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What is an FBI Agent?

Plenty of people have seen movies with FBI agents, such as Silence of the Lambs and Donnie Brasco. That leaves them to wonder what does an FBI agent do? What do FBI agents wear? What degree do you need to be an FBI agent?

FBI agents are special agents for the United States government tasked with investigating dangerous criminals and threats to national security while upholding the Constitution and laws. Want to know how to become an agent for the FBI? First there’s a highly competitive, rigorous and selective application process, then new agents undergo over 800 hours of FBI Academy training in academics, case exercises, firearms, operational skills, and fitness before graduating and receiving their first assignment.

Read on for the answer to the question “How hard is it to become an FBI agent?”

What Does an FBI Agent Do?

FBI agents work for an intelligence-driven and threat-focused national security organization that takes pride in protecting American citizens and upholding the Constitution. To defend national security, American democracy, and physical and electronic infrastructures, agents protect against:

  • Terrorism
  • Espionage
  • Cyber attacks and high-tech crimes
  • Major criminal threats
  • Corrupt government officials
  • Violent street gangs
  • Child predators
  • Serial killers
  • White collar crime
  • Threats to civil rights

The question “what does an FBI agent do?” is not easily answered. According to the FBI FAQs page at fbi.gov, there is no typical work day for agents. What do FBI agents do? They have broad responsibilities such as testifying in federal court, gathering evidence, making arrests, being armed at all times, and may be part of specialized teams and projects such as hostage rescue teams.

How hard is it to become an FBI agent? That all depends – it takes a lot of focus and planning just to understand how to become an FBI agent.

How to Become an FBI Agent?

The first step to becoming an FBI agent and answering the question “How hard is it to become an FBI agent?” is to review and understand the FBI’s Mission & Priorities and application process.

If you want to know how do you become an FBI agent or how to become an FBI agent after college, you may be surprised at the scope of experience and expertise required. This is how to become an agent for the FBI:

  • Qualify for eligibility – must be a U.S. citizen, must be able to obtain top security clearance, must comply with the FBI drug policy, and must be between 23 and 37 years old
  • Qualify for the physical requirements – must pass the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) consisting of sit-ups, timed 300-meter sprint, push-ups, timed 1.5 mile run (applicants have 3 opportunities to take and pass the PFT)
  • Successfully complete the application process – the FBI application process is a year-long process that starts with applicant resume and college transcripts and ends with the PFT and conditional appointment offer.
  • Successfully complete the new agent 20-week training – new agents are sent to a basic field training course at the Academy, which the field guide describes as “a 19-week interview during which they are continually assessed”.

How difficult is it to become an FBI agent is a question only you can truly answer for yourself after understanding everything involved. How to become an FBI agent after college requires high levels of maturity, dedication, and focus that come from planning and experience. Still wondering how difficult is it to become an FBI agent?

What Degree Do You Need to be an FBI Agent?

Many people wonder what education do you need to become an FBI agent? The minimum employment requirements include a bachelor’s degree from a U.S.-accredited college or university. “What education do you need to become an FBI agent?” only answers one of myriad requirements to even be eligible to apply, as experience and maturity are also assessed and play a big part in an applicant’s selection.

How Long Does It Take to Become an FBI Agent?

To understand the answer to the question “How long does it take to become an FBI agent?”, applicants have to be aware that the application process takes a year, but a bachelor’s degree is one of the employment requirements, so that really means that it’s at least 5 years. Many people wonder what do FBI agents do, but higher education is required before they can even apply.

What Do FBI Agents Wear?

According to the field training course, there are strict dress and grooming standards for the 20-week new agent training. They bring business attire and casual attire (but no flip flops or tank tops) to training but wear uniforms provided by the Academy from 8am to 5pm and appropriate workout gear.

On assignment, agents dress appropriately for the work, and have FBI raid jackets to wear for special operations where they need to be identified.

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Criminaljusticedegreehub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.