How do I Become a Marshal?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2019
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Due to the image in the media, many people grew up dreaming they would become a marshal. In the United States, a marshal is a law enforcement officer who works for the federal government. They are responsible for providing support to local law enforcement officers and take over cases that meet a specific criteria. The U.S. marshal officer has jurisdiction to work everywhere in the United States.

The image in the media is one of a rogue figure, who comes into town, solves the crime no one else can solve, restores order, and leaves. In order to fulfill this dream and become a marshal, candidates must complete a specialized training program, pass the preliminary record checks, and pass the physical fitness test.

There are two paths to meeting the post-secondary training requirement for people who want to become a marshal: a college or university program in law enforcement or completion of military or other law enforcement program. Both paths required a minimum four years of post-secondary education before you can apply to become a marshal. The purpose of this educational requirement is to ensure candidate have a certain degree of maturity, are able to meet the intellectual requirements of this position, and have the dedication to complete a multi-year program.


U.S. Marshal School has a very limited number of spots available, and the competition for admission is quite high. This specialized training program focuses on law, psychology, law enforcement protocols, and human behavior. The course load is very heavy, requiring a combination of physical fitness and academic aptitude. The ability to memorize large volumes of information will serve you very well in this program.

All U.S. marshals must have a clean criminal record. Additional checks are completed as part of the application process, as the type of work that is available once you become a marshal is quite broad. Credit checks and academic penalties reviews are standard. All candidates should read the policy on drug and alcohol screening, as these tests are becoming more prevalent both as part of the application process and during the training program.

A marshal is required to be physically fit and able to complete all the duties of the position. As a result there is a physical fitness component to the training program. Students who already have a fitness regime that they follow will find this transition easier. Read the physical test requirements in advance and focus your training on meeting the published benchmarks.



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