FBI Agent Job Overview:
Requirements, Salary & Responsibilities in 2021

Table of Contents

4 Reasons to Become an FBI Special Agent?

Why Apply to the Federal Bureau of Investigations?

Salary

Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI overwhelming trumps state and local agencies in pay by a very wide margin. a brand new entry level agent makes more money per year than many veteran cops including many chief of police, sheriffs & wardens.

Benefits

Joining a renowned agency like the federal bureau of investigation comes with a lot perks including a top tier retirement package, sick leave, holiday pay, locality pay, vacation pay, overtime pay, etc.

Student Loan
Repayment Program

The Student Loan Repayment provides employees the opportunity to be reimbursed for student loans up to $10,000 per year with a $60,000 lifetime maximum.

Tuition Reimbursement

University Education Program (UEP) - The UEP reimburses the costs of tuition associated with attaining a certificate or degree for FBI employees who seek professional development in areas applicable to current official job duties.

Watch: How to Become an FBI Agent

FBI Agent Requirements

Qualifications to Become
an FBI Agent

Here are some of the requirements to become an FBI agent.

Automatic Disqualifiers

FBI Applicant Hiring Process

Pay Scale, Average Salary For an FBI Agent

HOW Much Do FBI Agents Make?

As new FBI agents enter the academy and graduate to special agent status, they carry a GS-10 designation.

GS 15 - Step 2
*$110,148+ per year
GS 14 - Step 2
*$93,642+ Annually
GS 13 - Step 2
*$79,243+ Annually
GS 12 - Step 2
*$66,640+ Annually
GS 11 - Step 2
*$55,599+ Annually
GS 10 - Step 2
*$52,237+ per year
GS 15 - Step 1
* $106,595+ Annually
GS 14 - step 1
*$90,621+ per year
GS 13 - step 1
*$76,687+ Annually
GS 12 - step 1
*$64,490+ Annually
GS 11 - step 1
*$53,805+ per year
GS 10 - step 1
*$50,605+ Annually

* pay figure does not include locality and availability adjustment

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SALARIES & WAGES

Locality Pay Tables for Geographic Areas

On top of the base salaries identified in the General Schedule, an FBI special agent’s pay is adjusted in two additional ways: by location and by availability. Agents in major metro areas, as well as in Alaska and Hawaii, receive higher pay to account for the higher cost of living in those area. In the San Francisco area, for example, all pay levels were 38.17+ percent higher in 2019. In the Kansas City area, by contrast, the locality adjustment was 15.59%.

ALBANY-SCHENECTADY, NY-MA

ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE-LAS VEGAS, NM

ATLANTA–ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY–SANDY SPRINGS, GA-AL

AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK, TX

BIRMINGHAM-HOOVER-TALLADEGA, AL

BOSTON-WORCESTER-PROVIDENCE, MA-RI-NH-ME

BUFFALO-CHEEKTOWAGA, NY

BURLINGTON-SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT

CHARLOTTE-CONCORD, NC-SC

CHICAGO-NAPERVILLE, IL-IN-WI

CINCINNATI-WILMINGTON-MAYSVILLE, OH-KY-IN

CLEVELAND-AKRON-CANTON, OH

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

COLUMBUS-MARION-ZANESVILLE, OH

CORPUS CHRISTI-KINGSVILLE-ALICE, TX

DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TX-OK

DAVENPORT-MOLINE, IA-IL

DAYTON-SPRINGFIELD-SIDNEY, OH

DENVER-AURORA, CO

DETROIT-WARREN-ANN ARBOR, MI

HARRISBURG-LEBANON, PA

HARTFORD-WEST HARTFORD, CT-MA

HOUSTON-THE WOODLANDS, TX

HUNTSVILLE-DECATUR-ALBERTVILLE, AL

INDIANAPOLIS-CARMEL-MUNCIE, IN

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN-WI

NEW YORK-NEWARK, NY-NJ-CT-PA

OMAHA-COUNCIL BLUFFS-FREMONT, NE-IA

PALM BAY-MELBOURNE-TITUSVILLE, FL

PHILADELPHIA-READING-CAMDEN, PA-NJ-DE-MD

PHOENIX-MESA-SCOTTSDALE, AZ

PITTSBURGH-NEW CASTLE-WEIRTON, PA-OH-WV

PORTLAND-VANCOUVER-SALEM, OR-WA

RALEIGH-DURHAM-CHAPEL HILL, NC

RICHMOND, VA

SACRAMENTO-ROSEVILLE, CA-NV

SAN ANTONIO-NEW BRAUNFELS-PEARSALL, TX

SAN DIEGO-CARLSBAD, CA

SAN JOSE-SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND, CA

SEATTLE-TACOMA, WA

LOUIS-ST. CHARLES-FARMINGTON, MO-IL

TUCSON-NOGALES, AZ

VIRGINIA BEACH-NORFOLK, VA-NC

WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE-ARLINGTON, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA

