A Career with the FBI

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A Career with the FBI

By: Diana Clarke

Do you have what it takes to become an FBI special agent? Do you have a sincere desire to enforce federal laws and investigate crimes?

This job requires hard work and can often times be dangerous and stressful. You'll undoubtedly be in close contact with crimminals and victims of crime. But a special agent's job is rewarding if you enjoy serving the public. Long before applying for a job as an FBI special agent, you'll need to plan carefully what you need to do to qualify.

The FBI Special Agent

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents are the Government's primary investigators, who investigate criminal violations of over 260 statutes not assigned to another federal agency. Agents may conduct surveillance, monitor wiretaps, examine financial records, or participate in undercover assignments, just to name a few.

The FBI investigates organized crime, white collar crime, such as health care fraud, counterterrorism, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, terrorism, espionage, violent crimes, drug trafficking, and other violations of Federal statutes.

The following was adapted from The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Facts and Figures 2003, FBI Priorities (http://www.fbi.gov/priorities/priorities.htm)

The FBI's priorities are to:

  1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack.
  2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage.
  3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes. Combat public corruption at all levels.
  4. Protect civil rights.
  5. Combat transnational and national criminal organizations and enterprises.
  6. Combat major white-collar crime. Combat significant violent crime.
  7. Support federal, state, county, municipal, and international partners.
  8. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI's mission.

Entry Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen, or a citizen of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Be at least 23 of age but under 37
  • Be available to work when and where needed
  • Pass hearing and vision tests, including a color vision test
  • Possess a valid driver's license.
  • Be in excellent physical condition
  • Possess a national or regionally accredited 4-year degree in a foreign language, law, accounting, or another field plus three years of full time employment.

The FBI looks for job applicants who have skills in interrogation, report writing, surveillance, and giving testimony. The selection process also includes cognitive tests, an interview, background check, polygraph test, and drug test.

The FBI also looks for individuals with character traits, such as honesty and sound judgement.

Physical Training Requirements

An example of a requirement would be the PRT, a 1.) 5 mile run test, passed with scores of 14 minutes 10 seconds or under for females and 12 minutes 40 seconds or under for males.

Forensic Science

The candidate for a scientist position must first qualify under an existing entry program and have a degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, nursing, bio-chemistry, Forensics, Medical specialties, or related field. The candidate for a Forensic Scientist position should major in biochemistry, biology or biotechnology. The Forensic scientist analyzes evidence such as hairs, firearms, DNA, photographs, fingerprints, and handwriting examples and testifies verbally and in writing.

Advice from a former FBI profiler

John Douglas, a former FBI profiler, offers the follow advice for aspiring FBI special agents:

  • Seek leadership opportunities.
  • Develop skills the FBI desires.
  • Do community service.
  • Maintain a clean record--no jail term or felony and good credit.
  • Maintain good grade point average.
  • Consider ROTC.
  • Complete an internship.

Don't major in a course you dislike, such as accounting, because you think it will help you to become a special agent. "Make sure your primary focus is finding a career you enjoy," says Douglas.

For more information on employment as a FBI Special Agent, check your phone directory for your state FBI office. Or visit the FBI online.

Sources

the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2002-2003, US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Federal Bureau of Investigation (www.fbi.gov)

John Douglas's Guide to Careers in the FBI,1998, Kaplan Books, Simon and Schuster, New York.

About The Author

Diana Clarke has taught job search skills to students in Silicon Valley. Her career and business articles have appeared in publications including the San Jose Mercury News, Cupertino Courier and the Saratoga News.


www.yourskinandsun.com


dianaclarke2001@yahoo.com

Comments

Andrew 09.07.2013. 02:55

College degree VS military experience if I want to become a police officer? Right now im enrolled in college and plan on obtaining a Masters' Degree in Accounting. However, I am worried that I will not enjoy accounting. I have always wanted to become a police officer, and I know that accounting is very sought after for other law enforement careers. (FBI) But now I am contemplating enlisting in th Marine Corps. Right now, I am not sure what to do and would greatly appreciate some insight on this. So my main questions are...

