The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employs more than 30,000 people in 56 field offices and 400 satellite offices and at FBI Headquarters in Washington. The FBI prides itself on the diversity of its workforce. It claims that nearly half of the agency’s employees are female and one-quarter are minorities. Employees come from varied backgrounds, including teachers, scientists, accountants and lawyers.
The FBI describes the job of a special agent as challenging, exciting and rewarding. Agents investigate a wide range of crimes, including terrorism, drug trafficking, bribery and kidnapping. To become a special agent, you must be between the ages of 23 and 37, a U.S. citizen and a graduate of an accredited four-year university.
There are five Special Agent Entry Programs: law, language, computer science or information technology, accounting and diversified. Every special agent must qualify under one of these programs.
The FBI states that, as of 2010, special agents earn between $40,000 and $70,000 per year.
FBI intelligence analysts come from many backgrounds and may be recruited out of college. Their job is to analyze information from a variety of sources in order to identify threats to national security. To become an FBI analyst, you must be a U.S. citizen who has never been convicted of a felony or defaulted on a student loan. You must pass a drug test and undergo a rigorous hiring process and background investigation.
Applied Science, Engineering & Technology Professional
Applied Science, Engineering & Technology (ASE&T) professionals work with advanced technology in surveillance, communications and forensics. At FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., these professionals work in the Cyber Division, the Laboratory Division, the Operational Technology Division or the Criminal Justice Information Services Division. They may also work at FBI field offices.
ASE&T professionals come from diverse fields, such as computer science, biology, forensic science, mathematics, cryptography and software engineering.
The job of a linguist in the FBI is to translate, transcribe, analyze and report on information that affects national security. To become an FBI linguist, you must be fluent in English and have the ability to read, write, listen and speak in at least one of more than 100 foreign languages. The hiring process requires you to take a battery of tests that include listening, reading, translating and speaking a foreign language. You must also be able to pass the FBI's thorough background check.