In this article, Academicrelated.com has discussed how to become an FBI Agent in 2020, FBI Agent 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, right? FBI is an acronym that stands for Federal Bureau of Investigations. It is an elite organisation with its members referred to as FBI agents. These personnel are responsible for the safety of America and her citizens.
The FBI agents’ job description revolves around combating life-threatening challenges such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime and they do this on a daily basis. In executing these duties, they make use of both computer 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 Do I Become an FBI Agent?
To become an FBI agent, you have to follow this step by step guide to arrive at your goal. On how to become an FBI agent, the following is required:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, finance, science, computer technology, or foreign language;
- Obtain two years of experience in a job related to your major;
- Verify that you are within the ages of 23-37 and that you meet the US citizenship requirements;
- Scale through in the physical fitness test, multiple drug, background checks, and polygraph tests;
- Complete the meticulous New Agent Training.
FBI Agent Requirements
Certain requirements must be met before one can even begin to think about becoming an FBI agent. These requirements are encompassing in that they not only include your age and citizenship but also 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 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 is to make sure that FBI agents will not only have mental maturity and experience, but also physical strength and endurance.
It isn’t enough to meet the FBI age requirement as the application process will likewise include a painstaking background check and security clearance. This is beyond the standard records inquiry that you might have with other positions, as 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 scale through the FBI’s Personal Fitness Test. To buttress this point it is explicitly stated by 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 find out if you have the required level of fitness to make it in 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 are expected to do pull-ups likewise. If you are not quite 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 agent requirements required for intending agents, assuring that the applicant doesn’t have any underlying physical condition that could be impedance afterwards 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.
FBI Agent Job Description
Talking about FBI agent job description, the agent’s role is to protect United States citizens by investigating federal crimes. FBI agents work in five different divisions including intelligence, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, Criminal and Cyber, investigating crimes ranging from bombings to identity theft. Some agents may be working outside while others will be working in the office.
Those working outside the office gather evidence, question suspects or witnesses and perform surveillance operations as field agents while some other agents may work in the office performing technical tasks which include 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 be an addition to an estimated 33,100 jobs to this sector during this period.
FBI Agent Salary
The FBI agent salary is not fixed as there is a wide variety of differing pay levels for law enforcement officials, 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 making progress in the job, even staying at the GS-10 scale, there are various levels that can bring pay all the way up to $65,321 on a yearly basis. Furthermore, the base pay has a cost of living addition that is at a default 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 living bump between about 16% to all the way 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. For individuals who find their way into managerial and supervisory roles at the FBI, such persons can get to GS-15, which has a top salary of $142,180 annually. Generally, FBI agents are some of the most highly skilled and compensated people working 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 broken down into the five different divisions/categories of cyber, intelligence, criminal, counterintelligence, or counterterrorism. Depending on the area of expertise and training of an FBI agent, specific job duties will vary by role. Be that as it may, in general, FBI agent duties may include:
- 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
- Use of weapons
- Studying changes in criminal patterns
- Maintaining mental and physical fitness
The FBI Academy is operated by the Bureau’s Training Division and is dedicated to being the world’s premier law enforcement 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 in 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. and 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 in a safe and effective manner;
- Investigative techniques, firearms skills, and defensive tactics.
- Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operation, wherein safe, efficient driving techniques are taught the FBI and DEA personnel and other government and military personnel.
- Law Enforcement Executive Development.
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 mould oneself into the kind of applicant the FBI is looking to hire. It’s not going to be an overnight event, and the hiring process itself 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 the job of an FBI Agent, it is important for applicants to be in possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution. Most appropriate study areas for the FBI agent job include cyber crime, computer forensics, biology, criminal justice, and business administration.
What GPA do you need to be a FBI agent?
Prospective FBI agents are mandated to be in possession of a bachelor’s degree with an overall Grade Point Average of at least 3.0.
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.