STATE OF ALASKA

STATE OF HAWAII

KANSAS CITY-OVERLAND PARK-KANSAS CITY, MO-KS

LAREDO, TX

LAS VEGAS-HENDERSON, NV-AZ

LOS ANGELES-LONG BEACH, CA

MIAMI-FORT LAUDERDALE-PORT ST. LUCIE, FL

MILWAUKEE-RACINE-WAUKESHA, WI

How to Become an FBI Special Agent

 
Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) can be defined as “A federal law enforcement agency that is the principal investigative arm of the Department of Justice”. FBI’s job description includes dealing with organized crime, drug trafficking, counter terrorism, civil rights violations, espionage, and violence of any form.

The job of a FBI agent is very demanding and stressful. It deals with investigations of criminals and protecting the economy from terrorists. It can be dangerous and requires a lot of patience as well as a great deal of will power. Being a FBI agent is no easy task and one hardly gets any personal time. Becase of this, there are very specific FBI agent requirements.

However, you can definitely do well if you like to serve the public and are determined to face obstacles. An FBI special agent can be assigned with special tasks and investigation. They might also have to do undercover operations for which they get special training.

The training of an FBI special agent depends upon the assignments they get. FBI special agent requirements are the same as FBI agent requirements. FBI special agents are assigned specific units of investigation. They also have to undergo a special training of 16 weeks after recruitment.

They might also have to go through more training in future depending upon their assignments. How does one become an FBI agent? Well, there are strict rules and regulations that must be followed during the recruitment process. Let’s have a look.

FBI Agent Requirements
One needs to qualify in all the rounds. The FBI agent requirements are as follows:

  • The minimum age requirement is 23 years.
  • The applicant must be a citizen of America.
  • He must possess a four year bachelor’s degree from any college or academy, officially recognized by one of the regional or national institutions authorized by the United States Secretary of Education.
  • He must have minimum three years of work experience and a valid driving license.

The applicants must qualify under any one of the special agent entry programs:

  • Diversified
  • Law
  • Computer Science/Information Technology
  • Accounting
  • Language

After qualifying in any one of the special agent entry programs, the applicants will be tested for their critical skills. The critical skills can be one of the following:

  • Diversified Experience
  • Computer Science/Information Technology Expertise
  • Engineering Expertise
  • Intelligence Experience
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Military Experience
  • Law Enforcement/Investigative Experience
  • Foreign Language(s) Proficiency

These critical skills are necessary for surviving the abstruse way of working for the FBI. Candidates who possess more than one of the above mentioned skills will be given preference.The next step in the recruitment of an FBI agent is the physical requirements.The candidates who qualify in the critical skills has to undergo testing which will prove they are physically fit to be a special agent.The test that will be taken as follows:

  • The cadet would have to run for about a mile and a half and the assessment would be done by setting a timer.
  • He/She would have to do push ups according to his capacity (timer would not be used in this case).
  • He/She would also have to compete for 300 meter sprint.
  • He/She would have to do a maximum number of sit-ups.

The cadet has to pass in each one of these tests to meet the physical requirements laid down by FBI. Another physical test will be conducted during the training session, after the candidates have been selected. After the physical test, all the applicants have to go through a background investigation, which is one of the important FBI agent requirements. It is a crucial part of the recruitment process. The candidates will receive a conditional offer letter before the background investigation. It is necessary to pass this round in order to join the FBI. This investigation consists of credit and record checks, test for illegal drugs, polygraph test, interviews with neighbors, friends and colleagues.

Disqualifications
There are certain FBI disqualifiers the applicants should be aware of if cahe or she is in serious pursuit of career opportunity.

  • Failing in the urine analysis drug test conducted by the FBI.
  • Use of illegal drugs (it is a breach of the FBI Employment Drug Policy).
  • Involvement in a major crime ( it is a felony).
  • If not registered with the Selective Service System (U.S. Government registers the names and addresses of men between 18-25 years in case of emergency expansion of army). This point only applies to the male candidates.

