FBI Agents


Employment Prospects


Agents work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. Agents are placed in one of 56 field offices or one of nearly 65 foreign legal attaché offices. The FBI hires on a continual basis, although some years it does not hire any new agents. When the bureau is hiring, it posts job openings on the Web site USA Jobs (http://fbi.usajobs.gov), and advertises on other employment Web sites and in newspapers and periodicals.

Starting Out

If you are interested in working for the FBI, contact the applicant coordinator at the FBI field office nearest you or visit the FBI's Careers Web site, https://www.fbijobs.gov. Search the Web site for information on existing vacancies, requirements for the positions, how to file applications, and locations where examinations will be given. Examinations are scored by computer at FBI headquarters. Interviews are arranged based on the applicant's score and overall qualifications and the agency's current needs.

Advancement Prospects

FBI promotions are awarded mainly on performance, rather than seniority. All administrative and supervisory jobs are filled from within the ranks by agents who have demonstrated they are able to handle more responsibility. Some FBI agents climb the ladder to become higher-grade administrators and supervisors. For example, an agent may become an inspector, supervisory special agent, or special agent in charge of a field office. Agents may also be assigned to the FBI headquarters, or they may become headquarters supervisors, unit and section chiefs, and division heads. Agents may retire after 20 years of service, and after the age of 50; mandatory retirement is required at the age of 57. In some instances, agents may be granted one-year extensions up until the age of 60.

Tips for Entry

Contact your local FBI office to learn about college recruiting visits in your area.

Learn more about career paths and apply for a job with the FBI by visiting http://www.fbijobs.gov.

Land an entry-level job or participate in an internship at the FBI to learn about the field and make valuable contacts.

Conduct information interviews with FBI agents and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.