FBI Special Agent
At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, multitasking is a way of life for Special Agents. Whether they are conducting surveillance, identifying leads, interviewing subjects, testifying in court, tracking down money trails or advising on all matters related to our national security, their work entails far more than the typical 9 to 5. If those collective roles make up a career you wish to pursue, consider applying to the FBI.
Our Special Agents seek out cyberthieves, infiltrate organized crime rings and oversee terrorism investigations, often training local, state and foreign counterparts on the latest technologies in intelligence gathering and data analysis. Of course, our ultimate mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.
While individuals of all backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply to be an FBI Special Agent, we’re specifically seeking individuals with the following skills:
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH (STEM): Your STEM background could significantly contribute to our work in keeping up with evolving threats and aggressive actions taken against our national security. We need Special Agents who are logical thinkers and experienced in network security, computer science, software engineering, mathematical formulation and technology. Because technology permeates every aspect of what we do, counterterrorism investigations, as well as technology and computer-based cybercrimes (website hacks, intrusions, data theft, ransomware and other attacks) make up some of our top priorities.
LINGUISTS: You may have been raised speaking a language other than English, taught it for a few years or even participated in intensive learning before going overseas to use it. You know that your language skills can make a difference, whether your specialty is Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, Farsi, Russian, Spanish, Somali, Uzbek, Korean, Portuguese or another foreign language. Why not apply your knowledge of language and culture to a rewarding and sought-after career as an FBI linguist by translating written or audio materials, interpreting during a crucial interview of a subject or providing cultural expertise relating to any matter over which the FBI has jurisdiction?
LAW/LEGAL: By applying your legal knowledge to our casework, you will be instrumental in helping investigate criminal activities and identifying authorities and other entities to further investigations. You will have an opportunity to work with federal, state and local law enforcement officers and the Intelligence Community and you will assess the legal implications of tools, technologies and techniques used by the FBI.
MILITARY/LAW ENFORCEMENT: You bring a highly valued set of tactical skills and expertise, as well as leadership, integrity, teamwork and dedication forged by your armed forces or law enforcement career. Whether you have experience in detective work, as a team member of SWAT or as a helicopter/jet/rescue pilot, K-9 handler, bomb tech, operational paramedic or otherwise, your knack for raising challenging questions and responding to crises on a daily basis is a pretty good indicator that an FBI career is the next step for you.
EDUCATION/TEACHING: Whether you’re a college or university professor (tenured, adjunct or otherwise), a faculty member or an elementary, middle or high school teacher, you have a gift for relating with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Your teaching skills make you methodical and allow you to consolidate comprehensive information into strategic, analytical lesson plans. Your skills will easily translate to a Special Agent career, where you’ll enhance your team’s understanding of threats, vulnerabilities and gaps by investigating matters and building relationships with communities and individuals from all walks of life.
CYBERSECURITY/TECHNOLOGY: Whether you work in counterterrorism, criminal investigations or preventing cyberattacks, investigating computer-based crimes (website hacks, intrusions, data theft, ransomware, etc.) make up some of our top priorities. You will work on highly collaborative investigative teams to stop counterintelligence plots, fraud, bank robberies and more. You can expect continued specialized training once onboard and opportunities to work on some of the Bureau’s most complex cases.
HEALTHCARE SERVICES/MEDICAL: Special Agent Paramedics, Occupational Health Nurses, Employee Assistance Counselors and Mental Health Assessment Specialists possess unique knowledge, skills and experiences that are highly valued by the FBI. Our professionals use their medical training and experience to work in settings throughout all FBI operations — both in the office, as well as in the field — to protect the American people. Whatever your specialty, there’s a good chance that you could be embedded within our Critical Incident Response Group’s (CIRG) specialized teams, including SWAT, the Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU), the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) or within the FBI Lab in Quantico, VA.
PSYCHOLOGY/COUNSELING: Your understanding of human behavior is critical in analyzing motives and providing insights about psychological characteristics and behavioral patterns that help keep people safe. Your analysis helps assess threats and identify individuals and groups who may pose risks to national security or public safety. Your expertise and compassion ensure the most appropriate and effective handling of sensitive cases involving children or trauma victims and situations, including hostage negotiations.
ACCOUNTING/FINANCE: You are driven to follow the money trail and discover hidden assets, connecting the dots to trace transactions back to their source. You will use your accounting and finance background to analyze data, then consult with and educate your team. Your diversified financial skills will easily adapt to all areas: from counterintelligence and cybersecurity to organized crime and terrorism. From testifying in court to conducting sensitive financial investigations, you will hone your accounting and financial skills at the highest level.
Special Agents bring a wealth of backgrounds, skill sets and experiences to the Bureau.
Here’s what you’ll need to succeed:
- An ability to think on your feet and be a team player.
- A high-level of physical fitness necessary to effectively respond to life-threatening situations on the job.
- Exceptional problem-solving and analytical skills.
- Be detail-oriented, yet keep a strategic focus.
- Ability to objectively evaluate information and make sound judgements.
- Honesty and integrity must be the foundation of who you are.
- The drive and commitment to make a difference in the communities you serve.
All applicants are evaluated on core competencies of collaboration, communication, flexibility/adaptability, initiative, interpersonal ability, leadership, organizing/planning and problem solving/judgment.
The FBI Special Agent position requires significant commitment and dedication from you and your family, but it’s an experience you will never forget. As a Special Agent, you will join an elite team of people committed to the highest standards. Our team has a critical mission and our people are sought after as some of the best in their fields.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 23 years old and not have reached your 37th birthday on appointment.
- Have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from a U.S.-accredited college or university.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information) Clearance.
- Have two years of full-time professional work experience (see work experience waiver for exceptions).
- Meet the FBI’s Employment Eligibility requirements.
- Possess a valid driver’s license with at least six months driving experience.
- Meet all FBI physical requirements, be physically fit to complete training at the FBI Academy at Quantico and maintain a high level of fitness throughout your career.
- Commit to serving as a Special Agent for a minimum of three years.
- Successfully complete approximately 19 weeks of employment as a Special Agent trainee, while housed at the FBI Academy.
- Work a minimum of a 50-hour workweek, which may include odd hours, and be on call 24/7, including holidays and weekends.
- Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execute search warrants, raids and similar assignments.
The Special Agent Selection System (SASS) is a mentally and physically challenging process designed to find only the most capable applicants. The selection process typically takes one year or more to complete.