How to Become an FBI Agent 2024 | Education, Training & Application Guide

In this article, Academicrelated.com has discussed how to become an FBI agent in 2024, the FBI Agent’s average salary, and how hard it is to become an FBI agent. This would be of huge benefit to you. Do enjoy the ride!

FBI isn’t an unfamiliar acronym. FBI is an acronym that stands for Federal Bureau of Investigations. It is an elite organization with its members referred to as FBI agents.

This personnel is responsible for the safety of America and its citizens. 

The FBI agents’ job description revolves around combating life-threatening challenges such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime, and they do this daily.

In executing these duties, they use computers and financial know-how to protect against fraud, cyber theft, and white-collar crimes.

In this article, we have discussed the following

  • How to become an FBI agent
  • FBI agent requirements
  • FBI agent job description
  • FBI agent salary
  • What does an FBI agent do
  • FBI Academy 

Yes, all for you in this article. Do enjoy the ride!

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How to Become an FBI Agent

How Do I Become an FBI Agent?

To become an FBI agent, you must follow this step-by-step guide to reach your goal. To become an FBI agent, the following is required: 

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, finance, science, computer technology, or a foreign language;
  2. Obtain two years of experience in a job related to your major;
  3. Verify that you are between the ages of 23-37 and that you meet the US citizenship requirements;
  4. Scale through in the physical fitness test, multiple drugs, background checks, and polygraph tests;
  5. Complete the meticulous New Agent Training.

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FBI Agent Requirements

Before one can even begin to think about becoming an FBI agent, certain requirements must be met.

These requirements are encompassing in that they include your age and citizenship and cover the applicants’ overall background.

The first among the FBI agent requirements is that you must have citizenship with the U.S. Not being a US citizen means kicking against the bricks because you won’t be given consideration.

Your place of residence for the last three to five years needs to be in the United States.

To earn a position as an FBI agent, you have to be within the age range of 23 to 37 years old.

The age criteria are very necessary because while certain waivers are available, only people who meet this age category will be considered for the position.

This ensures that FBI agents have mental maturity, experience, physical strength, and endurance.

It isn’t enough to meet the FBI age requirement as the application process includes a painstaking background check and security clearance.

This is beyond the standard records inquiry you might have with other positions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation will also look into employment, military records, medical history, law enforcement, credit, etc.

Also, candidates will go through written tests, numerous drug tests, a thorough criminal background check, and even a polygraph test, also known as a lie detector test.

In addition, FBI agent qualifications include a thorough physical fitness test

Before approval, you’ll have to pass the FBI’s Personal Fitness Test.

To buttress this point, it is explicitly stated on the FBI’s official website that “you must already be in excellent physical condition before applying.”

The FBI Physical Fitness Test app permits you to test yourself to determine if you have the required fitness level to make it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI Physical Fitness Test will require sit-ups, push-ups, a 300-meter sprint, and a 1.5-mile run.

To qualify for the Hostage Rescue Team, you must do pull-ups.

If you are not meeting the FBI physical test requirements, you can take the time to get into a workout routine to support your fitness scores.

FBI Medical testing is also one of the FBI requirements for intending agents, assuring that the applicant doesn’t have any underlying physical condition that could be an impediment later in their career.

Candidates should also have had their driver’s license for a minimum of six months before applying.

Visit the FBI’s website for further findings on application requirements.

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FBI Agent Job Description

Regarding the FBI agent’s job description, the agent’s role is to protect United States citizens by investigating federal crimes.

FBI agents work in five divisions, including intelligence, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, criminal, and Criminal and Cyber, investigating crimes ranging from bombings to identity theft.

Some agents may work outside, while others will work in the office.

Those working outside the office gather evidence, question suspects or witnesses, and perform surveillance operations as field agents. In contrast, some other agents may work in the office, performing technical tasks, including gathering evidence online and maintaining FBI security systems.

Before one becomes an FBI agent, he/she undergoes a highly selective process in which such a fellow is expected to pass a series of exams and physical tests before being considered.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Detectives are required to see a job increase of 4 percent through 2024.

This will add an estimated 33,100 jobs to this sector during this period.

What is the Passing Score for the FBI physical Fitness test?

According to FBI jobs, the passing score for the FBI physical fitness test is 12 points.

12 points mean at least one point per stage, and you get a minimum of 5 minutes of rest between two events.

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FBI Agent Salary

The FBI agent salary is not fixed as law enforcement officials have a wide variety of differing pay levels, but a good number will earn a very good take home.

Being that the FBI is one of the United States’ most elite and relevant law enforcement organizations, agents and leaders of the Bureau can expect to receive some of the best salaries in law enforcement.

A scale is used for government jobs payment, and trainees for the FBI start at a GS-10 level, where pay starts at $50,246 annually.

As one keeps progressing in the job, even staying at the GS-10 scale, various levels can bring pay up to $65,321 annually.

