Career Choice: FBI Special Agent
By Paula Santonocito
A valid driver’s license is another requirement. And you will likely be on the road: You must be completely available for assignment anywhere in the FBI’s jurisdiction—which makes the career an ideal choice for an adventurous single woman.
Those are the basic qualifications. A candidate for FBI special agent must then qualify for one of five Entry Programs:
– Computer Science/Information Technology
Each entry program has its own criteria for admission.
To qualify for admission to the Accounting Entry Program, for example, you must be a certified CPA or possess, at minimum, a four-year degree with a major in accounting and three years of progressively responsible accounting work in a professional accounting firm or comparable public setting, such as state comptroller or the General Accounting Office.
Computer Science/Information Technology, Language, and Law, have similarly defined requirements, while, as might be expected, the Diversified Entry Program is the least specific.
Once you qualify for a particular program, your skills are prioritized with regard to the FBI’s current openings. The FBI Careers website provides a list of the critical skills the FBI currently seeks.
If accepted into a program, you will begin your career as an FBI special agent at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., where you’ll take part in a 21-week training program.
On the Job
As an FBI special agent trainee, you will be designated into one of five career paths: Intelligence, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, Criminal or Cyber.
If you are appointed to either Counterintelligence or Counterterrorism, you may receive a further specialty nomination to Weapons of Mass Destruction matters. Specialty appointment is based upon your educational background and prior employment, your preference, and your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Each division has its own mandates, which translate into the job-related tasks you will perform as special agent.