FBI Agent: Duties, Responsibilities, and Applying

Working as an FBI agent puts you in the midst of an elite law enforcement unit.

The FBI or the Federal Bureau of Investigations hires professionals who hold a variety of criminal justice disciplines. FBI career roles are quite varied. They include working in areas such as the prevention of cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, corruption, drug trafficking along with white collar crime. One of the best ways to have a career in the FBI is by taking a degree in a criminal justice program.

There are many positions that you can take in the FBI such as working as a special agent, investigative support services, hostage rescues amongst many others.

The pay varies based on specific position as well as the job grade. FBI trainees are also paid locality adjustments. With time, as the agents gain greater experience, it is possible for them to proceed to higher grade levels. In the non-supervisory roles, trainees can move up from the GS-10 to the GS-13. In the leadership as well as management roles, level raises can be from GS-14 to GS-15.

FBI Job Duties and Responsibilities

FBI special agents are involved in various critical investigations which have a huge bearing on US national security. Their investigations encompass various criminal activities. These include organized crime, cybercrime, copyright violations, terrorism, extortion, drug trafficking as well as foreign counterintelligence amongst many others.

They collect evidence on various crimes, execute arrest warrants and testify in the federal courts. They perform interviews on suspects and witnesses when they are obtaining information on various illegal acts.  Other functions carried out by FBI include preparing reports, record-keeping, and filing forms amongst others. The are all related to their investigative work.

If you are proficient in other languages apart from English, then you will be able to undertake linguist positions with the FBI. Here, you can apply both your investigative and language skills to study and block various criminal activities. Other functions in which the FBI special agents are involved in include carrying out undercover assignments, surveillance as well as observation in order to unearth evidence on illegal activities.

Special agents can carry out monitoring of activities where there is a wiretap authorization by a court of law. Other areas of investigative work in which the FBI agents are involved include arresting fugitives. This is so they can collect as much evidence as possible that will assist in criminal prosecutions.

FBI Agents as Hostage Rescue Teams (HRTs)

There are some FBI agents that have law enforcement experience or military experience and they are generally involved in Hostage Rescue Teams (HRTs). These people have undergone specialized military and response training that enables them to promptly respond to urgent and complex situations. This applies both within and outside the US. These are the agents who generally investigate terror threats against the United States, arrest the terrorists before they act and perform tactical operations which are very risky.

The HRT has been organized into various tactical teams. They are backed with great mobility teams including helicopters, intelligence. Logistics, communications and command centers and personnel.

Another important function of FBI is that of intelligence analysis. Intelligence analysts try to decipher critical information from intelligence reports. They also play a major role in protecting the US national security. Analysts work with disparate pieces information in order to a create a profile of possible threats that the country faces. FBI agents work all over the world and if you are seeking a career position in the agency, relocation is one of the conditions for employment.

Applying for FBI Jobs

There are various ways in which you can become an employee of the FBI and embark on a rewarding career. If you want to protect the United States’ national security from various threats, you can do the following:

Apply directly to FBI job postings on the FBI website: https://www.fbijobs.gov/

Apply for an FBI Job through a talent network

  • Through the Talent Networks, aspiring employees are able to identify their areas of interest. The Talent Networks also match potential candidates to the open positions at FBI.

Education and Training

For an agent position, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree and also fulfill various other qualifications based on the recruitment needs of FBI.  There are some FBI jobs where candidates with multilingual skills are given a preference. Some require a background in law, criminal justice degree or technology.

Candidates interested in pursuing a career with the FBI can obtain additional skills through internship programs by the FBI. Alternatively, a law enforcement or military experience would also suffice. An applicant for a special agent job with the FBI must be between the age of 23 and 36 and be a US citizen. They will also undergo thorough background checks.

Some roles such as Hostage Rescue Team will need to have extra skills like military experience or law enforcement roles. Candidates will normally pass through a stringent evaluation procedure in order to determine both mental and physical suitability for the position. The best path to careers in FBI is generally through a criminal justice degree.

Salary Potential

FBI agents earned a median salary of $67,759 based on the PayScale.com data of October 2010.  The salary range for the FBI agents is $54,326-$106,922. The media salary for the US intelligence analysts was $60,000 and their salary range was $50,304-$85,620. Trainees for the position of the FBI special agents earn a $43,441 base salary in Virginia. It is important to note that there are locality adjustments which apply so the annualized salary is not uniform throughout the country.

FBI Job Outlook

In the coming years, the employment prospects for the FBI special agents along with the intelligence analysts are expected to improve considerably. The US population will expand in the future and there will also be growing emphasis on US national security. This is going to necessitate an increase in the agency’s staffing needs.

The best prospects are for those candidates who are bilingual who have college degrees and some military or law enforcement experience. If you are driven, self-disciplined and committed to protecting fellow American citizens from a variety of threats and criminal activities, then an FBI career will be a very rewarding one for y

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