How to Become an FBI Agent

If you want to know how to become an FBI agent, then read on!

Being an FBI agent is probably one of the most exciting careers there are in the criminal justice field. FBI agents work under the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an agency of the US Department of Justice that is both an intelligence agency and an investigative body. The agency’s main investigative priority at the moment is counter-terrorism.

What is an FBI Agent?

FBI agents are especially trained individuals working under the Federal Bureau of Investigation tasked to perform the goals of the agency which is to protect and defend the country, uphold its criminal laws, as well as provide leadership and services related to criminal justice to different agencies and partners. Aside from counter-terrorism, the FBI also looks into other national priorities including counter-intelligence, cyber-warfare, fight against public corruption, civil rights protection, organized crime, and the fight against major white-collar crime and violent crimes.

A novice agent will start out as a probationary agent after undergoing rigorous training. He shall then travel a career path that follows the set rank structure as follows: special agent, senior special agent, supervisory special agent, assistant special agent-in-charge, special agent-in-charge, assistant director, associate executive assistant director, executive assistant director, deputy chief of staff, chief of staff and senior counsel to the director, associate deputy director, deputy director, director. Only the President of the United States can appoint FBI directors who are expected to serve the term of five (5) years, subject to reappointments. They can resign or be fired by the President. FBI special agents have to qualify for their issued firearm.

Education and Training

Aspiring FBI agents must have completed a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field to be considered for the training program. Preferable field majors include criminal justice, information security, computer crimes, or any of the physical sciences fields such as biology, physics, and chemistry. Completed courses in law, investigation, and law enforcement are advantageous to the applicant as well as special knowledge of foreign languages, engineering, accounting, or finance.

Resource: Top 10 Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Applicants will not be made to undergo training unless accepted into the program. The rigorous training program will require candidates to undergo 850 hours of instruction for a period of 20 weeks. Study will focus on four areas including academics, case exercises, firearms training, and operational skills. Other areas of study are study ethics, investigation techniques, and bureau operations.

Becoming an FBI Agent

The career of an FBI agent starts from the time application for inclusion into the training program was approved. However, applicants are accepted provided they have at least 3 to 5 years of work experience in a related field and have passed various written and medical examinations. Applicants will have to pass extensive background checks; medical, physical, and psychological assessments, as well as written and oral examinations.

Candidates must be at least 23 years old but not more than 37 years old on the appointment date. They should have a clean criminal history and must be psychologically fit and mentally stable. FBI offers five entry programs and the applicant must qualify for one which can either be law, accounting, computer science/ information technology, language, or diversified. Individuals with more skills have more chances of qualifying. Get that exciting assignment by knowing how to become an FBI agent.