The FBI Background Check –
How Hard Is It to Become an Agent?

Of all the employers in the world, the FBI has the tools and the wherewithal to follow up on every lead, and overturn every stone when conducting a background check to determine what kind of candidate you are. But just what are they looking for?

Immediate Disqualifiers:

  • Felony Convictions – If you have been convicted of a felony, you are not eligible to work for the FBI.
  • Default Student Loans – If you have defaulted on federally insured student loans, you are not eligible to work for the FBI.
  • Failure to Register for Selective Service – U.S. males have to register for selective service (the draft). If you have not registered, you are not eligible to work for the FBI. This does not apply to women candidates.
  • Failure of Drug Test – All candidates are given a urinalysis (drug test). If you fail, you are not eligible to work for the FBI.
  • History of Drug Sale or Manufacture – If you have ever sold of manufactured drugs, you are not eligible to work for the FBI.

Here is where things get a little trickier. Just because you can pass all of the above, does not mean you are out of the woods just yet. As it relates to prior drug use, you are eligible to work for the FBI if:

  • You have a history of marijuana or prescription drug abuse, provided you have not used the drug in the prior three years from the date of your application submission.
  • You have a history of other illegal drug use, provided you have not used the drug in the prior 10 years from the date of your application submission.

To determine the caliber of candidate you are, the FBI will conduct an extensive background check.  This will involve contacting many of your friends, relatives, co-workers, and associates – past and present.  Your credit history and police records will also be analyzed. And as if all that weren’t enough, you will also have to pass a polygraph (lie detector) test and truthfully answer questions about yourself and your past.


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