Yesterday as Grace and I were driving to her science class, we discussed several careers she is interested in. She expressed an interest in becoming an FBI agent, but we weren’t sure how to go about entering that field…and so today’s language arts assignment became a bit of research about how to join up with the FBI. Here’s what Grace found out:
FBI Special Agent Job Requirements
Not very many people who apply for the job of FBI agent are accepted. But, given the right personality traits and experience, you could have a fair chance.
First, you must be a twenty-three year-old American citizen to apply, but people above thirty-seven are not accepted. You will need to have at least a four-year degree and three years or more of work experience. You will also need a valid driver’s license.
To have any chance of getting in, your degree will have to be in one of the following:
physical science (chemistry, physics, biology, etc.)
When you apply, the FBI will look through your past in a background investigation. They will look for a trustworthy, reliable character with a good attitude. They will also look at your reputation, financial responsibility, and ability to preform well under pressure. The FBI will look at your drug and alcohol history and may take a full medical exam, including vision and hearing tests. You will need to pass a written test and attend many in-person interviews.
If you are accepted, you will agree to be sent anywhere in the world and be assigned to one of the five career paths: intelligence, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber, or criminal investigation. Then, you are sent to a 20-week training course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
At the Academy, students will be taught how to deal with the basic rules and skills of an FBI Special Agent. This includes:
the intelligence cycle
- how to handle weapons of mass destruction
- cyber fraud and intrusions
- human behavior
- communications and interviews
- information development
- physical fitness and defensive tactics
- how to collect and handle evidence
- practical problems
Fresh out of the Academy, agents are usually sent to small offices, working their way up to the larger, more complex offices. They work with given cases and assignments based on their career path. Most agents retire around the age of fifty-seven while some stay an extra year or two.