FBI Careers

FBI agents have the difficult job of conducting national security investigations that can be extremely sensitive.

In addition, the job of 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.

How to become an FBI agent

FBI Careers

FBI Requirements

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 who 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.

Computer Science

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 who 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.

Salary Information by State

State Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
District of Columbia2,870$133,890$64.37$175,340$85,560
New Hampshire390$83,970$40.37$145,270$54,720
New Jersey3,740$103,960$49.98$163,240$60,990
New Mexico1,840$77,480$37.25$99,990$43,830
New York9,950$110,390$53.07$169,100$61,410
North Carolina3,060$66,150$31.80$122,760$43,400
North Dakota370$80,890$38.89$129,750$48,030
Rhode Island390$90,340$43.43$140,860$70,160
South Carolina1,160$68,170$32.77$137,610$40,980
South Dakota220$74,700$35.91$129,750$46,450
West Virginia230$87,670$42.15$149,410$41,700
Puerto Rico520$85,560$41.14$145,480$33,270

Annual Average Salary: Top 10 States

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $133,890.

These are the top 10 earning states in the field:

  • District of Columbia - $133,890
  • Alaska - $128,410
  • Hawaii - $119,290
  • Maryland - $117,800
  • Washington - $110,620
  • New York - $110,390
  • California - $110,320
  • New Jersey - $103,960
  • Illinois - $100,140
  • Virginia - $100,010
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Detectives and Criminal Investigators, OCC Code 33-3021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Michael Morales

About Michael Morales

Michael Morales is the Webmaster and Editor in Chief for Legalcareerpaths.com. With a strong background in Web Publishing and Internet Marketing, he currently works as an independent consultant. A former paramedic and ems educator, he enjoys punishing himself doing triathlons and endurance sports. Michael currently lives in sunny Northern California, home of the highest tax rates in the world.

4 Responses to FBI Careers

  1. Avatar
    Karl Norby #

    FBI can be intellectually stimulating and offer a sense of fulfillment, as employees contribute to safeguarding the nation’s safety and security.

  2. Avatar
    James Sanchez #

    Working for the FBI often involves collaborating with other law enforcement agencies, which can lead to exciting and high-impact investigations.

  3. Avatar
    Joseph Kaiser #

    It’s a unique opportunity to work in the FBI. To serve your country by protecting national security and upholding the law.

  4. Avatar
    Walter Shelton #

    Thanks for this! I was looking for more requirements to be able to get into the FBI. This is such a great help! Wish me luck.

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