FBI agents have the difficult job of conducting national security investigations that can be extremely sensitive. In addition, the job as an FBI agent requires an individual to enforce more than 300 federal statutes. Some matters that an FBI agent may work on include cybercrime, foreign counterintelligence, terrorism, white collar crime, organized crime, civil rights violations, public corruption, bank robberies, kidnapping, air piracy, drug trafficking, as well as other violations of federal law.
There is a specific set of criteria an individual must first meet before even being considered for a position with the FBI. This includes:
- Must be a citizen of the United States or a Northern Mariana Islands citizen
- Must be at least 23 years old, but no older than 37 at the time of being appointed as an agent. There are age waivers available for certain individuals who are veterans and are older than the age of 37.
- Must have a four year degree from a college that is accredited in the United States by the Secretary of Education.
- Must have at least three years of work experience
- Must have a driver’s license that is valid in the United States
- Must be able to travel to any area of the FBI’s jurisdiction for work
According to FBIjobs.gov, there are five special agent entry programs a person may apply under, accounting, language, law, computer science, and diversified.
Accounting Entry Program
A person that is applying for a position in accounting with the FBI must be certified as a CPA. In addition, they must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and have worked in a professional accounting firm for at least three years prior to their application.
In order to qualify for the language program an individual must have a BS or BA in any area and be fluent in a language that meets the current needs of the FBI. Some of the current qualifying languages include Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Hindu, Hebrew, Spanish, Vietnamese, Urdu, Russian, Punjabi, and Pashtu.
A candidate for this program will have to pass listening and reading tests and show a proficiency of higher than three on a speaking proficiency test.
To be considered for the law entry program a person must have a JD degree from a law school that is accredited and have worked for at least three years in any area of the law.
The computer science entry program requires an individual to have a degree related to information or computer technology or an electrical engineering degree. A person that has a bachelor’s degree in another discipline may be accepted if they have a CCNP or CCIE
To enter the diversified program a person must have a bachelor’s degree in any area plus three or more years of full time experience working. An advanced degree along with two years of full time experience working will be accepted as well.
After an individual qualifies for one of the five programs of entry, they will be prioritized in the hiring process based on the areas that the FBI is currently recruiting for.