Within the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) are three departments designated as Behavioral Analysis Units (BAU). These three departments are assigned to various aspects of criminal or terroristic actions.
- BAU-Counterterrorim/Threat Assessment
- BAU-Crimes Against Adults
- BAU-Crimes Against Children
These three units are tasked with deconstructing and analyzing the psychology of violent individuals through the use of case studies, criminal evaluations, and forensic science. Using a two-pronged approach that utilizes experiential evidence provided by law enforcement personnel along with clinical studies by forensic psychologists, behavioral analyst jobs involve being able to understand the behavior of individuals who threaten national security or public safety.
Behavioral Analyst Job Description
BAU personnel collaborate closely with federal, local and international law enforcement agencies to produce accurate recreations of violent crimes, provide a psychological framework for such crimes and predict the likely actions of violent perpetrators. The keen insights of BAU scientists have helped countless investigations identify and apprehend criminals and terrorists before they could produce any more violence.
The Behavioral Analysis Unit has commonly been popularized as profilers for their ability to analyze evidence and develop a psychological profile of the culprit. The effectiveness of these FBI profilers is based on careful analysis of thousands of cases of violent crime, which are then used in similar cases to provide an understanding of the perpetrators motives and modes of operation. The FBI NCAVC maintains a database of violent crimes that is accessible to police at the local and state levels.
BAU officers and scientists should be able to perform the following duties:
- Reconstruct a crime based on the evidence
- Create a profile of the perpetrator along with distinguishing psychological features and behavioral patterns
- Partner with other law enforcement agencies and provide investigative support
- Maintain a current database on violent crimes, terroristic actions and aberrant behavior
- Interview criminals and terrorists in order to obtain insights into their motives and actions
- Provide insights into serial criminals which may assist in apprehension
- Develop threat assessments about individuals and groups that pose risks to national or public safety
Behavioral Analyst Salary
The BAU is composed of experienced FBI Special Agents as well as prestigious criminal researchers and other law enforcement experts. Like all Special Agents, field officers in the BAU who are authorized to work in the field receive salaries commensurate with their GS pay grade which may vary from GS-10 up to GS-13, but may reach GS-14 or GS-15 if the Special Agent is designated a supervisor or executive. For 2012, the salary ranges for these pay grades were detailed as
In addition to the basic salary, Special Agents may receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) which may range from 12.5 up to 28.7 percent of the base salary, as well as Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) which is 25 percent of base salary plus COLA.
Although researchers may not be classified as Special Agents, they are subject to the Bureau’s pay regime. The majority of the non-field personnel possess extremely advanced credentials which necessitate a pay grade similar to highly experienced Agents or even supervisors.