
  4. Science and technology University program –through this program, the excellent performing students of the universities are hired to meet the law enforcement demands of the country.

Bureau Of Intelligence And Research Internships

The US State Department is offering internship opportunities to the students so that they can get the experience of working procedures of the State Department. Generally speaking, the state the department is responsible for managing the foreign affairs of the United States, which includes dealing with the governments of different countries through their embassies in the United States.

There are two different programs offered by the State Department from the students from diverse educational backgrounds. These programs are:

  1. US Department of State internship program
  2. US Department of the state pathways program

During the internship, you can expect to work in a foreign environment where delegates from different countries will be visiting the department of state. You will be interacting with them along with this. You might also be asked to research different countries and their cultures. Besides working in the office, you might even be asked to visit various embassies and be part of several negotiations.

Defense Intelligence Agency DIA Internships

The defense intelligence agency is responsible for military-related intelligence. The agency oversights military-related foreign affairs, economic affairs, geographical affairs, and medical and health-related affairs. The agency assists the military in developing situations across the globe so that they can adapt to it.

The defense intelligence agency offers three different types of programs for the students across The United States. These programs are:

  1. Academic semester internship program –this opportunity is for the students who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs to gain practical knowledge about intelligence analysis. Students can join this program while continuing their education
  2. Corporative education program –this program is launched for the talented students of the undergraduate and graduate courses so that they can gain valuable work experience that will add weightage to their academics
  3. National intelligence scholar program –this program is launched for a selected number of college graduates so that they can learn quality education to boost their careers.

National Security Agency NSA Internships

The national security agency is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information about different intelligence agencies across the world. The information that is being interpreted by the NSA is used for intelligence and counter-intelligence purposes. Along with this, the NSA is also tasked to monitor some individuals’ activities within the United States.

The National security agency is launching three different internship programs. These programs are:

  1. NSA internships -These co-operation programs help the students gain practical knowledge of the field before their academics are over. This knowledge will be helpful for them once they go for employment in the market.
  2. Undergraduate internships -The students who are enrolled in undergraduate degree programs are eligible to apply for this opportunity
  3. Graduate internships – Are the students who are moving towards higher education, such as Ph. D and they are interested in gaining the knowledge that might help them in their studies. They must apply for this opportunity at the NSA.

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