FBI Agents



FBI agents, special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), are employees of the federal government. The FBI investigates and enforces more than 300 federal statutes that encompass terrorism, organized crime, white-collar crime, public corruption, financial crime, government fraud, bribery, copyright matters, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, air piracy, terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, interstate criminal activity, and fugitive and drug trafficking matters. Agents also conduct backgro...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Minimum two years' of full-time, professional work experience (or



Foreign Language


Personality Traits



Special agent trainees start out at the federal government's GL-10, Step 1 level—$50,605 in 2019, depending on where the agent lives. Salaries for agents are increased slightly if they reside in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, where there is a high cost of living. FBI agents in non-supervisory positions can reach the GS-13 grade—at about $76,681 in 2020. Agents who move into ma...

Work Environment

Depending on their case assignments, FBI agents may work a very strenuous and variable schedule. The FBI says that special agents must "work a minimum of 50 hours a week (which may include irregular hours) and be on call 24/7, including holidays and weekends." They are on call for possible assignment 24 hours a day. Assignments may be given for any location at any time...


Most job vacancies within the FBI are due to agents retiring, advancing, or resigning from their positions. Turnover, in general, has traditionally been low, as most agents remain with the FBI throughout their working lives.

The numbers of FBI special agents are linked to the scope of the FBI's responsibilities. Increases in organized crimes, white-collar crimes, and terrorist threats on...