U.S. Marshal: Job Description, Salary, and Requirements
The U.S. Marshals are a law enforcement agency that works on a federal scale to enforce the rulings of federal courts. U.S. Marshals work on fugitive and tactical operations, as well as judicial security. According to usmarshals.gov, there are approximately 3,925 criminal investigators and deputy U.S. Marshals working across 94 judicial districts.
Pay for U.S. Marshals is determined based on a person’s grade level and geographic location. Entry level U.S. Marshal positions are classified at the GL-0082-07 level, which pays between $38,511 and $48,708. Locality pay is added to a U.S. Marshal’s base salary. The amount is determined by factors like cost of living.
Promotions are available to GL-0082-07 level marshals after a year, potentially moving up to GL-0082-09. After spending a year at level GL-0082-09, Marshals can potentially move up another level. This continues each year until they reach level GS-1811-12 at the top of the career ladder.
Job Skills for U.S. Marshals
Working as a U.S. Marshal requires advanced law enforcement experience. Physical fitness is a major part of the job, so candidates have to pass fitness tests in categories like a 1.5 mile run, sit and reach, sit-ups and push-ups. There are specific requirements for men and women broken down by age brackets in each of those fitness areas, as well as a minimum body fat percentage. U.S. Marshals must be between the ages of 21 and 36 (unless they are granted an age waiver).
Potential marshals must be able to work with other officers, prisoners and the public, so communication skills are a must. The ability to write well is equally important, as there is a lot of paperwork and reporting associated with this job.
U.S. Marshals must fully understand the law and keep abreast of any changes or potential changes in the legal system in order to properly enforce these laws. This is especially crucial for areas like search and seizure, as this is a routine part of a marshal’s day to day job.
Work Environment for U.S. Marshals
Like many criminal justice positions, U.S. Marshals work out of several different locations. The job may take them to a courtroom, prison, office or traveling for an investigation. Marshals are placed in a specific city upon leaving training, though additional travel or relocation might be necessary. According to usmarshals.gov, “All candidates are required to remain at their initial duty station for a minimum of three years.”
Working in law enforcement can be potentially dangerous, so U.S. Marshals risk injury and death while on duty. The position is very prestigious, but there is also a lot of pressure to succeed. Marshals may have to work under distressing circumstances or deal with stressful situations.
Education Requirements for U.S. Marshals
In order to become a deputy U.S. Marshal, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, three years of qualified work experience or a combination of experience and education that is comparable to the GL-07 grade level.
Since a marshal’s pay is based partially on his or her specialized experience, having additional higher education may help an entry-level marshal make more money. Having a full year of graduate level experience in a field like criminal justice, law enforcement or sociology is one example. Having superior academic achievement, such as ranking in the upper one-third the applicant’s undergraduate class, can also work.