How To Become an FBI Special Agent

There are few jobs more stressful and more dangerous than being a police officer or an FBI special agent. They expose themselves to extraordinary danger everyday just to keep the community and the country safe from criminals and other bad elements of society. If you think that this is your ideal job, then here are a few tips in securing that coveted career in law enforcement as an FBI special agent (that's FBI operatives for you and me).

Being a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation is no joke. Aside from having to deal with the dangers of the job, a secret agent has to maintain his or her cover very well. These people would often get assigned to various parts of the country to do missions that could potentially be beneficial to national security. One who wishes to be a special agent has to have solid determination, a courageous attitude and patriotism that could eclipse any daunting task or terrifying mission objective that he or she needs to accomplish. It can get very testy out there - especially if you have to do these missions alone with minimal assistance.

Before you get your head transported to some remote location elsewhere, try checking if you qualify to apply for the FBI position based on these following minimal criteria:

  • The aspiring FBI special agent must be between 23 and 27 years of age.
  • The applicant should be an American citizen.
  • The applicant has to have a clean record - with no outstanding criminal or civil cases.
  • The applicant must also be a holder of a four year bachelor's degree.

It seems rather simple, right? These expectations look like the ones you'd expect from employers for other positions or companies. To put the FBI touch on the application process, those who wish to join the ranks need a Top Secret security clearance and in most cases, a TS/SCI clearance. These clearances are only given out after passing a battery of Single Scope Background Investigation tests. Aside from this, the candidates will also have to test their physical mettle by passing a Physical Fitness Test. Lastly, applicants are made to take a lie detector test.

If you're still left standing after those series of tasks, congratulations, you can head to the FBI Academy at Virginia after filling out a non-disclosure agreement. The training entails 21 weeks' worth of classroom hours and simulated law enforcement exercises. Upon graduation, the new agents are assigned to different destinations depending on their expertise. Agents can also be moved from one area to another, should the higher authorities feel that the interest of the nation would be better served with that agent placed at a different assignment.

If you want to be an FBI special agent, make sure that your record is clean and you can take all the rigors of the training in the academy seriously. The tasks in the academy don't only test applicants at a physical level but also at a mental level. The stress can really get to you, so keep your eyes on the prize, and you will attain your goal eventually.


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