1. Will an accounting degree be good if I want to become a police officer? Will it look good on a resume?
2. Will an accounting degree set me upbetter for a job as a police officer as opposed to having military experience?
3. Do the police generally favor ex-military?
4. What are my chances of getting a job as a police officer with an accounting degree? WIll I be able to get hired with an accouting degree, assuming recieve a 3.0+ cumulatie GPA?

Sorry for the long explanation, I just wanted to get my point across and ask all of my questions. So please, anyone who can help me out here,I would be more than happy to hear your advice. PLEASE, serious answers only, from people who actally have experience in the law enforcement field!!!

THANK YOU

Andrew

Admin 09.07.2013. 02:55

It could depend on the police department(s) you are trying to get hired by. You should definitely get a college degree. Getting a degree is one of the best things that you can do if you want to become a police officer. Many departments require or prefer applicants to have college. Having a degree could help you get hired by some departments. Some departments pay their officers more if they have a degree. Having a degree could also help you get promoted during your career. Make the most of your time in college. Get the highest grade point average that you can, participate in a couple extracurricular activities, get a good internship, do some regular volunteer work, don't do anything illegal, and maintain a good reputation.

Joining the military might also be a good thing for you to do. There are many benefits that come with being in the military and with being a veteran. Being a veteran can help you get police officer jobs. Veterans get extra points on civil service tests and preference for federal jobs. Some departments that require applicants to have college will waive some or all of their college requirements for veterans. Also, for different reasons, some people simply like to hire qualified veterans whenever they get the chance to.

1. Accounting is a good major.
2. You should get a degree regardless of whether or not you join the military.
3. Many people do.
4. Your chances of getting hired could depend on things such as what department(s) you apply with, when you apply, how well you do on written tests and during interviews, and whether or not you have an acceptable background.

Getting police officer jobs is becoming more and more competitive. Do whatever you can to make yourself the best candidate that you can. All else being equal, a candidate that is a veteran with a college degree has a very good chance of getting hired. I would consider joining the military after you get a 4 year degree. Consider trying to become a military officer. Consider local, state, and federal jobs. Best of luck!

Admin

connor 16.05.2013. 03:02

Are these good choices if I want to pursue a career in the FBI? I wish to pursue a career in the FBI. I was thinking of majoring in accounting and minoring in criminology. Would that be a good choice?

connor

Admin 16.05.2013. 03:02

Yes. Becoming an FBI Special Agent is a very competitive process. Visit the FBI's website. Below are some minimum requirements to become an FBI Special Agent.

You must be a U.S. citizen or a citizen of the Northern Mariana Islands. You must be at least 23 years of age, but younger than 37 upon your appointment as a Special Agent. Age waivers may be granted to preference eligible veterans who have surpassed their 37th birthday. You must possess a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by one of the regional or national institutional associations recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. You must have at least three years of professional work experience. You must also possess a valid driver's license and be completely available for assignment anywhere in the FBI's jurisdiction.

You must have at least a 4 year college degree to become an FBI Special Agent. Any degrees that develop research and analytical skills are desirable educational backgrounds for FBI Special Agent candidates. Accounting is a great choice. Whatever school you choose and whatever major you choose, make the most of your time and money. Get the highest grade point average that you can, participate in a couple extracurricular activities, get a good internship, do some regular volunteer work, don't do anything illegal, and maintain a good reputation.

Getting law enforcement officer jobs is becoming more and more competitive. Do whatever you can to make yourself the best candidate that you can. For example, keep a good driving record, don't get bad credit, improve all of your communication skills as much as possible, practice to improve your observation and memory skills, and become as physically fit as you can. Becoming an FBI Special Agent is a great goal. However, many federal agencies have criminal investigators or special agents. Consider trying to become a criminal investigator or special agent with other agencies too. Best of luck!

