How to Become a U.S. Marshal (Deputy)

The USMS (United States Marshals Service) is the oldest of the federal law enforcement agencies in the United States and served the country since 1789. The USMS acts as the law enforcement of the judiciary department. There are 94 district offices, one for each of the federal judicial districts. There are also 218 sub-offices and 3 foreign offices. A US Marshal manages each of the district offices and receives his job through appointment by the President. Each of the other investigators and law enforcement agents that work in the office are called deputy US marshals.

US Marshal Responsibilities

Marshals have the responsibility of conducting fugitive investigations, operating the witness protection program, transportation of federal prisoners, and protection of the federal judiciary. The USMS is also in charge of seizing, managing, selling and distributing assets that belong to convicted felons.

A U.S. Marshal will help transport federal prisoners to different judicial districts. This may include flying across the nation or to another country with a prisoner to ensure that they arrive safely and that all other passengers are safe while the prisoner is transported.

U.S. Marshals also help with fugitive operations. This includes working with task forces in order to help make arrests. The USMS will work with the law enforcement agency by providing assistance, training, and expertise on how to handle these issues.

The USMS also houses more than 63,000 detainees in local, state, federal, and private jails across the nation. In order to house these prisoners the USMS rents jail space from state and local governments.

Becoming a Deputy United States Marshal

In order to become a deputy United States marshal a person must take and pass the written test. In addition, a personal interview will be conducted and a person must do well during this. Practice your interview skills with friends and family members, telling them why you want this particular position.

Other requirements for the position include:

  • Must be a citizen of United States
  • Must be between 21 and 36 years old
  • Must be in great physical condition
  • Must have a bachelor’s degree or three years of experience. College credits and experience may be combined to meet this requirement.
  • Have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record
  • Allow a background investigation

In addition, before becoming a deputy United States Marshal a person has to go through basic training at the FLETC Academy that is located in Glynco, Georgia. It is important to be in excellent physical condition in order to be a U.S. Marshal. Eat well, exercise, and do not take illegal drugs or smoke.


A four year degree is required to apply for this position. It is recommended that a person obtain a graduate level of study in a field such as criminal justice or law enforcement. For someone that is interested in becoming a U.S. Marshal, maintaining a high GPA, 3.0 or higher, is recommended to increase the chances of obtaining employment in this field. Ranking in the top third of your graduating class is beneficial as well.

Career Opportunities

With the US Marshal Service being the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the United States, Deputy US Marshals should continue to be key components of the federal justice system for the foreseeable future.  The US Marshals service conducts hiring as staffing needs arise and also depending on government funding.  To find any available opportunities check the employment page of the U.S. Marshals.