Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent: Salary & Job Description
Job description and job specification

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent: Salary & Job Description

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the main investigative arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they’re responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, mostly those criminal organizations that capitalize on the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.

HSI’s workforce has over 10,400 employees and it consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities across the United States, and 80 locations abroad in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement existence abroad and one of the biggest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Duties of a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent

HSI criminal investigators also called special agents, conduct criminal and civil investigations pertaining to national security threats, human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism, child exploitation, illegal arms export, identity fraud, benefit fraud, financial crimes, commercial fraud, and more.

SEE ALSO: How Much Does An ICE Agent Make? | U.S. ICE Agent

HSI special agents might have the chance to regularly work with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service, and also state police and county sheriff’s departments. Additionally, special agents might have the opportunity to be part of special task forces or fugitive operations teams.

How to Apply

Applications for criminal investigator positions are done online, and they’re accepted during vacancy announcement periods only. Vacancy announcements are listed online through the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) USAJOBS website.
Interested individuals can also get in touch with criminal investigator recruiters for more information concerning the criminal investigator job and the processes for applying. Please go to the ICE website for the Homeland Security Investigation office closest to you.

Basic Eligibility

Applicant must:

  • U.S. Citizenship: must be United States citizens and present proof of citizenship.
  • U.S. Residency: must have, for three of the previous five years directly before applying for the position, (1) lived in the United States; or (2) worked as an employee of the United States Government overseas in a federal or military capacity; or (3) been the dependent of a U.S. federal or military worker serving overseas.
  • Age: must be a minimum of 21 years of age. The day immediately before an individual’s 37th birthday would be the last day to be referred for selection consideration. However, the age restriction might not apply if you are a preference-eligible veteran or if you are presently serving or have served before in a federal civilian law enforcement position covered by 5 U.S.C. Section 8336(c) or 5 U.S.C. Section 8412(d).
  • Motor Vehicle Operation: must have a valid state-issued automobile driver’s license.
  • Firearm: Criminal investigators are expected to carry a firearm while performing duties related to the position and maintain firearm proficiency.
  • Convictions: must not have any felony convictions. According to the Lautenberg Amendment, 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9), any individual who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition.
  • Compulsory Completion of Basic Training: After been officially selected, applicants are mandated to attend a 22 weeks of paid training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia.
  • Fitness Program: During basic training, you will be required to undergo regular physical examinations and you may, in the future, be required to maintain a level of physical fitness in accordance with the standards and policies of the agency.
  • Mobility: Mobility is a key factor in this occupation. Applicants ought to be willing to accept employment at any given location. Assignment at the first duty station will be a minimum of three years; however, completing the three years does not guarantee a transfer. In addition, criminal investigators might be reassigned at any time in their career to new places based on the needs of the service.
  • Travel: Positions require periodic and sometimes long travel in addition to the initial basic and other compulsory training.
  • Physical and Environmental Conditions: Moderate to onerous physical exertion involving walking and standing, use of firearms and exposure to cold weather. This job requires physical strength and stamina, potentially dangerous and stressful situations, and also exposure to physical attack, including the use of lethal weapons.
  • Selective Service Registration: For males born after December 31, 1959, selective service registration is needed.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offers competitive salaries and an enticing benefits package which includes health, life, vision, dental, long-term care insurance, retirement plan, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k)), Employee Assistance Program, flexible spending account, personal leave days and paid federal holidays. Other benefits can include flexible work schedules, tuition reimbursement, telework, uniform allowance, transportation subsidies, health and wellness programs, and access to fitness centers.

DHS is dedicated to employee development, therefore provides a variety of training and developmental opportunities.


The normal US Department of Homeland Security Special Agent salary is $138,112 annually. But the salary can range from $59,974 – $178,038 annually.