These are the FBI agent requirements. You have to qualify in all the tests conducted, for a successful recruitment in the FBI. If you wish to serve the public and know you have the potential, then you can definitely be an FBI agent.

FBI Requirements, Qualifications & Job Salary

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the most important investigation agencies in the United States of America. It also is one of the best in the world! The FBI’s work, involves investigation of crime associated with bank robbery, scams, kidnapping, murder, etc. The FBI appoints specialized people for this investigation purpose and these people are referred to as FBI agents. These FBI agents are authorized personnel who carry out the investigation work related to the case assigned to them. Victims are expected to provide all possible information to the agents so they to solve the case as soon as possible.

If you are thinking about becoming an FBI agent and pursue a long time career into the investigation stream, then let me congratulate you on your brave decision! The career opportunities in this field are excellent. However, you need to be intelligent, courageous, and result oriented for this purpose. These are the basic necessities and if you have it in you to know how and when to apply these necessities, then I’m sure you would confirm your name in the list of the most successful FBI agents to date. Now, just having these qualities is not enough;  you also need to complete some formal education and undergo FBI related training. Successful completion of pre-job training and an education would qualify you to become an FBI agent. Let us now read about some aspects of the FBI agent’s career which include, FBI agent salary range, job description and educational qualifications.

FBI Agent Job Description

‘Investigation’. This single word would not be able to completely describe the entire job description of an FBI agent since investigation includes a vast array of duties and responsibilities. Let us read in short about the FBI agent job description.

  • The core duty of an FBI agent is crime investigation, which includes illegal transportation of goods across the borders, murder investigations, tracing kidnappers and resolve kidnapping cases, etc.
  • Communicate with the victims, witnesses, etc, and come to sensible conclusions.
  • Coordinate with fellow officers and establish an information network to accelerate the investigation process.
  • Carrying out under cover investigations also forms an important part of the FBI agent job description.
  • Gather relevant information pertaining to the case and then present the report to senior officials.

FBI Agent Qualifications and Training

With regards to formal education, the basic requirement to become an FBI agent is to possess a bachelor’s degree in any stream. Knowledge or fluency in any foreign language is an added advantage. Other requirements to become an FBI agent include being a U.S. citizen, be physically sound as well as have a high level of mental health, and be between 23 – 37 years of age. You further need to clear the written, oral, and physical tests. You then qualify for the training program, which includes training on FBI rules, regulations and procedures, criminal law, self defense techniques, etc. Read more on FBI agent requirements.

FBI Agent Salary Range

Performance and experience play a large role in deciding the salary of an FBI agent. FBI special agents are paid very well ranging between  $50,000 – $110,000+ annually. The more experience  you have, the better the pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the most popular and well-known law enforcement agencies in the world. Particular to its notoriety is how little information it releases about how much its agents make or what they do on a daily basis. So, how much does an FBI agent make? What are some common questions people ask about how much an FBI agent makes? We’ll answer all these questions and more!

Do FBI agents get paid a salary?

Yes, they are on the federal government payroll.

How much do fbi agents make?

Agents typically start at GS-11 and move up from there depending on how long they’ve been working for the Bureau (although it is possible to be hired as an agent straight out of college).

The average salary starts around $65k+ per year with some earning substantially more depending on your level of experience, promotion, etc.

It’s difficult to calculate exactly how much someone might earn because pay rates depend on experience, education level, location in which he/she works, how many hours he/she puts in each day…etc.

What does an fbi special agent salary look like?

It varies depending how long you’ve been an agent. Agents start as GS-11, and when they reach the top level of pay for their grade (GS-13) after 15 years on the job, he/she can make around $100k+ per year.

How much do fbi agents in washington dc make?

This is a difficult question to answer because it will depend based on how many hours each employee works each week, how experienced that individual may be with the Bureau…etc.

Do female fbi agents get paid less than men?

No! There are no gender biases or discrimination within this federal agency which has led to some amazing changes not only in how women are treated but also how society views them overall–and how women view themselves.

What is the salary range for fbi agents?

It varies how much an FBI agent makes, but it can be anywhere from $65k to over $100k+ per year based on how long they’ve been working and how experienced or qualified that individual may be with regard to their job position in particular.

How do you become an fbi special agent?

Applicants first have to go through a rigorous application process which includes background check and drug test among other things before being accepted into training at the Academy–where they will undergo extensive physical fitness tests, skills-based assessments, psychological testing…etc., all of which take about six months worth (full time) of work in order to graduate as a fully-fledged FBI agent.

How do you become an fbi special agent without a degree?

