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Hot Career: FBI Special Agent

By Edited Jun 22, 2015 1 1

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, wants you. The agency is in the midst of its strongest recruiting drive in history. Superior candidates are academically strong and physically fit. Perhaps you possess what it takes to serve your country as an FBI Special Agent.

The FBI requires you have post-secondary education for consideration as a Special Agent candidate. A Bachelor's degree is standard however many Special Agents posses a Masters or even a PhD. Apply directly to the FBI or if you are in the top of your class the agency may actively seek you out. Only individuals in the top percentile of their college class are recruited by the FBI.

As a new agent, you spend 20 weeks at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. The academy is located on a Marine Corps base. You are instructed on four core essentials: academics, case exercises, firearms training and operational skills. New agents have 850 instructional hours. 63 of the hours are web based.

In academics core training you receive information on law, ethics, interview techniques and report writing. You are educated on counterterrorism and counterintelligence. A class tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum located in Washington, D.C. reminds you why law needs core values.

Case exercises involve learning how to handle real world scenarios. Hogan's Alley is the simulated town where you practice techniques on hired actors playing terrorists and criminals. You are directed on how to present evidence at trials during court role-play.

Agents rarely shoot weapons in the field, but you must be weapons certified. The FBI requires certification in shotguns and handguns issued by the bureau. To receive your certification, receive a score of 80 percent or better on two of three certification courses for each weapon and a cumulative score better than 80 percent for all three courses for each weapon. You must familiarize yourself with bureau issued submachine guns and carbines.

Operational skills include instruction on defensive tactics and surveillance. More than 90 hours are focused on undercover operations, disarming techniques and weapon retention. Practice your new survival techniques in Hogan's Alley. Paint guns are used to test your tactical skills.

In addition to academics, Special Agents must remain in peak physical condition. You are given a standardized physical fitness test including sprints, sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run during the 1st, 7th and 14th week of your training. New agents must maintain a cumulative score of at least 12 to pass their physical requirements.

The annual salary for an FBI Special Agent ranges from $48,000 USD for a first year agent to $87,000 for a senior agent with 12 years experience. Backgrounds in foreign languages, accounting or engineering are some of the specialty skills the agency is seeking.



Aug 5, 2010 10:55am
Informative article. I seen a show on Dr. Phil about a retired FBI agent that had started a PI agency. The agency was run by a man and the private investigators were women, and the bosses first name was Charlie. True the Charlie's Angels show they consulted with him on the phone, but had never met him, until the Dr. Phil show. They were regular mothers and housewives, but highly trained and skilled in their profession also and had to meet stringent requirements. Interesting job.
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