How to Become a US Marshal

U.S. Marshals play a critical role in almost all major law enforcement actions taking place on a federal level.

Responsibilities of a U.S. Marshal

If you become a U.S. Marshal, you are charged with protecting federal courts and working to protect the judicial system as a whole. This charge plays out in multiple ways, from protecting juries to apprehending federal fugitives. In addition, U.S. Marshals often enforce federal court orders.

Educational Requirements

In order to become a U.S. Marshal, you’ll be required to acquire extensive education and experience. You must have at least three years of general work experience and at least one year of law enforcement experience. If you have a four-year college degree, however, the three years of general experience can be waived. If the grades you earned in your bachelor’s degree program were excellent, the requirement for the year of specialized law enforcement experience can also be waived. Earning a graduate degree in law or a related field like criminal justice is another way to have the year of law-enforcement-specific experience requirement waived.

While a college or graduate degree is useful on your path to becoming a U.S. Marshal, since it can stand in place of experience, it can serve an equally important function in helping you determine if a career in law enforcement, specifically as a U.S. Marshal, is the right fit. If you choose to become a U.S. Marshal, you’ll be working in one of the most important and broadly defined areas of federal law enforcement.

Becoming a Deputy Marshal

As the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country, the United States Marshals Service is responsible for protecting the federal courts and judicial system. Deputy marshals assist US marshals with:

  • Transporting suspects to and from court cases
  • Maintaining order within court rooms
  • Escorting judges and prosecutors
  • Protecting everyone in and around federal court buildings

Because courtrooms can be stressful and emotional environments, this career field can be highly demanding, requiring constant vigilance and extensive training. For although the judge may wield the gavel and hand out decisions, the safety and continuity of the court rests in your hands.

Educational Requirements for Deputy Marshals

For most positions, you need a bachelor’s degree or higher to qualify for training. In some jurisdictions, three years of professional experience coupled with an associate’s degree is sufficient. While not always necessary, special consideration is often given to law enforcement or criminal justice degrees. Military training can also be a plus. In addition, you must be a US citizen, younger than 37 at the time of your application.

The U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy

Once accepted into the program, a prospective deputy marshal undergoes an eighteen-week basic training program taught by the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy in Glynco, GA. Maintaining peak physical condition, while not always explicitly stated, is obviously advantageous given the rigorous nature of the training.

In addition to surveillance, interrogation techniques, conflict management, and crowd control, you can expect to receive coursework in marksmanship, the martial arts, and weapons training.