How to Work for the FBI

For those who have an interest in learning how to work for the FBI, you may have a few questions. For example, you may be wondering what do FBI agents do or how do I join the FBI? Both of these are excellent questions when learning how to work for the FBI. When answering the question, “how do I get a job with the FBI,” you must first think about your educational background. For example, a lot of what FBI agents do requires experience in computer science and cybercrime, accounting, language, and law.

Entry-level special agents typically have their Bachelor’s Degree. That way they can explore one of the five entry points existing for special agent candidates. These entry points include computer science and information, accounting, language, law, and diversified. The most inclusive entry point for special agents is the diversified program. This program requires that candidates only hold their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree.

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Successful candidates learn how to work for the FBI through internships. In doing so, students can expand their educational background and skills beyond what they’re learning in the classroom. They’ll also be working in the field and getting hands-on experience learning precisely what FBI agents do. The FBI allows students to apply for non-paid, as well as paid internship opportunities. These experiences help bridge the gap between learning how to work for the FBI and a student’s core curriculum.

The FBI Application Process

Part of the internship process is allowing students to gain work experience and help them with the FBI application process. On average, special agents need at least three years of field experience that’s related to their degree and will set them up for the FBI career path. They can accomplish this goal by participating in internships. FBI recruitment looks closely at an applicant’s skills including their knowledge of accounting, engineering, foreign languages, law, the military, and science. Therefore, they can prove the majority of these skills while participating in an internship.

The FBI application process also requires an extensive background check due to the sensitivity of an FBI special agent’s work. This FBI recruitment background check includes a drug test, as well as a polygraph test. Individuals cannot default on any student loans or have any felony convictions. During the background check, an applicant will undergo a thorough record check that includes a check of their credit and interviews with their friends and family. Interviews will also be conducted with colleagues, as well as any other individuals the candidate has had contact with throughout their life. It’s for that reason the FBI recruitment background check could take several months to complete.

You can find an FBI application form on their website along with information regarding how to submit, withdraw applications, and double-check that you’re meeting all the application requirements.

Getting Through the FBI Background Investigation

Several FBI disqualifiers can occur during the FBI background investigation. Some of these FBI background investigation disqualifiers include not having U.S. citizenship, current substance abuse issues, criminal history, bad debt, bankruptcy, lack of honesty, and conflicts of interest. During an FBI background investigation, applicants will undergo an FBI fingerprint background check for employment. (These requirements are similar to those used by the Department of Homeland Security as well.)

It’s possible to have an expedited FBI background check through an education abroad program. FBI checks from abroad programs typically occur through the use of fingerprint cards or fingerprint captures that are submitted to the FBI by the NBCI (National Background Check, INC.). Finding a fingerprint capture location is as simple as googling “Fingerprint capture FBI background check near me,” and it will reveal a location. You’ll also need to print, read the instruction, fill out, and submit the application to the NBCI. You can fax your application or scan and email it to the NBCI.

Using a channeler also helps with an expedited background check. You can find a list of approved channelers on the FBI’s website. While they typically charge an extra fee, it’s possible to conduct the FBI background check online. It’s also possible to receive a status on background checks within a few days or up to one week. Under most circumstances, candidates using a channeler can perform an FBI background check status to ensure there aren’t any problems occurring.

Education and Physical Requirements

The FBI requirement for every candidate is to meet strict physical fitness standards as part of the application process. Additional FBI requirements include that the agency must receive the applicant’s medical records and complete a physical examination by a physician. Specific hearing and vision FBI agent requirements must also be met. FBI physical fitness requirements also indicate that a self-assessment test must also be passed. This FBI physical fitness test includes completing a maximum number of push-ups, sit-ups, a timed 300-meter sprint, and a 1.5-mile run.

FBI medical disqualifiers include not having a vision distance accurately measured at 20/20, having hearing loss exceeding 25 decibels, and not being able to pass the physical fitness test within fourteen days of the phase two test. FBI requirements state that candidates can take the physical fitness test as many times as necessary over one year until they pass. If they are unable to meet these FBI agent requirements for physical fitness, they are disqualified.

Improving Your Odds

The FBI special agent acceptance rate is tight, but when students are in college, as well as part of their post-graduate studies, working in FBI internships helps to improve their odds. The main reason is that FBI internships help students and potential candidates understand the FBI special agent lifestyle through hands-on experience. FBI internships are an excellent way for students to not only take themselves out of the classroom and out into the field but also understand what they’ll need to do to pass the physical fitness exams and other special agent requirements.

The longer a student participates in FBI internships, the more valuable of an asset they become to their team. The main reason is that, through participation in FBI internships, they’re coming in at the ground floor and putting their classroom skills and on-the-job knowledge to the test. What this means is, that students will have an opportunity to learn from veterans the realities of working in the field.

Students of all levels can participate in unpaid and paid FBI internships. Opening up these doors of opportunity allows students from a wide variety of backgrounds to explore federal careers. When students complete FBI internships, they have a greater chance of converting their role into a permanent career. Students will have to complete at least 640 hours to be eligible to convert from FBI internships to a career in federal service. They’ll also have the opportunity to receive up to 320 credit hours if they show exceptional performance and academic excellence.

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