How To Be An FBI Special Agent 101
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How To Be An FBI Special Agent 101

Think you have what it takes to be a Special Agent? Check out the extremely challenging process that very few can pass.

How To Be An FBI Special Agent 101

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an FBI Special Agent? Well I have watched one too many Criminal Minds type of shows and began researching. Candidates must got through a grueling, extensive process.

First are the specific entry requirements to even qualify for a position as an FBI Special Agent. I have listed them below.

  • Candidates must be at least 23 years old, but younger than 37
  • Candidates must be a citizen of the United States
  • Candidates must hold a four-year degree from an accredited college or university
  • Candidates must possess a valid US driver’s license
  • Candidates must have completed at least three years of professional work experience

Once all of those requirements are met, you may proceed in the process. However, if a candidate has convicted a felony, violated the FBI Drug Policy, has a default on a student loan, or failed to register with the Secret Service, you are automatically disqualified from employment. The FBI drug policy states that candidates could not have used marijuana within the three years preceding their application. It also states that you may not use any illegal drug or non-prescribed steroids within the 10 years preceding the application.

The selection system begins with the Online Application that you must fill out entirely, which includes the FBI’s Physical Fitness Test (PFT). The PFT consists of four events with no more than five minutes of rest in between each event. Candidates are given three tries to pass. The events are listed below.

  • Maximum number of continuous sit-ups in one minute
  • Timed 300-meter sprint
  • Untimed maximum number of continuous push-ups
  • Timed 1.5 mile run

Following is the Phase I Test, which is a three-hour exam consisting of cognitive, logical and behavioral tests. In addition, candidates will have a Meet and Greet Interview with their local field office.

Continuing on to Phase II, candidates will have a 90-minute written exam testing abilities to analyze data and form a report. After, candidates participate in a one hour long structured oral panel interview.

The Background Investigation is next. All candidates must be eligible to hold an FBI Top Secret security clearance in order to become a Special Agent. During this background investigation, medical examination, drug testing, and polygraph testing will be conducted.

Once passing all of the above, the candidates will be invited to attend FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia where they will train as new agents. This step, Basic Field Training Course, takes 21 weeks to complete. Once all of the above is passed and completed, the new agents attend graduation where they become official FBI Special Agents! Overall, it is a long process that could take years to complete.

There is a very popular ABC television show titled “Quantico” that is based in the Basic Field Training Course stage of the selection process. Back by demand, season two will be premiering later this month. It is an excellent show I recommend watching to see just how challenging, yet rewarding it is to become an FBI Special Agent.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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