Special Agent Requirements - FBI

Samuel T., past Special Agent Recruiter for the FBI, gives us the run down on the requirements and skill sets needed to apply for an FBI Special Agent position.

First off, this is an extremely competitive selection process and very few individuals find employment with the FBI as Special Agents. The minimum requirements, I and the FBI feel are most critical, are a bachelor's degree in any subject, at least three years of work experience (unless educated and extremely proficient in areas of cyber crime, there may be an exception), at least 23 years old and not older than 37 years. The reason for a cutoff at 37 is that there is a mandatory federal retirement age at 57 and one needs to have 20 years of service to be eligible for retirement benefits. It's also a retention issue. On the low end they consider 23 as an age of maturation. If you don't have any of these requirements met or any of the special skill sets , the odds of you getting in are extremely slim, slim to none.

Once someone is hired as a special agent they attend instruction at the FBI Academy, and once their Academy training is complete they are assigned to one of the 57 field offices around the country and work on specific investigations. The FBI is broken out into programs with specific investigation focuses, the programs include Counter-terrorism (both international and domestic), Counterintelligence, Cyber Crime, Criminal Investigations (bank robberies, etc.), Civil Rights, public corruption, crimes against children, and mail and wire fraud. There are other areas of investigation, however, these are the most common.

Read more about what happens once you're hired on as an FBI Special Agent.

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Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.
Earning a degree may not qualify you for specialized careers that require more education or experience in the field.