What Does A US Foreign Service Officer Do FSO Salary & Requirements

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What Does A Foreign Service Officer Do FSO Salary Requirement Complete Career Guide

The US department of state says that when they are looking for a Foreign Service officer, they tend to look for candidates who have strong leadership skills and are committed to their work. This is demanded because of the challenging nature of the Job of Foreign service officers. These officers have to overcome difficult times, and for this reason, they must have strong dedication and commitment to their work. But the question is, what does a Foreign Service officer do? What does their day looks like, and how much do Foreign Service officers make?

All these questions, along with other useful information regarding the foreign service officer, will be answered in the article. So, stick tune if you are among the ones who are looking to join the Foreign Service and become a Foreign Service officer.

The foreign service officers are responsible for promoting the goals and objectives of the United States in the international world, the government of the United States appoints foreign service officers, and the Objectives are given to them by the foreign office. Secondly, these officers are responsible for promoting peace globally and protecting the Citizens of the United States in different parts of the world.

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The Basics Of Foreign Services Officer

foreign-service-officerYou might be wondering, what do foreign service officers do, and how can you become a foreign services officer? You need to choose one of the five career tracks to become a foreign services officer. There are five different tracks that you can follow to become a foreign services officer. Generally speaking, they are five different kinds of Jobs under the umbrella of foreign services officers.

Management officers: The management officers are usually deployed in an embassy, and they act as the leading officers of the embassy. These officers are primarily responsible for all the managerial responsibilities of the embassy, and they make sure that the functions of the embassy are running smoothly.

Consular officers: The consular officers are responsible for enhancing border security, and by doing so, they make sure that there isn’t any illegal immigration taking place. The consular officers are also responsible for taking care of citizens who are moving abroad for visiting or settlement purposes.

Economic Officers: The economic officers deal with economic affairs, and their primary responsibility is to make sure that the economic interests of the United States are served. The Economic officer advocates in favor of the economic policies of the United States, and they make sure that the trade interests are globally served.

Political Officers: The political officers are responsible for keeping an eye on the political affairs of different countries. Their officers make sure that the events taking place in the different countries aren’t harmful to the United States. The political officers monitor an event and report back to the United States if an activity against the interest of the United States is taking place.

Public diplomacy officers: These officers are responsible for advocating in favor of the United States values and laws in whatever country they are posted. The goal of the public diplomacy officers is to draw the public attention in favor of the United States’ laws and values.

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Requirements To Become A Foreign Services Officer

You need to meet some basic requirements if you are willing to become a foreign services officer in the United States. The requirements are enlisted below; you can go through them and check if you meet the requirements or not.

  • You must be a citizen of the United States.
  • You should be at least twenty years old at the time of applying. The upper age limit to become a foreign services officer is 59.
  • You must be willing to relocate. Most often, the employment of foreign services officer is in different parts of the world, and the candidate who aspires to become a foreign services officer shall be willing to live in different parts of the world.
  • You must not have any previous criminal record
  • And you must be medically fit to carry out the tasks of the foreign services officer.

If you meet all of the above requirements, you qualify to apply for the position of foreign services officer. You need to apply for and pass through all the mandatory steps whenever a Job application is announced. These steps might include verbal interviews, written tests, and medical examinations.

If we talk about fso career tracks, the least competitive of these tracks is management officer and consular officer. This is because most people don’t want to put their heads into a difficult task, and they look for jobs in which they have good societal standing.

The foreign service career tracks most competitive category includes the political officer and public diplomacy officer. Most aspiring candidates put in their efforts to land on both of these positions. The primary reason behind this higher competition is societal respect associated with both of these positions. The people want to land at these positions because of the respect in the society that they might get.

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Educational Requirements To Become A Foreign Services Officer

The foreign services officers are primarily responsible for protecting the reputation of the United States globally. The foreign services officer job description has been discussed in detail in the above content. This section will primarily focus on the educational requirements for becoming a foreign services officer. Most people have a misconception that foreign services officers need to learn a foreign language for employment.

foreign-service-officer-salaryAlthough the foreign officers are posted in different countries yet, there isn’t any specific language requirement. You can qualify for the position of a foreign officer without knowing any foreign language. The people who know a foreign language are always in advantageous positions, and their chances of employment are much higher than those who do not understand any other language.

There isn’t any specific requirement as far as the educational degrees are concerned. Still, most of the people who are employed as us Foreign Service officers have a bachelor’s or higher degree. If you are applying for the position of Foreign Service officer without a bachelor’s degree, your chances of employment naturally decrease.

Some people might also ask about the degree program they should choose to become a foreign services officer. There isn’t any specific degree that will help you out, but there are a lot of degree programs that might add value to your professional career as a foreign service officer. The degree programs which might help you are enlisted below.

  • Accounting
  • Political science
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Criminal justice
  • Legal studies/pre-law

Skills Required To Become A Foreign Services Officer

Some of the common skills which you’ll need as a foreign officer are enlisted below; make sure to master them so that you’ve higher chances of being successful in your relevant field

Adaptability: The foreign service officers are primarily posted in different world regions, and they have to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. For this reason, adaptability is essential for them to make sure that they appropriately perform their duties.

Motivation: The foreign services officers are primarily on their own, which means they do not have any immediate supervisor. To keep coping with the tasks of the duty, the officers need to have self-motivation, which shall drive them to complete their tasks foreign services officer.

Communication: The foreign services officers need to be effective communicators. Their job demands that they communicate efficiently with their subordinates and the public.

Decision-making: The diplomatic service officer or the foreign services officers are posted in different countries, and they constantly interact with the governments of different countries. To make it a healthy interaction for both countries, the officers need to possess the ability of solid decision making.


Foreign Officers Salary And Career Outlook

Working in the foreign service will open new opportunities for you, and you will earn handsome money while serving your country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary foreign service officer salary is $73,560. The fso salary is quite handsome as compared to other positions. These salaries are likely to increase depending on your years of experience and educational qualification. You may also get promoted to the higher ranks if your performance is exemplary in foreign service. 

The reported annual growth in this field in the next 8 years is 7%. The job positions for the accountant and the police officers are likely to increase in the fourth coming time. Many factors contribute to the determination of salaries, for example, the years of experience, the location of your posting, and specialization in the field. We recommend you master in your field, and you’ll excel as a foreign service security officer.

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