Many people trying to become a U.S. Diplomat, often like to know how long it takes. Below is my chronological path to becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO). Keep in mind that many people go through this process several times, stalling at any certain point. I consider myself fortunate to have gone completely through on just the second try.
Took the FSOT the first time in Baltimore, MD. Failed Summer 2010
Signed up for the Foreign Officer Test (FSOT) 18 December 2014
Took the FSOT in Columbia, Maryland 2 February 2015
Found out I passed FSOT 26 February 2015
Submitted personal narratives (PN) 19 March 2015
Received email stating I passed PNs 8 May 2015
Studied all summer with DC group Summer 2015
Took and passed Oral Assessment (OA)!! 10 September 2015
Received World Wide availability medical clearance 2 October 2015
Received Top Secret Security Clearance March 2016
Passed final suitability March 2016
Received letter stating I was on hiring register 1 April 2016
Received email offering me a slot at A-100!!! 26 September 2016
Begin A-100 9 January 2017
To give you an idea of how many people attempt this each year, here is an online source of the numbers: In an average year, 20,000 people apply to be Foreign Service Officers, with an average of only 300 – 400 people being accepted into recent A-100 classes. This site also explains the process much better and tips on how to navigate it.
I encourage you to pursue this career if you know it is what you want. You can start today here!