Admin

lionheart 15.05.2007. 04:25

I need career advice, thinking about a career in the FBI as a criminal profiler? I'm still not sure yet but i think I want to become a supervisory special agent with the NCAVC or a criminal profiler as its more commonly known. Of course I realize that I will spend many years as an FBI special agent first and even then getting into the NCAVC and even then its not guaranteed. I'm only a freshman in high-school but I want to start planning on a career as soon as possible. Right now I'm just looking for any kind of advice such as useful courses to take in college, working conditions of an FBI special agent and/or criminal profiler or alternate careers in the FBI.
I'm generally an intelligent person and I'm good at figuring things out and reasoning- I'm a logical thinker. I just want a career where i can use my skills and also make the world a better place in some way. If you know of any other careers (in or outside criminal justice) that sound like what I'm looking for that would also be a big help.

Thank you for all your help.

lionheart

Admin 15.05.2007. 04:25

Getting in to the FBI is very difficult. Getting in to the elite NCAVC is even more challenging. I use to be interested in working for the FBI until I learned that you have no choice on where you will be stationed. Needless to say, I've researched what it takes to get in to the FBI. I also chose a course of study in college that will help to get in to the criminal justice system.
Working towards joining the FBI starts in high school. You have to consistently work hard to get good grades and boost your resume with community service and extra-curricular activities. When it comes to choosing a major in college there are several that the FBI recommends. Most people believe that Criminal Justice would be the obvious choice, but in actuality, that is not one of the recommended majors. The FBI's website list four majors that they are interested in. These include Accounting, Law, Language, and Computer Science. I recommend that you try to double major in college choosing one of the above mentioned majors and also psychology (to help with the NCAVC). While your in college you should definetly apply for an honors internship with the FBI. You must have at least a 3.0. Additionally, it is important that you maintain a high GPA your entire college career.

After college you could try and apply to the FBI right away. You may also choose to further your education and increase your chances of being hired by obtaining your masters, law degree, or doctorate.

Another job that might interest you is becoming an intelligence analyst for anyone of the federal agencies (military, CIA, FBI, DEA, etc.).

Admin

Derek 14.06.2013. 15:10

Does the FBI accept a degree in Criminal Justice? Hi, I've been planning to pursue a career as a FBI Special Agent, but I first plan on going to college for at least four years and joining Law Enforcement as an officer or work as a private investigator for three years, as experience. However, I've been looking at the FBI requirements, and I should pass the physical test as well as the background check, but I've yet to qualify for a college degree or experience (just graduated from High-School.) Would Criminal Justice be considered to be a degree for the job, and would working three years as an officer or a private investigator qualify as well?

Derek

Admin 14.06.2013. 15:10

Yes. However, you should probably consider choosing a different major. Consider choosing accounting, computer science, a foreign language, or law. If you get a criminal justice degree, you might need to have at least 3 years of experience working as a police detective to be considered. Whatever major you choose, make the most of your time and money. Get the highest grade point average that you can, participate in a couple extracurricular activities, get a good internship, do some regular volunteer work, don't do anything illegal, and maintain a good reputation. Getting law enforcement officer jobs is becoming more and more competitive. Becoming an FBI Special Agent is a very competitive process. Do whatever you can to make yourself the best candidate that you can. For example, keep a good driving record, don't get bad credit, improve all of your communication skills as much as possible, practice to improve your observation and memory skills, and become as physically fit as you can. Becoming an FBI Special Agent is a great goal. However, many federal agencies have criminal investigators or special agents. Consider trying to become a criminal investigator or special agent with other agencies too. Best of luck!

Admin

CJ 04.10.2009. 01:28

I still havent found a career. How can i choose, there are so many? any ideas
websites?
i have gone from career to career
from fbi to astronaut to firefighter to writer to movie critic to journalist and through a whole bunch more
plz how do i pick one
any quizzes that may help me figure it out

CJ

Admin 04.10.2009. 01:28

Here's a good website, just make an account and do the quizzes
http://www.careercruising.com/
But mostly u should choose whatever ur good at or like
I'm figuring out too=)

Admin

moo 07.12.2010. 23:34

What should I start learning if I want to be an FBI in the future? I want my future career to be FBI related. Are there certain classes I should take in highschool? I'm a junior and is there a specific type of subject I should be learning?

moo

Admin 07.12.2010. 23:34

College prep. You'll need a degree.

