FBI VS CIA What’s the Difference Between Two Agencies?

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FBI VS CIA What’s the Difference?

Young Students have questions regarding the FBI vs CIA, and other agencies. They are unfamiliar with these agencies’ working and ask questions like, is the FBI an intelligence agency, is CIA a federal agency?

Keeping in view students’ confession, we have come up with an article that will answer your entire question about FBI vs CIA. The comprehensive article includes information about the agencies, their organizational structures, their area of operations, and many.

Make sure to read every section of the article to answer all your questions regarding the FBI or CIA. After reading the article, if there remains something missing, drop a comment in the article’s comment section, and we will reply to you with an answer or solution to your question.

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Federal Bureau of Intelligence FBI

CIA-VS-FBIThe federal bureau of intelligence, commonly known as the FBI, works under the Department of Justice. The intelligence agency is a governmental agency responsible for protecting the United States from any attack. The officers of this agency are usually wearing business-suites. So, the next time you see anyone in a suit, you must not think he is a businessman; he can be an FBI agent too.

The agency came into being after the merger of various branches of the department of justice, and the goal was to curb the drug dealers and local gangsters, such as John Dillinger. As time passed, the agency gained credibility, and many sophisticated tasks were assigned to it, such as the surveillance of terrorist elements within the United States.

The FBI’s operations are usually covert; the agents are present almost everywhere within the United States. They might be working in embassies, schools, or gas stations to collect and gather different information. The agents are usually assigned a task to gather the information, analyze it and act on it.

The Federal Bureau of intelligence works in collaboration with the police, and whenever they are a threat, they inform the police and launch a full-fledged operation to minimize the threat.

After reading this section, your question regarding the FBI, what they do must be answered.

The organizational structure of the FBI

The Federal Bureau of intelligence is a part of the Department of Justice. The bureau is divided into an office of director which has five functional branches.

  1. National Security Branch
  2. Criminal, the cyber, response, and Services Branch
  3. Human resource Branch
  4. Science and Technology Branch
  5. Information and technology branch


Central Intelligence Agency CIA

difference between cia and fbiThe CIA is a foreign intelligence agency of the United States. The working of a central intelligence agency is complicated because its operations are usually classified, so the general public is generally confused. You must have a rough understanding that the central intelligence agency is usually involved in global operations, and their objective is to secure the United States’ goals.

The agency came into being in 1947 after the termination of World War II. The agency’s first operation was to collect information about South Korea and the Soviet Union during the cold war. The soviets were enemies of the United States, so the Central intelligence agency was designated to gather information about them so that they can’t harm the goals and objectives of the United States.

The agency doesn’t tell much about its employees, finances, budgeting, and operations, but it is a common understanding that the employees of central intelligence agencies are not simple agents; they are much more trained and have competent skills. For example, the agency has cyber-attack analysts, translators, and negotiators.

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The organizational structure of the CIA

The central intelligence agency has an executive office and four directorates.

  1. Directorate of intelligence –the directorate is responsible for gathering and analyzing information.
  2. National Clandestine Service –the directorate is responsible for clandestine operations. Operations that are meant to be executed without being noticed are called clandestine operations.
  3. Directorate of Support –is responsible for providing necessary administrative support
  4. Directorate of Science and technology –uses technological means to support the information gathering mechanism.


What’s the Difference Between FBI and CIA

Both CIA and FBI are intelligence agencies, and they have their areas of operation. This section of the article will include a comparison chart through which you will compare and contrast the working of both the agencies. You might also have questions such as what do the FBI and CIA stand for. If so, this comparison chart is going to answer them along with many other questions.





Stand forCentral Intelligence AgencyFederal Bureau of Intelligence
IntroductionThe CIA is a civilian foreign intelligence agency of the Federal government of United States. Its primary duty is to collect and gather information from around the globe for the protection of US citizens and US national goals.The FBI is a governmental agency that serves under the US Department of Justice. The agency serves as an investigation agency as well internal information gathering agency.
MotoYe shall know the truth and it shall set you freeFidelity, bravery, and integrity.
Formed18th September 194726th July 1908
Number of EmployeesThe number is classified but according to a fair estimate, the agency has twenty-five thousand agents and thirty-five thousand staff members.The number of Employees in the FBI are:

·         Thirteen thousand agents

·         Three thousand intelligence analysts

·         Twenty-two thousand staff members.

Headquarters of the agencyLangley, VirginiaJ. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, D.C.
Annual budget of the agencyThe information is classified, however, according to a fair estimate, the budget of the CIA is 18 billion USD.The budget of the Federal Bureau of intelligence is approximately 8.8 billion USD
Preferences of the agencyThe focus of the CIA is on gathering information from different parts of the world. The agency has a very limited domestic role.The FBI protects the United States from terrorist attacks, cyber-attacks, and espionage.
Parent AgencyCIA doesn’t have any parent agency, it operates on its ownDepartment of Justice, Office of director national intelligence.

 The above chart demonstrates the functions, budget, and motto of the FBI and CIA. The upcoming section of the article will address the question of what is the difference between the FBI and the CIA. Make sure you read till the end so you can easily choose between FBI vs CIA

Difference between the CIA and the FBI?

It is always a good idea to discuss the difference between CIA and the FBI. The CIA and FBI are part of the US intelligence community. Their primary job is to collect information and pass it on to the respective authorities. The only difference between CIA and the FBI is that the CIA doesn’t have a law enforcement role. They gather the information and pass it on to the relevant authorities who react to the incoming information.

The CIA generally works on the aspects that are related to the national security of the United States. Be it border security or US national policies’ security, the CIA monitors them closely and ensures that no planned activity takes place to sabotage them. The CIA also operates internationally and ensures the protection of its citizens abroad. This means that the CIA’s sphere of operation is global and has a network spread throughout the globe.

On the contrary, the FBI’s role is limited. Its operations are limited within the territorial boundaries of the United States. The FBI gathers and analyzes information regarding US citizens living in different states. This information is then interpreted to investigate and prevent any US citizen’s involvement in any unlawful activity.

Now that you have an answer to what’s the difference between the FBI and CIA, you can choose which agency you want to work to. Being a CIA agent, you will have the opportunity to work internationally, which means that you will be visiting different countries to serve the US interests. But being an FBI agent, you will have to stay within the United States and prevent any unlawful activity within the United States’ territorial boundaries.

Our job was to educate you about the FBI CIA difference. Now it is your choice!

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Joining CIA or FBI

Joining both the intelligence agencies is not very difficult. You just need to meet the requirements and take part in the examination. Once you successfully pass through it, you are on your way to becoming a CIA or FBI agent.

To join the CIA, you need:

  • To be a US Citizen
  • You must 18 years or older
  • To pass the background check
  • You must be a college graduate

These are some of the requirements for becoming a CIA agent. Knowing of a foreign language is always an added advantage.

To join the FBI, you need:

  • To be a US citizen with no criminal record
  • To have a college degree
  • To pass the background check
  • To pass different examinations within the FBI.

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