Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI agents are the ones who investigate any violations of the U.S. laws and report their findings directly to the office of the attorney general. Such violations include criminal cases like robbery, espionage, kidnapping, extortion, sabotage, and fraud. Part of their job is to communicate with witnesses, do research, observe the activities of the suspects, and conducts raids. These special agents are working strictly as an investigator that is why they are not allowed to express any opinions about the innocence or guilt of suspects. It is the duty now of the lawyers employed by the federal government to determine the status of the suspects.
Agents also do testify in court but they only relay the information they have gathered. Their work is purely confidential and so they are prohibited to discuss any matters to anyone which would also include family members. FBI agents carry firearms only if they are on their assignments.
Educational and Training Requirements
The first step in becoming an FBI special agent is to obtain a degree. Among the qualifications is to be a graduate of a state – accredited law school or a college graduate with a major in accounting. Also, a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline that includes fluency in any foreign language as this is very useful and important to the bureau. In addition to that, you can also be a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline and three years of experience as full – time agent or an advance degree with two – year work experience.
To be an FBI agent, you must be a citizen of the United States and be at least 23 to 37 years of age, and in good health. Moreover, having excellent eyesight and hearing are also very essential. Your background and character will be thoroughly investigated too. Apart from what has been mentioned, aspirants must be able to pass written, oral, and physical examinations. If you will be successful to meet the said requirements, you will need to undergo an intensive training. The training will be done during the first year which is probationary and it will last sixteen weeks in Washington, DC and at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. During the training period, you will be taught how to use self – defense, weapon use, fingerprinting, criminal laws, and FBI rules and methods. When the training is completed, you will be assigned to be working at one of the field offices for the rest of the year and when you are done, you will be given permanent assignments.
Work Condition and Salary
Becoming an FBI agent would assign you to different places anytime so you need to be always ready. It is common for an FBI special agent to be on – call 24 hours a day. Because much of your time is being spent on working, you will be compensated with an annual bonus which is fixed in amount.
The basic annual salary of beginning special agents is roughly around $43,000 last 2004 but with overtime pay, the income can reach up to $53,000 annually. However, those agents who are experienced and who are working in nonsupervisory field assignments are receiving at least $64,500 annually not to mention that it can reach up to $80,600 with overtime. Supervisory agents have an annual salary of $76,000 or more. The benefits include paid leaves and holidays, retirement plans, and health insurance.
Being an FBI agent is really a tough profession because you will be dealing with danger. You will need a lot of courage and passion if you are thinking of venturing in this career. The reward is not only with the big salary in store for this job but most importantly, you can save lives and give justice to unresolved criminal cases.