US Marshals Job Description & Career Outlook

The US Marshals Service was founded in 1789 to serve the Federal court. US marshals have the widest range of authority of all federal law enforcement agencies, and work in every federal law enforcement situation.

US marshals provide many services. They safeguard federal witnesses and transport federal prisoners to and from court and prison. They also protect federal judges and oversee the assets that are seized in criminal enterprises. In fact, US marshals have historically been responsible for arresting more than half of all federal fugitives. Note a Federal Air Marshal a different career with lower requirements.

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How to Become a US Marshal

To become a federal marshal, most candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in a field such as criminal justice, criminology, or law enforcement. Occasionally, an exceptional candidate will emerge that holds only a high school diploma; they may be considered if they have at least three years of related law enforcement experience.

There are other requirements an applicant must meet to become a US marshal service. A strong applicant would have at least four years of command-level law enforcement management experience. He or she should have experience coordinating law enforcement agencies, and experience with protecting court officers, jurors, and witnesses. A candidate must have excellent physical fitness. The applicant’s character and reputation are carefully considered – expect a background check and polygraph.

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If a candidate meets all the requirements, he or she enters the nomination process. Because this is a federal position, attaining it involves a process within the federal government. Candidates are recommended by the senior member of Congress from the state where there is a vacancy. The President then nominates the candidate to the Senate, who consents (or does not consent) to a four-year term of service. Once an applicant is accepted into the marshal service, they undergo a 10-week training program for new recruits.

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US Marshal Salary

According to the US marshal service, most marshals enter the salary schedule at the GS-15 level. These marshals start at the GS15 step 1, which is the entry level, and earn approximately $99,000 yearly. After one pay period, the marshal advances to step 10, in which the salary is approximately $129,000 yearly. In both instances, locality pay is added, which may adjust the salary from about 14% to about 35%.

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Page Edited by Charles Sipe.