FBI Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Requirements

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The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations are among the most elite tactical units in law enforcement and the military. SWAT is the most utilized first response team in the FBI, and is classified as a Tier 1 response unit by the Attorney General.  

These highly trained professionals utilize a variety of specialized equipment to resolve high-risk situations like

  • Hostage rescue
  • Vehicle stops
  • Aircraft, train and bus assaults
  • WMD operations
  • Fugitive pursuit
  • Fortified position assaults
  • Personnel protection
  • Airplane hijackings
  • Sniper operations

SWAT Jobs:  Ready to Deploy at a Moments Notice

SWAT teams are assigned to each of the 56 field offices in the United States are capable of rapid deployment to crises in the area or, even, around the country and the world. SWAT members are volunteers from the FBI Special Agent force and are not full-time tactical officers; during non-mission hours SWAT members are expected to perform Special Agent functions. Although many highly skilled tactical officers from the military or law enforcement are recruited through the Tactical Recruiting Program, these professionals must first serve as a Special Agent during a two year probationary period. Each team may include up to 42 members, many of whom have specialized training and skills necessary to perform mission responsibilities.  These specialists may include:

  • Breachers
  • Assaulters
  • Medics
  • Snipers
  • Fast Rope Specialists
  • Tactical Air Operations Officers

Each SWAT team is under the command of a Special Agent in Charge or an On-Scene Commander who monitors the situation and provides on-the-ground direction.

In order to obtain SWAT team jobs, candidates must meet the highest standards on a number of tests that include

  • Marksmanship,
  • Problem solving
  • Physical fitness
  • Decision making
  • Arrest techniques
  • Ability to command and obey orders

Candidates are expected to perform at peak levels even under extreme conditions like exhaustion, stress, and duress.  Candidates who are approved must also complete the SWAT And WMD basic training programs.

FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Officer Job Description and Requirements

FBI SWAT jobs stipulate certain requirements. Candidates for these jobs are expected to possess competencies in the following areas:

  • Ability to maintain optimal mission capability through operations of extended duration
  • Monitor and gain intelligence about an incident through electronic or other forms of surveillance
  • Develop a response strategy to major crisis like hostage taking, hijacking or armed standoff
  • Pursue, track and apprehend fugitives and criminals
  • Conduct investigations at crime scenes in order to provide intelligence to FBI analysts
  • Detect, disrupt and neutralize terrorist or WMD operations
  • Maintain peak physical and mental readiness while off-duty through aggressive training programs
  • Perform admirably as a Special Agent case worker
  • Travel to locations for training and mission deployment
  • Employ the latest evidence gathering technology and methodologies to rapidly obtain intelligence
  • Interview and extract information from witnesses and bystanders
  • Provide medical treatment and assistance to team members and injured bystanders

FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Salary

According to SalaryForFBI.com, the annual salary ranges for SWAT professionals are as follows

  • Entry level:  $61,600-$92,400
  • Average:  $74,800-$112,200
  • Highest earners:  $88,000-$132,000

The specific salaries are contingent upon many factors including geographical posting, years of seniority, and professional responsibilities. In addition to the salary, SWAT members also receive a generous benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance, personal leave days, and Thrift Savings Plans (federal versions of 401k plans).

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