How To Join The FBI
What is the best degree path for becoming an FBI Agent
FBI is a federal law enforcement agency of US government. They deal with the domestic intelligence and security services. They handle crimes like frauds, terrorism, illegal gaming, money laundering, robberies, Drugs, human trafficking, kidnapping and corruption etc. Like the CIA
, the FBI can also conduct overseas operations however most of the time they must be done in coordination with other agencies. FBI also provides assistance to local and state agencies
when required and requested.They hire agents nation-wide and if you want to become FBI agent, this is the perfect guide for you.
No one specific degree path will guarantee you a career as an FBI Agent. However, the most common path to becoming an FBI Agent is to have a college degree in criminal justice or a related field. Other desirable degrees include law enforcement, accounting, computer science, and engineering.
If you are interested in becoming an FBI Agent, it is important to start planning your career early. The FBI recruitment process is rigorous and includes several steps, including a written exam, physical fitness test, background check, and oral interview. It is also important to be aware that the FBI only recruits from within the United States.
The FBI is one of the world’s leading law enforcement agencies and offers several exciting career opportunities. To become an FBI Agent, you must first meet the eligibility requirements, including being a U.S. citizen and having a college degree.
Best Majors For FBI :
An FBI agent has multi-dimensional duties and responsibilities. You can choose tasks according to your degree level and type of majors. Usually a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is adequate for becoming an FBI agent. But other majors can also help you in pursuing career of FBI agent. The Best Majors For FBI.
Who can deny the importance of technology in today’s world. Most of the communications happen online or through digital media. An FBI agent must know how to keep things private and virus free. There are always people who will try to steal data of investigations. A smart FBI agent with understanding of computers can manage to hide things from third party. A FBI agent keeps record of his daily activities, investigation and cases. And information can be sensitive sometimes. In order to protect information, a FBI agent must know how to handle technology. A person with computer and technology skills will be best suited for this job.
Computer science gives you information of computers but studying cyber security will give you a closer look into technology handling.
Most crimes today happen without being physically present. Hacking is 6 billion dollar market now a days. Online hackers steal credit card information, identities and bank account details of people. Companies hire people who can protect them from cybercrimes. But these crimes can still happen. FBI agent makes sure that people who do such crimes are stopped and punished. An agent with cyber security degree will definitely be able to track down such hidden thieves.
Finance is another key skill that can add up to your value as FBI agent.
With degree in finance you can handle the financial matters of agency. You can handle and manage tax reports , financial records and money management.
Many cases also involves financial aspects like bank frauds or tax corruption. A person with finance degree can look, catch and investigate about chances of financial crimes. So a degree in finance will be very helpful for FBI agent.
A criminal tries his best to stay clean in books and leave no record. But a degree in forensic accounting will help you to spot such loopholes that were hidden at first place.
FBI agent with degree in forensic accounting will be able to investigate financial matters that require skill and expertise.
FBI agent will not only search for possible missing numbers but will also catch the perpetrators of these crimes.
Foreign diplomats committing crime on US soil will be handled by FBI agent who have knowledge of international laws and people.
FBI handles overseas operations also. These agents will be required to have knowledge of global laws and know-how of different cultures as well.
Foreign language will be considered plus point and very much needed skill to handle overseas investigation. FBI agent can choose cases according to his skill set.
Public safety administration
Public safety is first priority of any secret agent and having a degree in public safety administration is like cherry on top for FBI agent.
A FBI agent with knowledge of public safety administration will know how to keep areas safe and how to do operations with minimal injuries or deaths on scene.
A FBI agent will have a much complex job in field and ensuring public safety will be one of them.
There are genius criminals who plan well for crimes. Such criminals can plan for years and may commit crime leaving no mark or trace. A person with psychological skills can fill the missing blanks and learn the possible motives of crime.
How the criminal will proceed or what might have been the reason for crime can help in both prevention and detection of crimes.
Studying law can benefit FBI agent greatly. Knowing how the law system works? and which law apply where? will be great help in investigating cases.
With out knowing how law works an FBI agent can not proceed with investigation and cases. So a degree in law will help FBI agent to learn, explore and apply more.
Learning criminal mind set is important but sometimes you have to learn about whole scenario and situations that surround criminal.
For example you may study a criminal’s behavior through his past life, places he went, his past coworkers. And by learning all this you may predict his future move. Sociology let you play with that on bigger level.
If you want to eliminate crime in a specific area, you have to know and deal it. Sometimes the whole place is responsible for crime. For example if there is a place well known for pocket picking. Every other person will do the same crime. And you have to learn how and why they replicate this behavior and pass through generations.
Sociology provides you with high grounds to deal with crime, criminal and their environment. FBI agent will benefit greatly from major in sociology.
The most common degree for FBI agents is bachelor’s in criminal justice where you learn how the law enforcement works from investigation to trials and corrections. Degree in criminal justice gives you over view of how an FBI agent will actually perform in the field and deal with different situations.
Criminal justice provides a student with vast number of career choices. And by having a degree in criminal justice and choosing career as FBI agent, one can load himself with knowledge and experience of diverse situations.