Admin

Isaac 01.10.2012. 04:17

How Can You Become A FBI Agent? I'm thinking of my Future job Career as A FBI Agent.
How do you become a FBI Agent?

Right now I am in High School, 10th Grade and want to be a FBI Agent.
What classes I need to continue to take to make my way towards to a FBI Agent?

After High School I am planning to go to college.
What classes I need to take during collage to be a FBI Agent?

After College, How do I make myself notice to the FBI?

I Know these are alot of questions but I only want to know all the information.
Please give me all and any information on How To Become A FBI Agent!

Isaac

Admin 01.10.2012. 04:17

You will have your best chance of becoming an FBI agent were you to major in accounting and then go to law school and secure a law degree and get some experience in criminal law in a law firm prior to applying to the FBI as they want people with some experience and most FBI agents are accountants as they deal with money all the time and the FBI trains them in the way the FBI works, which is classified information and only when one is sworn in as an FBI agent will one learn what this information entails. Let me tell you, the FBI training is a very intensive and it's worth it if one is determined to pursue a career with the FBI as they are well trained and ready to go at any time. The life of an FBI agent isn't conducive to married life as one can be gone for weeks at a time and that isn't a good situation for maintaining a strong family life, especially were one to want a part in raising children.

Admin

Kenna 23.11.2009. 06:29

does anyone know information about a career as an FBI agent? im looking at a career as an FBI agent, or something along that line of work. can anyone tell me vital information i should know? do i need certain college degrees? requirements? income? and even what kind of work im going to be doing?

Kenna

Admin 23.11.2009. 06:29

If you want a federal job, remember you need to have Good Credit (weird huh). Well start by working on your credit. Get a 4 year degree (or more advanced)... preferably in business. Dont get criminal justice, that degree is useless. & get at least 6 years of experience. Thats about it!


Alot of people apply into federal jobs. The reason most of them get denied is because of their CREDIT... please dont forget that!!

Admin

jdogcool 15.08.2011. 21:04

What are the chances of becoming a FBI agent? I am thinking about seeking a career in the FBI. But first I would like to know the percentage of the chance of becoming a FBI agent. I googled it and found to nothing. Thanks, Jake.

jdogcool

Admin 15.08.2011. 21:04

http://www.fbijobs.gov/111.asp

The official FBI site and requirements needed to be considered.

good luck

Admin

Cody 26.03.2013. 00:21

Military Intelligence Officer or Military Police Officer for FBI career? What major? I'm a senior in high school and I am planning on doing U.S. Army ROTC to become an officer. I am wanting to major in something along the lines of Criminal Justice or Criminology. I want my Army career to help me with a future career in the FBI. I was told that Military Intelligence and Military Police Officers are great candidates for FBI jobs. I have also considered doing a minor in a foriegn language such as German or Spanish. Do you have any suggestions?

Cody

Admin 26.03.2013. 00:21

Getting law enforcement officer jobs is becoming more and more competitive. Becoming an FBI Special Agent is a very competitive process. Joining the military could be a very good thing for you to do. Being a veteran can help you get law enforcement officer jobs. Veterans get extra points on civil service tests and preference for federal jobs. Also, for different reasons, some people simply like to hire qualified veterans whenever they get the chance to. If you can become an officer in the military, do so. I would probably choose Military Intelligence before Military Police, but both would be good choices I think. However, I would consider choosing accounting, computer science, or a foreign language as you major instead of criminal justice or criminology if your goal is to become an FBI Special Agent. I would definitely consider majoring in Spanish since you were maybe going to minor in it anyway. Spanish would be a good choice. Become as fluent in Spanish as you can. Whatever college major you choose, get the highest grade point average that you can. Do whatever you can to make yourself the best candidate that you can. For example, don't do anything illegal, maintain a good reputation, keep a good driving record, don't get bad credit, improve all of your communication skills as much as possible, and become as physically fit as you can. Becoming an FBI Special Agent is a great goal. However, many federal agencies have criminal investigators or special agents. Consider other agencies too. Best of luck!

Admin

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