Narcotics Agent Career

Job Description: Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

*A job as a Narcotics Agent falls under the broader career category of Criminal Investigators and Special Agents. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Narcotics Agent Career

What Narcotics Agents do:

  • Determine scope, timing, and direction of investigations.
  • Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.
  • Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
  • Testify before grand juries concerning criminal activity investigations.
  • Collaborate with other offices and agencies to exchange information and coordinate activities.
  • Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
  • Obtain and use search and arrest warrants.
  • Record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines.
  • Develop relationships with informants to obtain information related to cases.
  • Examine records to locate links in chains of evidence or information.
  • Search for and collect evidence, such as fingerprints, using investigative equipment.
  • Collaborate with other authorities on activities such as surveillance, transcription, and research.
  • Analyze evidence in laboratories or in the field.
  • Collect and record physical information about arrested suspects, including fingerprints, height and weight measurements, and photographs.
  • Investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.
  • Perform undercover assignments and maintain surveillance, including monitoring authorized wiretaps.
  • Serve subpoenas or other official papers.
  • Provide protection for individuals, such as government leaders, political candidates, and visiting foreign dignitaries.
  • Compare crime scene fingerprints with those from suspects or fingerprint files to identify perpetrators, using computers.
  • Manage security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information.
  • Administer counterterrorism and counternarcotics reward programs.
  • Issue security clearances.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

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