Division of Management Services

Within the Department of Justice, Special Agents are employed within the Division of Criminal Investigation and assigned to one of the following field offices: Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Superior, or Wausau. These positions are non-uniformed, certified law enforcement officers with full police authority and jurisdiction in Wisconsin. Positions within DCI provide assistance in the investigation of crimes that may require extensive or highly specialized investigative resources not otherwise available to local law enforcement agencies. The positions are assigned to specialized investigative program areas that include: Arson; Major Crimes; Gaming; Financial Crimes; Public Integrity; Investigative Services; Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center; Internet Crimes Against Children and Narcotics.


Specific duties include: plan and conduct sensitive investigations within one of these program areas; develop and utilize various sources of investigative information including confidential informants; interview witnesses and interrogate suspects regarding possible illegal activity; execute search warrants; make arrests; write detailed reports on complex activities; secure and maintain evidence; and testify in court. As a certified law enforcement officer these employees may be subject to strenuous physical activity or adverse environmental conditions. Employees may wear a concealed ballistic vest and are armed with a handgun and handcuffs. Hours of work vary and may include night and weekend assignments. Work assignments may require overnight stays. Employees may have to respond for assignments on short notice. A large number of people are interested and apply for Special Agent positions. However, only a few individuals are offered positions, as the Department of Justice is very selective in the hiring process. We are looking for individuals who possess the qualities that are necessary to be a good Special Agent. Previous successful candidates have had life experiences (e.g., education, employment) that showed responsibility, maturity and effective interpersonal communications.

Special personal characteristics:


Willingness to work throughout the State and at unusual hours, keen observation, good memory for names, faces, places, and incidents, willingness to associate with criminally inclined persons and environments, satisfactory record as a law-abiding citizen.


The skills that are necessary for a good Special Agent include:


  • written communication
  • oral communication
  • listening
  • observation
  • analytic
  • decision making
  • planning/organization
  • human relations
  • leadership


Other qualities that are necessary:


  • honesty/integrity
  • good judgment/common sense
  • confidence
  • reliability
  • stress tolerance
  • flexibility
  • team orientation


The Division of Criminal Investigation is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer, seeking a diverse work force and actively recruiting women and racial/ethnic minority applicants. Although each time we recruit we review our requirements, the current minimum qualifications include the following:


  • Completed 4 years of higher education (at least 120 college credits); or at least 2 years of full-time experience as a certified law enforcement officer along with 60 college credits)
  • Eligible for Wisconsin Driver's License
  • Willingness to travel
  • Ability to pass physical requirements
  • Age 21 at time of appointment
  • Pass comprehensive background investigation
  • Pass Drug Screening Urinalysis
  • Special Agents must not have been convicted of a felony (unless pardoned by the Governor) which would prohibit them from carrying a firearm. In addition, a change to Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(9) took effect on September 30, 1996, making it unlawful for any person convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to possess any firearm or ammunition.


Semi-Automatic Pay Progression Structure

Special Agent
  Hourly Monthly Yearly
Point A (Minimum) $24.996 $4,350 $52,192
Point B $26.460 $4,605 $55,249
Point C $27.922 $4,859 $58,302
Point D $29.386 $5,114 $61,358


The Special Agent is an entry-level agent position with annual pay progression based on satisfactory performance. The series provides career advancement to the Special Agent - senior-level.

Special Agent - Senior
  Hourly Monthly Yearly
Point A $30.730 $5,348 $64,164
Point B $31.961 $5,562 $66,735
Point C $33.190 $5,776 $69,301
Point D $34.421 $5,990 $71,872
Point E $35.653 $6,204 $74,444



A lengthened probationary period up to 18 months will be required. Must have satisfactory job performance and successfully complete all recruit training.


Overtime will be compensated primarily in the form of compensatory time off.


All Special Agents are provided with a state-owned vehicle for business use. No uniform is required. Other necessary equipment is provided by the state.


See Employee Benefits for information on fringe benefits provided to State employees. To receive an e-mail notification when positions are posted with the Department of Justice, go to www.wisc.jobs and complete a job search.


Under ‘agency/campus’ click ‘Justice, Department of’. Make any additional changes you would like to the search criteria (e.g., location, work hours, etc.) Click ‘Search’. When your results appear, click ‘log in to save this search’ toward the upper right corner and follow the instructions.