I heard about the coolest (and totally top secret) job the other day. In one of those friend of a friend conversations, I learned about a physician assistant who is going to work for the CIA. The job opportunity really piqued my interest. Based on the retelling of this individual’s experience so far, the clinical position pretty much fits the CIA stereotype complete with arms training, a bag full of disaster supplies and deployment to an area of the country that’s a known hot zone. 

If you’re a nurse practitioner or physician assistant with significant clinical experience and a bent for adventure, working for the CIA just might be for you. Here’s a bit more information about the opportunity based on the Central Intelligence Agency job posting, which you can check out here

What kinds of patients will I be treating? 

According to the CIA, the agency uses nurse practitioners and physician assistants to “deliver medical and traumatic care within austere environments”. This might include everything from “treating illness, injuries and medical emergencies” to “”establishing and operating remote independent duty clinics” and “providing didactic instruction in survival skills”. 

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Where will I work?

NPs and PAs employed with the CIA begin their jobs in Washington, DC area. Eventually, clinicians deploy as part of a team to various locations across the globe. Deployment may last up to 6 months. All NPs and PAs will be required to complete a one-year deployment at some point, but there are options for this lengthier deployment that include bringing one’s family and working in a more traditional clinical setting. 

What are the qualifications to work with the CIA?

The CIA requires that NPs and PAs are licensed, certified and have at least five years of full-time experience in emergency medicine or surgery with primary care experience. They must also be US citizens. Desired qualifications also include a military background, interest in international affairs, and foreign language proficiency. A medical and psychological exam, polygraph interview, and comprehensive background check will also be included as part of the interview process. 

How much will I earn?

The starting salary for nurse practitioners and physician assistants employed with the CIA is $103,435.  A higher starting salary may be possible depending on experience. 

How do I apply?

If you’re a NP or PA interested in working for the CIA, check out the online job application. Applicants must submit a resume, unofficial transcripts for all degrees, copies of certifications/licenses, and at least one professional reference. 

Do you have an out-of-the box nurse practitioner or physician assistant career? We’d love to hear more about your experience! Reach out to thriveap@thriveap.com if you would like your job featured on the ThriveAP blog. 


You Might Also Like: 3 Ways to Work Internationally as a Nurse Practitioner 


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