Some kids grow up dreaming of being in law enforcement and some find their passion for it later in life. Either way, being a uniformed officer isn’t the only way to contribute to law and order. A select few members of police forces or law agencies become undercover agents, working to bring down criminal organizations from the inside.
Besides wearing undercover clothes and going by a variety of aliases, these professionals have to juggle many challenging aspects of their jobs. If you’re considering becoming an undercover agent, here are a few insights into the job.
The purpose of an undercover agent is to gather information about a group or organization suspected of criminal activity. This means assuming a new identity and persona to fit in with the suspects and pretending to be one of them while gathering information. The main goal is to catch people committing a crime in a way that is admissible in courts, such as on video or a recording of them admitting to a crime. This type of police work is especially helpful with organized crime that’s accustomed to working around laws and police officers.
There are a number of pros and cons to this position. One positive is that undercover officers contribute directly to removing dangerous people from communities. It’s also a high action and high-intensity profession, which might be what some people are looking for. The negatives, however, include the likely danger of being injured or killed on the job and having to constantly switch between personas, which can be confusing and difficult psychologically.
Undercover agents make above-average pay, usually coming out at about $80,000 a year. The job growth in this industry is slow, though. Being an undercover agent is a complex job with many risks involved.