Since its formation in 1908, the FBI has served as the principle investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. From Prohibition in the early 1900s to the domestic terrorism threats of today, the Bureau has seen dramatic and remarkable change and growth since its inception more than 100 years ago.
The FBI investigates crimes and other threats to domestic and economic security while supporting local, regional and state law enforcement agencies with cooperative services and strategic partnerships. In 2012 alone, the FBI supported 36,074 jobs including 15,649 women, 8,762 minorities, and 1,281 persons with disabilities. Among these 36,000-plus jobs are 13,913 FBI Special Agents and 22,161 support professionals, including intelligence analysts, language specialists, and information technology specialists, among others.
The FBI sees Dramatic Increases in Budget and Personnel During Fiscal Year 2012
Given the increasingly complex nature of crimes and terrorist threats, from cybercrimes to dirty bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, the need for highly trained, educated and talented agents in the FBI is greater than ever. With national security and criminal threats a major priority, the FBI’s 2012 budget was increased to $8.1 billion, which included a $119.2 million increase allocated to counterterrorism and computer intrusion prevention programs.
Items included in the 2012 budget essential for the continuation of the Bureau’s intelligence and investigative progress serve as indicators of the career opportunities present within the FBI:
- $81 million in construction
- $131.5 new or expanded initiatives
- 181 new FBI jobs related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, computer intrusions, violent crime, and foreign counterintelligence (includes the hiring of 81 new FBI Special Agents, 3 new Intelligence Analysts, and 97 new Professional Staff members)
- 63 new FBI jobs and $40.9 million to address national security threats and funding for the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, the Terrorist Screening Center operations, and increased information analysis and sharing capabilities (includes the hiring of 34 new FBI Special Agents)
- 42 new FIB jobs and $18.6 million to enhance the FBI’s investigatory capabilities and protect criminal technology network infrastructure from cyber intrusion (includes the hiring of 14 new FBI Special Agents)
- 23 new FBI jobs and $20.5 million to advance the FBI’s Data Integration and Visualization System (DIVS) and strengthen authorized electronic surveillance for law enforcement partners (includes the hiring of 3 new FBI Special Agents)
- 13 new FBI jobs and $40 million for the acquisition of new aircraft to respond to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) incidents (includes the hiring of 6 new FBI Special Agent Bomb technicians)
Careers and Employment with the FBI
The Office of Intelligence is part of the National Security Branch and overseen by the Directorate of Intelligence, who works alongside all sectors of the Bureau to ensure that intelligence is embedded in all investigative programs and FBI Field Offices. The goal of the Intelligence Division of the FBI is to continuously adapt and improve upon the ways intelligence is collected, analyzed, and disseminated, all the while protecting the civil liberties of all Americans.
Because the FBI’s Intelligence Division is tasked with handling criminal, cyber, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence activities, FBI jobs here are extensive and varied:
- Surveillance specialist
- Intelligence Analyst
- Behavioral Analyst
- Violent Crime Analyst
The Counterintelligence Division of the FBI was created to protect the United States from foreign intelligence operations and espionage. The FBI Special Agents of the Counterintelligence Division work alongside other U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies and communities to impede the intelligence and espionage activities of foreign countries that pose a threat to the nation.
The FBI Special Agents of the Counterintelligence Division increase our nation’s security with a counterintelligence strategy that focuses on counterproliferation, counterespionage, and the protection of critical technology and information. FBI Special Agents and other professionals often work through the FBI Counterproliferation Center and the Economic Espionage Unit within the Counterintelligence Division.
The FBI leads the nation in the investigation of high-tech crimes, including espionage, computer intrusions, cyber fraud, and cyber-based terrorism. The Cyber Division, located at the FBI Headquarters, coordinates cybercrime and works to gather and share information and intelligence with public and private sector partners around the world.
Cyber Squads, which consist of FBI Special Agents, Computer Forensic Examiners, Analysts, and Computer Scientists, are found at both the FBI Headquarters and the Bureau’s 56 Field Offices. The Special Agents of the FBI’s Cyber Squads protect against computer intrusions, the theft of intellectual property, child pornography and exploitation, and online fraud.
Other FBI Special Agent Teams include Cyber Action Teams, who travel around the world to deal with computer intrusion cases and cybercrimes that affect national security and the nation’s economy, and 93 Computer Crimes Task Forces, who combine state-of-the-art technology with federal, state, and local resources.
The FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division is the largest division of the FBI, as it includes more than 4,800 Field Special Agents, 300 Intelligence Analysts, and 520 Headquarters employees. The goal of the Criminal Investigative Division is succinct: to address globalized criminal threats.
The FBI Special Agents and Investigative Specialists (through the Violent Criminal Apprehension program) of the Criminal Investigative Division coordinate, manage, and direct investigative programs that are focused on violent crime, organized crime, financial crime, violations of civil rights, public corruption, and drug-related crime. There are currently more than 4,000 Investigative Specialists and Analysts registered with the Violent Criminal Apprehension program, therefore forming a powerful network of professionals.
Tactical Operations, which are part of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), consists of a number of specialized teams and highly trained professionals:
- Hostage Rescue Team
- Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
- Enhanced SWAT
- Assault Teams
- Tactical Helicopter Team
- Tactical Mobility Team
- Crisis Negotiation Unit
- Special Agent Bomb Technician
The CIRG’s Tactical Operations consist of both a national-level tactical team and a number of regional SWAT teams, all of whom are deployed to protect American citizens. The Hostage Rescue Team and the Crisis Negotiation Unit are programs designed to support SWAT operations, tactical intelligence, and tactical aviation.
The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division helps protect the United States and United States targets from acts of terrorism. The special teams and highly trained FBI Special Agents of the Counterterrorism Division work to detect, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist sleeper cells, acts of terrorism, and terrorist support networks and contribute to the U.S. intelligence community through in-depth analyses of terrorist threats.
The various branches and teams of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division include:
- Operations Branches
- Analytical Branch
- Operational Support Branch
- Joint Terrorism Task Forces
- National Counterterrorism Center
- Terrorism Fly Team
- Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate
- Genocide and War Crimes