FBI Agent Requirements
In order to get a job, only degree is not enough. You need to be eligible even before applying or your application will be dropped automatically. If someone doesn’t meet eligibility criteria he or she should not apply either.
The criteria needed to become eligible is:
- Applicant must be US citizen.
- Should never have been convicted of Felony charges.
- Must have drug free record.
- Person must not be a loan defaulter in student loans.
- If failed in urine drug test,candidates will be considered non eligible.
- Person must be a tax payer.
- Failure in paying court ordered child support will support rejection of application.
- A person must not be involved in activities against US government.
- A person must have a clean background otherwise he will be rejected.
How to apply for the job?
A person applying for job must have a relevant degree and meet eligibility criteria. After that they have to send their application to the FBI. After clearance and acceptance of your application , FBI HR will call you for an interview. You may ask for reasonable accommodation as well.
Duties of An FBI agent
FBI agent will investigate about cases, collect evidences, gather information to be used in trials, will keep information safe and have to follow case till final verdict of case.
He will also have to communicate and keep in touch with correction officers after the trial is over. An FBI agent may have to run background checks and do surveillance for evidence gathering. They also prepare and execute search and arrest warrants. FBI agents can also work on past closed cases. And can work with other agencies to solve pending cases. FBI agent must be well aware of investigation techniques and situation handling. He /She will handle firearms also so careful using and handling of firearms in situation will also be duty of FBI agent. A FBI agent will gather evidences, keep the records and will follow the case in court. Secret agent will be in working in real field work so strong skill sets are required to become FBI agent.
Responsibilities of An FBI Agent:
- gather data
- Analyze the data
- investigate crime through questioning and interviewing
- Will be computer proficient and handle all the data saving skillfully.
- will be well aware of investigation techniques
- Know the self defense
- have knowledge of using firearms
- know the patterns of crime and criminal behavior
- Will be mentally and physically fit.
Career As A Special Agent
Duties and responsibilities of FBI agent may vary according to the type of career that they choose as a special agent. These careers are
Intelligence involves in gathering all the required data and save it for future investigation.
Counter intelligence involves investigation of foreign nationals who might be spying on US government.
Counter terrorism involves dealing with any possible terrorist act that might happen on US soil. It will involve both domestic and foreign investigation.
This career deals with investigation and handling of crimes which is major duty of FBI also.
This career choice deals with protecting all the sensitive government information and stop it from leaking out in hands of enemies. FBI agent may also run forensic investigation to check for possible crime.
Salary of FBI agent
FBI agent will enter in job as GS 10 pay scale and can advance to GS 13.
Management and administration positions will be paid according to GS 14 and 15 levels.
Salary range for GS 10- 13 will be $48,000- $98,500 approximately.
Salary range for GS 14-16 will be $89,000- 137,000 approximately.
Agents will also receive 25% rise in pay due to overtime requirements.
How Long Does It Take To Become an FBI Agent?
It might take you 5-6 years to become an FBI agent. Once high school, you need to spend four years in college to earn a bachelor’s degree. Apart from this, you may spend an extra 6-12 months training and applying for the job.
Expected Job growth
FBI jobs are expected to increase by 7% in coming decade. Due to increase rate in crimes, the demand of individuals to control them is increasing day by day.
FBI agent skills that can earn you points
After choosing one of career paths. Following skills can surely add up to your work experience and learning.
Military experience will add valuable learning to your work. Many cases need that “military expertise” and knowing about law enforcement will be really helpful in investigation.
Communicating and understanding other languages is very much appreciated in FBI jobs. You can have multi cultural work experience where you will not only enjoy diversity but will also control crimes by knowing how your opponents think.
Knowing law can make your investigation much easier and chances to prove your skills much better.
Having scientific knowledge can boost your career as FBI agent. Many evidences need forensic investigation and knowing how to tackle and preserve them can be great challenge. A person with scientific knowledge will not only deal with it but it also gives you a vague idea of how results can come out.
If you are not ready to give your time to this job. Quit the idea. The job demand hard work and sometimes late sitting hours or extra field work for investigations etc. The job is better for you only if you have a passion for job. And you enjoy being FBI agent.
Is Being An FBI Agent The Right Career Choice For You?
If you are exceptionally good and have clean back ground than the job is for you.
FBI hires agents throughout the year and they choose the best people for their organization and train them for Excellency.
If you have passion, courage and stamina to work for long hours and through tough situations than you can apply for this job.
FBI Agents May Also Be Known As:
- Secret Agent
- Special agent
- FBI agent
1. US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Crime in the US 2013, Table 74: Full-Time Law Enforcement Employees: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-74
The Best Degree Paths For Becoming An FBI Agent : Complete Career Guide
FBI is a federal law enforcement agency of US government. They deal with the domestic intelligence and security services. They handle crimes like frauds, terrorism, illegal gaming, money laundering, robberies, Drugs, human trafficking, kidnapping and corruption etc.
CJUSJOBS Team Member