You cannot become an FBI agent with a degree. You need a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in order to become an FBI agent. You can be hired as an agent straight out of college if you have a college degree.

If I have military experience, will that benefit me when applying with the Bureau?

Yes! The extensive skillset learned through years of service will not only give you more credibility among your peers but could also help make up for some of the gaps in experience that you might have if you’re not currently employed as an agent.

Do fbi agents put themselves in danger?

Yes! Agents put their lives at risk every single day when they go out into the field because terrorism doesn’t just happen overseas–it also happens here domestically too so there’s no such thing as a ‘safe’ job.

Do fbi agents get paid more than local law enforcement officers?

Yes! Most federal agencies pay their employees significantly higher salaries than what you would typically find at the state or municipal level because of how dangerous it is to be in this line of work, how much training and education required before starting out–plus with all the experience that’s often necessary to advance up through the ranks into specialized positions, etc.

Do FBI agents get paid well?

Yes! FBI agent salaries are competitive with other federal agencies and they’re able to offer entry-level agents much more money than local law enforcement agencies.

What is the highest paid FBI agent?

Each FBI agent has a different salary and it can vary how much an employee in this position is paid, but if you know how long the person has been with the Bureau…you may be able to get a ballpark idea. However $130k-$200k is normal for a top level FBI agent.

How much do FBI agents make 2021?

This is a tough question to answer because how much an FBI agent makes changes all the time. But it typically starts around $65k+ per year which can increase over time and with experience too.

Is it hard to become an FBI agent?

Yes! The FBI has the strictest and most demanding application process of all federal agencies. You must pass a rigorous background check, drug test, physical fitness tests…etc., before being accepted into training at the Academy which takes about six months (full-time) worth of work in order to graduate as an official agent.

How much do CIA agents get paid?

CIA agents typically make between $50k-$100k+ per year.

Is the FBI test hard?

The FBI Special Agent written test is a difficult exam that requires applicants to be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the law, how to detect liars and how to use advanced reasoning skills in order to solve problems.

How do you get promoted with the fbi?

When an agent has been working for five years, they can apply for promotion to the next level. Promotion is based on how well an agent has done in their position as well as how long they’ve been with the Bureau–plus if you’re already a special agent, then it’s a lot easier to get promoted than if you’re still working your way up from field or support positions.

Do FBI agents need any prior experience?

Yes! The majority of agents have some form of experience before they are able to apply for an FBI agent position. This could be in law enforcement, the military or as a federal officer which typically requires at least five years on-the-job with good performance reviews and then you can consider applying for this type of work.

What GPA do you need to be a FBI agent?

Applicants must maintain a 3.0 grade point average throughout the application process (or, for collegiate hires, until graduation). Honors interns are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program.

What does a fbi agent do?

FBI agents are sworn federal officers who conduct investigations into any criminal activity that has violated U.S. Federal Laws (which includes terrorism investigations). They can also offer protection to anyone in danger or at risk for their life–like witnesses of a crime or people who have been threatened.

The work of FBI agents is sometines classified, so it’s hard to say exactly what they do on any given day without looking at how the Bureau divides their responsibilities into different units and sections…but you can start by checking out this list: * General Crimes Unit * Counterintelligence Division * Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit * Cyber Crime Division * Legal Attaché Program

What is the FBI?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte; it’s part of the United States Department of Justice and has jurisdiction over federal crimes. Their motto: “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

What is the difference between FBI and CIA?

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has jurisdiction over federal crimes while The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) focuses on international intelligence. They are two different agencies with their own set of responsibilities–although they do sometimes overlap in how they operate because when you work for one agency, you are bound to have some contact with the other.

What was FBI hair analysis?

Hair Analysis is how long and how often a person combs his or her hair, how much of their physical activity they engage in, what type of clothes they wear (which can change hairstyles), how dirty or clean their environment is…etc. These are all factors in how often certain hairs grow and how long they can be.

What is the work environment like for FBI agents?

FBI agents usually work as part of a team and oftentimes they’ll be working with other federal agencies to promote inter-agency cooperation. They also have opportunities to travel abroad on assignments, which can be exciting but it’s important that you’re willing to relocate to wherever you’re assigned.

What do FBI agents have to go through in order to apply?

FBI recruits are required to complete a rigorous application process before they can be considered for employment with the Bureau–including personal interviews, passing a background check and physical fitness tests (like how long it takes them to run or how high they can leap).

where do I go to apply to become an FBI agent?

You can find more information about how to apply on the FBI website here.

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