This blog will focus on careers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the application process to become an agent. The audience for this blog are college students majoring in Criminal Justice or with an interest in law enforcement who are specifically interested in a career with the FBI. Also, the audience for this blog are specifically college seniors who are looking for careers with the FBI specifically being a a federal agent.
The FBI was created by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte in 1908. There are many different career choices within the FBI that one can pursue aside from the most popular one being a FBI Special Agent. The top mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against any terrorist attacks. The FBI investigates wide ranges of crimes from Terrorism, Counterintelligence, Cyber Crime, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Public Corruption, Civil Rights, Organized crimes, White Collar crimes, Major Thefts, and Violent Crimes. This shows that FBI investigate over 200 categories of criminal violations related to federal law and national security.
As a criminal justice major, I am highly interested in becoming a FBI Special Agent. The required education for FBI is to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, complete FBI training program, meet physical standards and background process to receive a Top Secret Clearance (TSCI). The median salary of a FBI employee is $64,332 and salary increases based on locality pay. There’s no typical day for a FBI employee as job duties vary each day based on the types of investigations being worked on.
There are five entry programs for special agents which are Language, Law, Accounting, Computer Science/IT, and diversified. In order to apply, agents must qualify for one of the five entry programs.Candidates will be tested in their expertise area and will be prioritized according to FBI critical needs at the time. Those who are considered for further testing go through Phase 1 testing which is at the closest FBI facility. Applicants who are successful in Phase 1 testing move forward to Phase 2 which includes a writing test and a panel interview with former Special Agents. After successfully passing Phase 2 and being referred according to agency’s critical skills needs, applicants go through FBI extensive background check which includes a polygraph, a physical fitness test, and a medical test. After passing the background checks, applicants attend a 20 week training session at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. At the academy, agents participate in 85 hours of instruction and receive training in academics, case exercises, physical training, firearms training, and operational skills. Agents use the training and skills learned at the FBI academy in the daily jobs.
College students should start looking and applying for internships with the FBI. The FBI offers both paid and unpaid internships for college students. Interns will have to go through the same background checks as any regular employee. Getting accepted as an intern would be a great head start and would get their foot in the door. It is better to start early and take advantage of opportunities such as internships to have a better chance of getting your dream job in the future.
Here’s a video that shows the FBI Academy and trainees performing duties: