Criminal Justice Degree: ATF Agent

There are many exciting careers to consider when looking to earn your criminal justice degree. People in this field are often employed by local law enforcement bureaus, the federal government and the private sector. The federal government even employs people specifically to uphold laws related to alcohol, tobacco and fire arms.

ATF agents are federally employed officers who monitor alcohol, tobacco and firearms laws and cases. This law enforcement branch is officially supported by the U.S. Department of Treasury and is, in a broader sense, committed to protecting American citizens from criminal behavior and even terrorism. In order to become an ATF agent, you will need to complete at least a four-year college degree, be at least 21 years old and undergo a physical exam and drug screening. If you are selected to become an agent, you will also participate in a much more specific law enforcement training program.

Active ATF agents are responsible for monitoring and even regulating the possession of alcohol, firearms and tobacco products and uncovering illegal transactions or usage of these products. Agents can expect to raid homes or businesses, conduct surveillance, apply for search warrants and conduct searches, manage suspects and witnesses, and work with other law enforcement officials, including lawyers and local police officers.

A criminal justice degree online will generally include courses in criminology, criminal justice technology, history of the U.S. justice system, criminal law and corrections. With your degree, you can go in to many different fields, but you will likely need more specific training for them.

Featured Schools