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FBI Careers and Training in California

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal law enforcement/domestic intelligence agency that protects the U.S. against terrorist and foreign intelligence attacks; enforces over 300 federal laws; and provides criminal justice services to other federal, state, municipal and international agencies.

Four of the FBI’s 56 field offices and 28 of the 400 national satellite offices are in California. These 28 offices support hundreds of FBI jobs in California alone. The dedicated professionals at these locations investigate complex, multi-jurisdictional cases by interviewing witnesses, running undercover operations, analyzing financial records, managing crime scenes and conducting surveillance.

FBI jobs in California have historically dealt with the following illicit activity:

  • Organized crime
  • Public corruption
  • Cyber/white collar crime
  • Civil rights violations
  • Bank robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Air piracy
  • Drug/human trafficking
  • Interstate criminal activity

How to Become an FBI Special Agent in California: Training and
Degree Requirements

Californians who have a sincere desire to prevent crime and terrorism should consider joining the ranks of dedicated FBI employees through formal training programs. Basic qualifications required to become an FBI agent in California are as follows:

  • Citizen of the U.S. or Northern Mariana Islands
  • Between 23 and 37 years of age
  • Bachelor’s degree or better
  • Minimum three years professional experience
  • Willingness to go anywhere

Applications are received for five entry programs: computer science/information technology, accounting, language, law, and diversified. Especially needed are persons knowledgeable in engineering or the physical sciences and those with intelligence or military experience. Those interested in FBI jobs in California can fill out an application online or by visiting a California field or satellite office. Those whose applications are accepted will be given a battery of tests in order to be qualified for formal training. The FBI is an equal opportunity employer.

Compensation is determined on a scale of 15 grades with 10 steps each. Entry level grade depends on education and experience while job performance and tenure decide promotions. Grade 1 salaries range from $16,352-$20,450 and Grade 15 $91,507- $118,957. Employees receive federal benefits and are eligible for overtime, danger and availability pay.

FBI Field Offices and Jobs in California

Los Angeles. The L.A. field office and 10 satellite offices cover seven counties and 40,000 square miles. In addition to special agents, L.A. employs a wide variety of specialists, including intelligence and financial analysts, security and language experts; investigative and electronics authorities; and a sophisticated evidence response team that even has an underwater search component. In January 2013, the L.A. field office’s numerous arrests included a man accused of hacking into social networks to coerce 350 females into showing themselves nude.

Sacramento. The field office covers 34 counties and eight satellite offices that together employ a multitude of agents and specialists, including hazardous materials experts and a crisis response team. Sacramento accomplishments in January, 2013 include arrests for employment benefit fraud, hate crimes and child pornography, as well as the sentencing of a key leader of the violent Nuestra Familia gang for drug trafficking.

San Diego. Covers San Diego and Imperial counties and has two satellite offices whose special agents are joined by such diverse specialists as bomb recovery/analysis experts and what is considered the nation’s best emergency negotiation team. San Diego is also home to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. January successes include eight bank robbery convictions and the arrest of a former CEO of a San Diego-based mining company for a $28-million stock fraud scheme.

San Francisco. The field office and eight satellite offices cover 15 counties. Personnel includes special agents, a 46-member SWAT team and four evidence response teams comprised of 32 crime specialists. A man who made a bomb threat at a high school and four men accused of performing a home invasion robbery dressed like police officers were among the January arrests.

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