Recent events around the White House, including a rash of COVID-19 positive tests to those like Donald Trump, are bringing considerable attention to the uniformed personnel surrounding the president. How much do members of the U.S. Secret Service make, and how does one get in?

The website SecretService.gov explains that the mandate of the Uniformed Division is to provide protection to key buildings in the U.S. such as the White House, the residence of the vice president, the main Treasury building and Annex, different embassies and foreign diplomatic missions. They can also accompany the travels of the heads of state and foreign heads of state. 

Some secret service officers may be designated in other areas under the division as their careers progress. For example, some may be assigned to the Canine Unit, Emergency Response Team, Countersniper Team, Motorcade Support Unit and Special Operations Section, among others. 

US President Donald Trump was abruptly ushered out of a press conference by secret service agents, and later said that a person had been shot outside the White House US President Donald Trump was abruptly ushered out of a press conference by secret service agents, and later said that a person had been shot outside the White House Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

Like other federal government officials, the pay and compensation of Secret Service officers depends on education credentials, years of experience, and even the location of their work. In 2018, an officer with one year of service was categorized under Step 1: which means he or she received $47,785 in that year, a report stating the differences in salaries revealed. Meanwhile, an officer which has 22 years of service falls under Step 13 which gives an annual salary of $82,201. The position of Chief, under Step 13, would receive $156,000 per year.

The compensation is increased if the uniformed personnel member is stationed in Washington D.C.. The same report added that an officer in D.C. with a year of experience would make $61,796, while a Step 13 Officer makes $106,302. The chief in D.C. would make $166,500 per year if he or she falls under Step 13. 

The Department of Homeland Security has jurisdiction over the U.S. Secret Service. According to the Houston Chronicle, in 2019 there were about 1,300 Uniformed Division officers under the U.S. Secret Service. A special agent would make $40,634 to $51,389 or as much as $58,477 if the agent is qualified to be on GL-09 grade. Moreover, an Inspector can receive as much as $164,200.

Aside from the basic salary, members of the U.S. Secret Service are entitled to life and health insurance. They also enjoy paid holiday, sick leave and vacation leave. This is on top of the overtime pay that could amount to 25 percent of their annual pay per Law Enforcement Availability Pay.

Getting accepted into the Secret Service entails passing several tests, including physical, mental, and written exams.