Find Your Degree
Criminaljusticedegreehub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

What is a Narcotics Officer?

Want to learn how to become an officer or agent who fights illegal narcotic distribution throughout the country? Keep reading to learn more about the job role of a narcotics officer and how to become one. 

What Does a Narcotics Officer do?

A narcotics officer works with other law enforcement departments and federal agencies. They often work alongside police officers to put a stop to the illegal spreading of drugs and the poison that it inflicts on communities surrounding us.

A narcotics officer uses their special skills to catch these criminals and apprehend them in order to cut the deadly flow of drugs. These illegal drugs known as narcotics hold great value on the streets to those transporting and using, becoming protective if not dangerous. This makes a narcotics officer’s job dangerous. 

Even though a narcotics officer’s duties may include combating narcotic possession, sales and distribution, it is these very professionals who sometimes have to perform drug deals. 

They may spend hours, weeks, or even months away from family and friends doing duties at the station such as, background research, documenting incidents, and undercover work to find leading information on the latest drug trends in order to track down criminals.  

How to Become a Narcotics Officer

Below you will find the educational and training requirements that must be completed in order to become a narcotics officer. 

Criminal Justice Training Academy– Here you will be taught the standards of basic Law Enforcement. Some topics to expect are Defencive driving, Firearms, Crime Scene Investigations, Defensive Tactics and First Responder training. 

Specialized Training Classes– These classes specialize in teaching all the elements of Narcotics such as the laws, regulations and tactics that can be used in the field.

College– Many agencies that would be hiring a Narcotics officer require them to have at least a two to four year degree from college.

After you meet your first set of requirements, you would then apply for the job. During the hiring process you will be expected to take a polygraph test, drug test and background investigation. If you pass you will then need to undergo a psychological and physical exam. 

How to Become an Undercover Narcotics Officer

In order to become an Undercover Narcotics Officer, you must sign up to be a uniformed patrol officer at the police academy. You’ll be attending college classes specializing in criminal justice, criminology and others centered on law enforcement. You will also be required to serve on the force a certain number of years before becoming an Undercover Narcotics Officer. When you become eligible, you will need to apply and go through a series of tests for the undercover position.  

Undercover positions can be incredibly dangerous but successful undercover missions can stop massive amounts of drug, weapon, and child trafficking. This makes the missions very confidential and of the utmost priority. 

When working undercover, you can’t let anyone know your true identity. The goal is to get undercover agents in and out of their missions without anyone ever knowing they played a part in taking down drug dealers and cartels.

Many undercover agents move to new cities, states, countries, or even different continents to take on undercover roles. They spend their time with people who are believed to be connected with some of the world’s biggest drug distributors. 

How to Become a Drug Task Force Officer

Drug Task Force Officers use their special skills, to conduct and coordinate investigations on illegal drug movement and team up to work with local, state, and federal enforcement agencies to conduct covert operations that catch drug dealers.

To become a Drug Task Force Officer you must undergo all the requirements as an Undercover Narcotics Officer along with being cross-trained in various fields.

All recruits must attend the DEA Training Academy and complete the 18-week training program where they will learn tactics and techniques on the use of firing heavy weapons, negotiating in crisis situations, and pursuing fleeing fugitives.

What is the Salary of a Narcotics Officer?

Classified as detectives and police, a Narcotics Officer earns an average of $63,000 a year. The actual salary of a Narcotics Officer may vary depending on location and years of experience. This is why it is important to take the initiative to attend extra training and credits before applying to be a Narcotics Officer. 

It is extremely important that you take into consideration any employment opportunities you think you want to pursue. Different employers and agencies will require you to meet different criteria. You may find you need certain types of training or certification to even be considered for certain positions. 

Related Rankings:

Top 10 Bachelor Level Criminal Justice Jobs

Highest Paying Jobs in Criminal Justice

Top 10 States for Criminal Justice Careers

Top 10 Cities for Criminal Justice Careers

Find Your Degree
Criminaljusticedegreehub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.