The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the dedicated investigative agency responsible for everything from national security and counterterrorism, to criminal investigations and law enforcement. From dismantling organized crime networks to protecting our country from terrorists, the role of the FBI is one of great importance to our nation. In order to best respond to any and all national crises, the Bureau has assembled a world-class group of 30,000 professionals in a wide range of fields who are committed to upholding the values of the FBI and pledging rigorous obedience to the Constitution of the United States.
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FBI Agents are a skilled, talented, educated, and diverse group of individuals who possess personal integrity, professional leadership, compassion, fairness, and respect for all people of the United States. FBI Agents come from all backgrounds and areas of expertise and perform a wide range of work and missions.
The FBI demands all Agents throughout their 56 field offices and 400 satellite offices to not only possess certain personal attributes and qualities, but specific training, schooling and professional requirements, as well. So as to be strongly considered for job candidacy, most aspiring FBI Agents finish school and satisfy the basic education and degree requirements before submitting applications for open positions.
FBI Special Agent candidates are required to hold a bachelor’s degree at minimum, while the different career paths for both Special Agents and the various support professionals within the FBI draw on specialized skills and often require other specific education qualifications to be met.
FBI Agent Training and Degree Requirements for Profilers/Supervisory
FBI Supervisory Special Agents (often referred to as Profilers) work through the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime in Quantico, Virginia. Because of the competitive environment of this field, most individuals selected as Supervisory Special Agents have at least 8 to 10 years of experience as an FBI Special Agent.
Experience as an investigator of violent crimes is one of the most important qualifications for a job as an FBI Supervisory Special Agent. Many job postings for FBI Supervisory Special Agents list an advanced degree in Behavioral or Forensic Science as a preferred qualification before beginning training.
FBI Agent Training and Colleges for Intelligence Analysts
Intelligence Analysts use their knowledge of language, history and culture to identify international and domestic threats. They are often found in tactical settings, where they work in investigative and operational squads; collection/reporting settings, where they must understand and assess intelligence; and strategic settings, where they must understand and study threats and trends and provide strategic analyses.
Because of the wide range of areas and domains in which Intelligence Analysts may work, the FBI regularly recruits individuals of all levels of experience and with all levels of education. However, the minimum employment requirement for Intelligence Analyst training is a four-year undergraduate degree.
FBI Agent Training and Degree Requirements for FBI Police Officers
The FBI requires specific educational and job-related experience requirements depending on the grade level for which the individual is applying. For example, FBI Police Officers with specialized work experience are generally hired at the GS 6, GS 7, or GS 8 level, while FBI Police Officers who do not possess specialized work experience, yet have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science or a related degree, are generally hired at the GS 5 level.
FBI Agent Training and Degree Requirements for Hostage Rescue Team (HRT)
and SWAT Team Members
Both HRT and SWAT Team members are FBI Special Agents; therefore, they must meet the specific requirements set forth by the Bureau. In particular, all Special Agents must possess, at a minimum, a four-year degree from an accredited college or university and three years of professional work experience.
Further, because HRT and SWAT Team members are part of the FBI’s Tactical Recruiting Program, all candidates must possess specific tactical training qualifications. In particular, all candidates for a spot on the HRT or SWAT team must have at least three years of either law enforcement or military tactical experience and at least two years of FBI Investigative experience. Individuals accepted for the SWAT Team or HRT must then complete a six-month FBI training course at the Academy in Quantico.
FBI Agent Training and Degree Requirements for Linguists
Although there are no specific educational requirements for FBI Linguists, the FBI requires all FBI Linguists to have a professional-level language fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
All candidates must pass a comprehensive language proficiency test battery to be eligible for an FBI Linguist position.
FBI Agent Training and Degree Requirements for Behavioral Analysts
Behavioral analysts consist of FBI Supervisory Special Agents and veteran Police Officers with advanced degrees in the behavioral science fields of psychology, criminology, sociology, or conflict resolution. Behavioral analysts may include criminologists, clinical psychologists, research/crime analysts, and management analysts.