How Do I Become An FBI Agent?

Many exciting television and movie productions show the exciting world of the FBI. While watching these shows, you might have wondered what real FBI Agents do each day. You might have even asked yourself, “How do I become an FBI Agent?” With the right skills and education, you can pursue a career as an FBI Agent.

Work as An FBI Agent

FBI Agents are trained in a number of fields dedicated to preserving the security of the United States. Agents may deal with Internet crimes, domestic terrorism, civil rights violations, bribery, drug-trafficking and many other challenging situations. It’s rare to have a dull day at the office. Agents split their time between office and field work. Every day as an FBI Agent may bring entirely new and unfamiliar problems. If you wish to become an FBI Agent, you need to have the skills and attitude to handle this non-traditional job.

Education and other Requirements

To become an FBI Agent, you must possess a four-year degree from a university recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. The FBI requires certain degrees or experience to meet the qualifications of one of the five Entry Programs. The five Entry Programs are Accounting, Computer Science, Language, Law and Diversified.

The Accounting Program requires CPA certification or a four-year accounting degree with significant experience. Graduates with computer science or electrical engineering degrees may apply for the Computer Science Program. Those with certain Cisco certifications and a four-year degree may also apply for the Computer Science Program. Students with degrees and proficiency in a qualifying foreign language may apply for the Language Program. Qualifying languages include Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and many more. Those interested in the Law Program must have a Juris Doctor degree from a law school. Finally, college graduates with other degrees and three years of additional work experience may apply for the Diversified Program.

All applicants wishing to become an FBI Agent must be United States citizens between the ages of 23 and 37. Additionally, you must meet certain physical fitness requirements and pass an extensive background check.

Geting the Job and the Salary

The FBI requires a series of applications and tests before you can become an FBI Agent. If you successfully pass these tests, you will be hired based on a priority system that depends on what special skills are most in demand. You can increase your chance to get the job quicker by having experience in these special fields, which may include the military, foreign languages, and more.

The FBI assigns new agents into five different divisions: Intelligence, Counterintelligence, Cyber, Counterterrorism and Criminal. Each of these divisions has their own duties. The Intelligence division analyzes and researches security threats. Agents in Counterintelligence specialize in preserving the United States intelligence community. Cyber FBI Agents defend the country against computer attacks. Counterterrorism Agents work on detecting domestic terrorist cells. The Criminal division focuses on tracking violent and financial crimes.

FBI Agents make about $50,000 a year while training at the FBI Academy. After the Academy, most agents can expect to make about $60,000 to $70,000 annually.