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Federal Air Marshals

Earnings Potential

Salaries for Federal Air Marshals vary depending on location and position. An annual salary for Federal Air Marshals ranges between $35,000 and $85,000 annually.

Facts at a glance

  • Federal Air Marshals disguised themselves as regular travelers and blend in with the passengers on board to discourage hijackings.
  • The maximum age requirement was raised from 37-40 years old.
  • A downside to being a federal air marshal is that you have limited contact with your family because during missions, agents can be deployed anywhere around the world.
  • Marshals are allowed to carry guns on planes and may arrest individuals without a warrant.

Summary of what this career entails

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Air Marshals provide air security by fighting attacks targeting U.S. airports, passengers, and crews. They disguise themselves as ordinary passengers and board flights of U.S. air carriers to locations worldwide.

Examples and or details of work

If an individual wants to become a Federal Air Marshal, the individual must have certain essential skills. They must have exceptional judgment, be able to work independently, willing to travel extensively, be able to work long days in the sky alone, must be in outstanding physical shape, have effective communication skills, and be proficient with a firearm weapon.

Degrees that lead to this career

Individuals must past a color blind test, psychology screening, State exam, have experience in related fields, and complete an intensive training program. Some of the careers degrees available for individuals include:

  • B.S. in Language
  • B.S. in Criminal Law
  • A.S. in Criminal Justice

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions available for individuals who want a career as Federal Air Marshal include border patrol agents and Federal Air Marshal Agents.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at