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Joining The FBI

by Scott Morgan

Special agents solving national crimes are but one facet of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI employs American citizens in numerous jobs, from intelligence analysis to internal security. Joining the FBI usually requires a college degree and an exhaustive background check, but the payoff is myriad opportunities with one of the largest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the world.

Recruitment and Applying

The FBI attends more than 900 events around the United States per year in an effort to meet and recruit new talent. These events offer information about the bureau's career options and how to apply. Generally, applying for an FBI job happens online at FBIjobs.gov. The site provides links to requirements and the application process for all types of bureau jobs, including linguists, the FBI cyber team and hostage rescue personnel.

Special Agent

Perhaps the most prestigious job in the FBI is special agent. Special agents conduct sensitive national security investigations into several areas, including terrorism, organized crime and hostage rescue. Applicants must be U.S. citizens between 23 and 37 years old, hold a bachelor's degree and pass a rigorous physical conditioning test, a thorough background check and a medical exam that includes hearing and vision. Special agents fall under one of five categories: accounting, computer science, language, law and diversified.

Professional Staff

The FBI has many career options beyond special agent. As the country's main federal law enforcement agency, the bureau needs professionals in numerous fields, such as laboratory sciences, linguistics, security, human resources, engineering and general business management. The bureau also has its own internal police department, which provides security to other FBI personnel and protects bureau facilities. Qualifications vary depending on the position, but generally a bachelor's degree and some level of professional experience in your field is required.

Internships

One way to get your foot in the door of the FBI is through internships. The bureau offers a volunteer internship program to college juniors and seniors, as well as to graduate and post-graduate students. The program lasts 10 weeks and only considers students with at least a 3.0 grade point average. All candidates must be U.S. citizens and pass a thorough background check. The program accepts students from a wide variety of academic majors.

Resources

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