Since 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had a presence in the Windy City. FBI jobs in Chicago today reflect this field office’s impressive history. Early cases in the Chicago field office included white-collar crime and fraud.
More recently, FBI agents in Chicago have investigated their own governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, on federal corruption charges in 2008; an organized crime operation called Operation Family Secrets, investigated from 1999 to 2005; and in 2010, suspected terrorist David Coleman Headley who ultimately plead guilty to being part of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.
How to Become an FBI Special Agent in Chicago, Illinois: Training and Degree Requirements
If one wishes to become an FBI special agent in Chicago, he or she may apply online at www.fbijobs.gov for specific vacancies within the Chicago jurisdiction. Alternatively, one may visit the Chicago field office at 2111 W. Roosevelt Road, or call their applicant hotline at (312) 786-2639.
The FBI hiring process takes from six to 12 months to complete and is not for the faint-hearted. Even if one meets the basic requirements of citizenship, education and experience, one must still go through extensive testing, both written and oral; a series of interviews; rigorous physical fitness testing; a thorough medical examination; and a polygraph test. If one passes all of this, he or she will be instructed to go to Quantico, Virginia for 20 weeks of new agent training. After this lengthy process is completed, one is not guaranteed placement as an FBI special agent in the Chicago field office or one of its resident agencies. Rather, the FBI has the prerogative to place FBI agents in any of the 56 field offices and/or their resident agencies across the country.
Compensation for Chicago FBI special agents is better than the starting salary for FBI special agents in other cities, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Because of OPM’s locality payment of 21.15 percent added to the base starting salary for FBI agents of $43,441 (2013 figures), the starting salary for an FBI special agent in Chicago in 2013 is $52,628.
FBI Field Offices and Jobs in Chicago, IL
Chicago Field Office – The Chicago Field Office handles cases in 18 northern Illinois counties. It may be found in the Illinois Medical District section of the city, on Roosevelt Road. A notable investigation by the Chicago Field Office resulted in the February 2013 conviction of two former executives of a contractor for fraudulent billing and kickbacks.
- West Resident Agency – This satellite office is responsible for cases occurring in two Illinois counties and the central part of Cook County.
- South Resident Agency – This resident agency handles cases in southern Cook County and four additional Illinois counties.
- Rockford Resident Agency –Ten Illinois counties comprise the jurisdiction of FBI agents at this resident agency.
- North Resident Agency – Agents at this resident agency handle cases in northern Cook County and Lake County.