HomeEducationCriminal Justice:  Career Opportunities Are Varied at the FBI

FBI Provides Diverse Career Options

FBI career opportunities have shifted emphasis in the years since the attack on the World Trade Center towers. The work still centers on investigation, but intelligence work is now at the forefront. The FBI states its mission as "to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States."

As the primary investigative arm of the federal government, the FBI staffs its field offices with professionals whose duties focus on protecting the United States by preventing future terrorist attacks, conducting sensitive national security investigations, and enforcing over 260 federal statutes. FBI personnel work closely with other federal, state and local agencies on matters of common interest and are also involved in training law enforcement officers from around the world.

Careers for FBI Special Agents and Support Professionals

The FBI career path that most of us are familiar with -- because it is depicted in television and movies -- is that of the Special Agent. Critical skills being sought in college graduates who want to become Special Agents include: 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. Passing a physical fitness test is required for all Special Agents. For those accepted, FBI specialized training begins with more than four months of classroom academic work and physical training at Quantico, Virginia.

FBI career 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.

Whatever the area of your expertise, a rewarding career in fighting crime might be possible. The FBI participates in numerous career fairs across the United States. There are some internships available for undergraduate and graduate students. In many specialties, the FBI seeks applicants who have two or more years of experience to bring to the job. (See FBI Jobs)

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