What Does it Take to Become a FBI Special Agent?

HelicoptersChallenging, exciting, satisfying; are these all qualities you look for in a job? If so, you might consider a career as a FBI agent. As an FBI agent you would be responsible for conducting national security and enforcing over 300 federal statutes. Possible jobs tasks may include matters of terrorism, cyber crime, organized crime, white-collar crime, public corruption, civil rights, bribery, bank robbery, kidnapping, air piracy, and fugitive and drug-trafficking.

Qualifications and education: To be considered as an FBI applicant you must be a U.S. citizen, possess a valid diver’s license, and be at least 23 years of age (but younger than 37) upon your appointment as a special agent, along with other requirements as well. To gain admittance to the FBI academy, you must be in excellent health and pass several physical requirement tests such as visual requirements and physical fitness. To qualify at the minimum level of GL-7 you must possess a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university. For more information on qualifying for GL-7 and GL-9 levels, you can go to the Secret Service Employment Opportunities Webpage. All applicants must qualify under one of the five Special Agent Entry Programs; accounting, computer science/information technology, language, law, or diversified.

Training: Special Agent trainees must successfully pass two training programs; the Basic Criminal Investigator Training program and the Special Agent Basic Training program. Special Agent trainees will begin their career at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The trainees will live on campus and will participate in a broad range of training activities such as physical fitness, defensive tactics, practical application exercises, and use of firearms. Trainees will also study a wide variety of academic and investigative subjects.

ComputersSalary and Promotion: New special agents are paid at the GS-10 level, which is base salary plus locality pay which can range anywhere from $61,000 to $69,000. Special agents can advance to a GS-13 grade level for an in field, non-supervisory assignment. Throughout the career, a special agent can qualify for additional training and a promotion to a variety of managerial and executive positions which are grade levels GS-14 and GS-15. For more information on the government pay scale and grade levels, you can go to Salary and Wages. Group health and life insurance programs, vacation and sick pay, and a full retirement plan are some of the benefits you would receive as a special agent. If you are considering a job as a Special Agent view the FBI’s Website to find out more.

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