The road to becoming an FBI Special Agent is extremely competitive, challenging, and a true investment of your time. The hiring process may take over a year and includes a variety of assessments and interviews. If you have always dreamed of becoming an FBI Special Agent make sure you understand what it takes to land the job.
What Is an FBI Special Agent? What Does a FBI Federal Agent Do?
There is a wide variety of jobs you can do as an FBI Agent. You are responsible for enforcing over 300 federal statutes, conducting criminal investigations, executing surveillance, and most importantly protecting the American people. The FBI works to investigate and thwart all different kinds of threats to national security.
What Kind of Background Do You Need to Become an FBI Special Agent?
All FBI applicants must be between the age of 23 to 36, hold American citizenship, and have no prior felony convictions.
All candidates must hold a bachelor's degree at minimum and have at least two years of work experience. The FBI looks for agents with the following skills:
- Cyber Security
What Is the Salary for an FBI Special Agent?
During the 16 week training at the academy you will receive a modest salary. Once you are fully badged you will get a starting salary ranging from $53,743 to $58,335 a year. More seasoned agents can earn up to $113,00 a year. There are many non-monetary perks included in the job like; stellar health benefits, a thrift saving plan, life insurance, and ample vacation days.
What is involved in the FBI Special Agent Hiring Process?
Step one: Application
The first step is to submit your online application to become an FBI Special Agent. Be prepared with all your personal information and have references handy. You will be required to submit a fitness evaluation as part of the initial application.
Step two: FBI Phase I Test
Once you submit your application if you meet the pre-screening requirements you will be asked to take the FBI Phase I Test. This is a three hour long exam which tests your logical, behavioral, and cognitive skills. It is essential that you excel on this test. If you do not get a 70% or higher you will not go to the next level of recruitment.
Learn more about the FBI Test.
Step three: "Meet and Greet" Interview
At the interview you will learn the ins and outs of the Special Agent Selection System. You will be evaluated by a team of interviewers. Don't be fooled by the "meet" aspect of the interview you are being evaluated from the moment you walk in, this is the FBI.
Step four: Phase II Test and Interview
If you excel on the "meet and greet" you are lucky enough to enter Phase II: which consists of a written task and a formal structured interview. The written task will take 90 minutes. You will be given a set of background information and you will need to analyze data and prepare a comprehensive report. The Phase II Structured interview will last 60 minutes. You will face a panel of interviewers focusing on your critical thinking skills and overall abilities.
Step five: Conditional Job Offer and Physical Fitness Test
Hooray! If you pass Phase II you will be given a conditional job offer (CJO). You will then be prompted to schedule a physical fitness test (PFT) and undergo a background investigation. You are not in the clear: the PFT test is an extremely challenging test of physical endurance which aligns with the strict FBI physical protocol.
How Can You Prepare?
The most important part of the hiring process is the Phase I FBI Test. There are 14,000 employees at the FBI with countless more candidates. If you do not pass Phase I you will not even be considered for the job.
Learn more with this FBI Entrance Exam Practice Test.