Furthermore, base pay has a cost of living adjustment of 15.95% for all areas of the nation, so even at the least pay grade, an FBI agent can make almost 16% beyond the base salary.

There can be variation in the cost of a living bonus between about 16% and up to 41% of base pay, meaning that agents who work out of a field office in a high-cost area will receive a larger increment in their take-home.

While New York and San Francisco offer the highest cost of living increases, agents in Kansas City, Detroit, and many smaller offices still receive a substantial increase.

As agents in the field make their way up in the ranks, they can move up to GS-11 through GS-13 pay grades, which currently top out (for base pay only) at $102 288 annually.

Individuals who find their way into managerial and supervisory roles at the FBI can get into GS-15, which has a top salary of $142,180 annually. Generally, FBI agents are some of the most highly skilled and compensated in US law enforcement.

Remembering that that cost of living bonus is added on top of all of these base salaries, the compensation for FBI agents is very high.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), one of the best organizations for salary information, FBI agents make an average of $63,380 yearly.

Detectives and criminal investigators made an average of $85,020 annually.

While these are averages for a good number of people in law enforcement, FBI agents, in general, are on the higher side of this scale.

Being a lucrative career in the US, newly-minted FBI agents can make a very comfortable salary, earning around $60,000.

An FBI Agent typically makes between $39k – $115k.

What Does an FBI Agent Do?

FBI agent duties are typically divided into the five divisions/categories of cyber, intelligence, criminal, counterintelligence, or counterterrorism.

Depending on an FBI agent’s area of expertise and training, specific job duties will vary by role.

Be that as it may, in general, FBI agent duties may include the following:

  • Collecting and compiling data/information and developing a case against criminals
  • Working with local law enforcement
  • Performing surveillance
  • Gathering evidence
  • Analyzing data and maintaining it in databases
  • Investigating foreign operatives, criminals, terrorists
  • Participating in raids and arrests
  • Questioning and interviewing suspects
  • Self-defense
  • Use of Weapons
  • Studying changes in criminal patterns
  • Maintaining mental and physical fitness

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FBI Academy 

The Bureau’s Training Division operates the FBI Academy. It is dedicated to being the world’s premier learning and research center and an advocate for law enforcement’s best practices worldwide.

The FBI Academy is located on 547 acres within the immense Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia.

New agent trainees use riot gear during a practical exercise.

Recruits spend countless hours studying everything from ethics to investigative techniques, learning about Bureau operations, gaining experience conducting intelligence-led investigations, fine-tuning their computer skills, and pushing their bodies to their physical limits.

FBI Academy is situated about 36 miles outside Washington, D.C. It is a full-service national training facility—with conference rooms and classrooms, dorms, firing ranges, a gym and pool, a library, a dining hall, and even a mock town.

So, the academy is quite equipped.

The training programs offered by the Academy are many and include training on:

  • The use of Firearms of all Bureau-issued weapons safely and effectively;
  • Investigative techniques, firearms skills, and defensive tactics.
  • Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operation, wherein safe, efficient driving techniques are taught to the FBI and DEA personnel and other government and military personnel.
  • Law Enforcement Executive Development.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it hard to become an FBI agent?

Becoming an FBI Agent is an enormously difficult and competitive process.
It requires years of time, planning, and hard work to mold oneself into the kind of applicant the FBI is looking to hire. It will not be an overnight event, and the hiring process can take a year or more.

How much money do FBI agents make?

A new FBI special agent earns a base salary of $43,441. Typically, FBI Agents make between $39k – $115k.

What are the main FBI education requirements?

Before applying for the job of an FBI Agent, it is important for applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution.
The most appropriate study areas for the FBI agent job include cybercrime, computer forensics, biology, criminal justice, and business administration.

What GPA do you need to be an FBI agent?

Prospective FBI agents must have a bachelor’s degree with an overall Grade Point Average of at least 3.0.

Can an FBI agent get a tattoo

An FBI agent can get a tattoo.
But, to protect the image of the FBI, you may want to place your Tattoo in places where they cannot be seen easily, especially when you are in your uniform.

How long does it take to become an FBI agent?

It can take between 5 to 6 years to become an FBI agent. 
After graduating from high school, it takes another 4 years to get a bachelor’s degree.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you must apply for your FBI training.
Training usually takes between 6 to 12 months to complete.

Do you get paid while attending FBI Academy?

Yes, trainees are paid while attending the academy.
The base trainee rate is the GS-10, step 1 level, in which $43,441 is earned yearly.

Conclusion: How to Become an FBI Agent

If you are between the ages of 23 and 36 and want to fight crime, becoming an FBI agent will be a great option.

Make maximum use of the information in this guide on how to become an FBI agent, and soon you will be fighting crime and making the world a better place.

If you have further questions on what it takes to become an FBI agent, kindly leave a question.

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