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Secret Service Special Agents

Work Environment

A Secret Service special agent is assigned to a field office or the Washington, D.C., headquarters. Agents on investigative assignments may spend much time doing research with the office as base, or they may be out in the field, doing undercover or surveillance work. Protective and investigative assignments can keep a special agent away from home for long periods of time, depending on the situation. Preparations for the president's visits to cities in the United States generally take no more than a week. However, a large event attracting foreign dignitaries, such as International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings in various cities, can take months to plan. Special agents at field offices assigned to investigate crimes are called out regularly to serve temporary protective missions. During presidential campaign years, agents typically serve three-week protective assignments, work three weeks back at their field offices, and then start the process over again. Special agents always work at least 40 hours a week and often work a minimum of 50 hours each week.

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