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FBI Work Offers Many Job Options

FBI job opportunities go far beyond the law enforcement roles usually depicted in movies and on television. All work centers on investigations and the scope is defined in the FBI's mission "to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States."

Because the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal law, much of the work Special Agents perform falls within investigative programs, command centers for crisis events, and even victim assistance. The true diversity of career paths in the FBI is shown in the list of critical skills being sought in college graduates: accounting or finance, computer science or other IT specialties, engineering, foreign language fluency, law enforcement or other investigative experience, intelligence experience, science (including physics, chemistry, math, biology, nursing, biochemistry, forensics and medical specialties), and military experience.

Jobs at the FBI Go Beyond Special Agents

FBI job options other than that of a Special Agent include professional support roles such as computer specialist, crime scene specialist, linguist, fingerprint expert, intelligence research specialist, laboratory technician, accounting professional, laborer, or secretary.

To become a Special Agent, applicants must pass a physical fitness test and meet specific requirements in education or experience. Training at the Academy in Quantico, Virginia, involves more than 18 weeks of academic and investigative classes mixed with concentrated training in physical fitness, defensive tactics, practical application exercises, and the use of firearms.

Successful graduates of the Academy receive FBI Special Agent credentials and are assigned to an FBI field office. In the field, a new Special Agent receives mentoring from a veteran Special Agent for several months. Special Agents enter service at the GS 10 level in the law enforcement government pay scale and may advance to the GS 13 level without having supervisory responsibilities. Supervisory, management and executive positions go as high as GS 14 and GS 15. Additional pay at any Special Agent level may go as high as 25 percent of base salary for unscheduled duty.

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