The FBI is America’s largest and most prestigious criminal investigative agency. It is the best of the best.
The FBI truly exemplifies professionalism and excellence in every field that it works in. Its agents have some of the most challenging cases, and they are expected to perform at the highest levels.
This makes recruitment especially competitive, with only a few chosen individuals being approved by the FBI for employment.
Becoming an FBI agent
Being an FBI agent isn’t about walking into a job; you have to do a lot of training and take a few qualifications before you can get there.
Doing a BA in policing or similar will give you the foundations that you need to undertake further training, but it isn’t required to become an FBI agent.
To become an FBI agent, you need to look at your job history and decide if you have any subject matter expertise in criminal investigation or counter-terrorism.
You will also need a very good working knowledge of the English language and outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
It is also important that you have excellent attention to detail and analytical skills. You will also be expected to work very closely with your colleagues.
What should you expect?
A typical day as an FBI agent involves working in small teams and collaborating with your colleagues to solve a case. Not only do you have to be a very good crime investigator, but you also need to be able to communicate your findings in a way that a judge and jury will understand.
You will need to work closely with forensic scientists and liaise with local and federal law enforcement agencies.
You must also have the aptitude for office work because there is plenty of it, even when investigating an active crime scene.
You can expect a lot of travel, especially if you move into an agent role within the FBI’s field offices or resident agencies.
How to apply
The first step to becoming an FBI agent is to research each field of the FBI and make sure that you have the aptitude for them.
For example, if you have a strong aptitude in counter-terrorism, then you should consider applying for an agent position within that division instead of general criminal investigative work.
It is also strongly advised that you apply with a college degree in either law enforcement or criminal justice. It doesn’t matter if it’s in criminology, criminology and law, or forensic science as long as it provides a very good understanding of how the justice system runs.
How much do FBI agents train?
FBI special agent trainees will spend their days learning new skills and completing important practical training.
It is essential that they pass the FBI Academy’s physical fitness training and academics, which is why they will attend basic training. This is intensive training involving academics and practical exercises.
The academic portion will teach them about psychology and human behaviour as well as firearms safety, defensive tactics, and communication skills.
They will also receive state-of-the-art firearms training and will participate in hands-on laboratory exercises to test their investigative abilities.
What Can You Expect After Passing Training?
FBI agents usually spend their first two years in the field and then spend a further two at their resident agency.
They go on to specialise in the division of the FBI that they are in, so if you are working in counter-terrorism, you will specialise in either counter-espionage or counter-proliferation.
This is because there is a distinction between international terrorism and domestic terrorism.
As an FBI agent, you will be working on high-priority issues within your division, whether it’s white-collar crime or cybercrime. You will also be able to further develop your investigative skills and work with some of the best legal minds that America has to offer. You may even find yourself working internationally at some point.
Becoming an FBI agent is an excellent career choice and an honour for the country. It is a very difficult and challenging field, and you need to be mentally, emotionally, and physically flexible to help with the constant changes that can take place.
Many FBI agents are very well-rounded people who have studied many different disciplines, while others have a background as law enforcement or intelligence officers. Those who do not fall into either of these categories usually still possess an innate passion for intelligence work.
There are many advantages to becoming an FBI agent, including working in a highly professional environment. You will receive excellent training, superior benefits, and huge opportunities for upward mobility in terms of salary, promotion, and professional growth.
Are you cut out for the role?
If you have a passion for the law and justice system, you are probably cut out for the role of FBI agent. It is a job with a huge sense of honour, thanks to the work that your colleagues are doing behind the scenes.
If you have good investigative skills and can communicate your findings to ensure that justice is served in high-pressure situations, then you could also be cut out for this job.
The bottom line is that not everyone is cut out for this job because it takes a certain level of dedication and passion to do it well. It takes months of intense training before an FBI agent gets to work independently at their resident agency.
The FBI is unique because it operates on a national level. It also has more agent field offices than any other division of the law enforcement community.
The FBI enforces hundreds of federal statutes and covers everything from terrorism to cybercrimes as well as threats against the U.S government.
The FBI is not just a law enforcement agency, but a federal prosecutor, intelligence gatherer, and an investigative entity all rolled into one big division.
As such, an application to join the FBI should be made with care because this job isn’t just about arresting criminals or investigating cases in bulk – you are part of the United States government’s secret service division and must act as such at all times.
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