How to become a federal agent

Get Program Details

Complete this form to download your free brochure. This will only take a few moments.

A criminal justice degree can open doors to many positions but perhaps none as intriguing as a career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI describes their responsibilities as challenging, exciting and challenging, as everyday individuals will have the chance to serve their country. A wide variety of positions are available in this federal agency for those with a bachelor’s or master’s in criminal justice and those who are interested will find the requirement rigorous but rewarding challenging.

The FBI’s core values: FBI agents are considered some of the best in the world in their field and will exhibit some of the values normally associated with being a true patriot. A few of these ethics the FBI requires of its agents are compassion, fairness, leadership and a taciturn obedience to the U.S. Constitution.

A day in the life of an FBI agent: Television and movies have dramatized the life of an FBI agent to high levels. Some FBI jobs for those with a criminal justice degree will be behind a desk while others may be in the field collecting information. Despite the actual physical aspect of the job, all positions within the FBI help to maintain the country’s security and are an integral part of helping to dissuade criminals and terrorists.

Duties of a federal agent: A federal agent’s duties may entail one or several of more than 200 different categories of investigation. A few of these include wiretapping, examining the business records for potential white collar criminals and investigating many aspects of organized crime.

Internship programs: Those who wish to become federal agents may get a better idea of the job through one of the FBI’s internship programs. The agency provides two opportunities for budding careers.

The Honors Internship Program: This position is available for exceptional students and offers a salary.

The Volunteer Internship Program: This program is strictly for volunteers and gives undergraduates and graduates an opportunity to explore potential jobs within the organization.

Special agent qualifications: A federal agent will exhibit extraordinary skills in one of the following areas:

  • Language
  • Accounting
  • Computer science and information technology
  • Law

Recruiting events: These skills are the prerequisite for any or entry programs for the position of federal agent. In addition to the five prerequisite skills, the FBI looks for those with military backgrounds and law enforcement experience.

How to apply to the FBI: Working for the FBI can be accomplished by applying over the internet at the agency’s website or by entering one of the many recruiting events the organization holds every year.

Benefits: Being an employee of the federal government has its perks as the government provides a benefits package.

The FBI’s drug policy: All FBI agents must pass a drug test to qualify for recruitment. Any use of an illegal drug within the last decade will necessitate ineligibility.

Background investigation: Potential agents must pass a thorough investigation regarding past endeavours. Any default on a student loan or felony conviction will constitute an immediate dismissal.

New agent training: Once accepted into the fold, the FBI provides a number of training facilities for new recruits to learn the ropes. The training is tough and lasts 20 weeks, but those who get by will be fully trained to use firearms and a number of refined intelligence techniques.

Different types of federal agents

Hostage rescue team: This counter-terrorism unit, established in 1983, responds specifically to situations requiring urgent tactical response to complex cases. This area of the FBI is part of the Critical Incident Response Group based in Quantico, Virginia. Recruits are required to possess at least three years of military or law enforcement experience and must be in peak physical condition.

Special agent: Special agents are responsible for a number of different duties and can be called upon to testify in court or gather important information to help counter illegal activities. The job demands a person who can adapt to any type of situation.

Intelligence analysis: The function of an intelligence analyst is to gather information for the FBI in certain areas of designation. This type of career could include working in an international or domestic location in a number of the FBI’s divisions, including criminal investigation, counterintelligence or counterterrorism.

Information technology (IT): For those who are handy with computers, the FBI is always on the lookout for agents possessing computer skills. A number of careers in this field are available for those with a degree in criminal justice, such as a position in the Cyber Division or the Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

FBI police: The FBI has its own special police unit that helps provide security to the many buildings and locations of the organization.