The FBI is the federal law enforcement that protects the United States against acts of terrorism, federal crimes, civil rights infringements, corruption and violent acts of crime. FBI agents are specially trained investigators who track cases, interrogate suspects and witnesses, make arrests, conduct raids, use surveillance, collect evidence, assist in hostage situations, give testimony, and more. The types of cases that FBI agents investigate range from white-collar crime and public corruption to very violent crimes, organized crime rings to major thefts and burglaries to cyberterrorism and cyber espionage. While the CIA is chiefly responsible for monitoring international intelligence, the FBI does still investigate threats to the United States from international espionage and terrorism. FBI agents are stationed in major cities, like the Washington, D.C. headquarters, as well as smaller cities and even in U.S. embassies around the world. Even though FBI agents are federally employed, they must be able to work alongside local and state law enforcement officials and legal teams, as well as medical examiners, judges, analysts, forensic scientists and others involved in pursuing an investigation and making arrests. FBI agents need to be very vigilant and very detail-oriented in order to manage investigations over long periods of time, making reports and collecting evidence. Agents must also be able to handle dangerous, high-stress situations and be in top shape mentally and physically.
Top Forensic Science Programs
There are currently over 12,730 special agents in the FBI. The FBI offers special agents a range of benefits, including health insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, time-off, education and training assistance, work-life programs, and more. Entry-level agents can expect to make a little less than $40,000 annually, while those with more experience can earn in the $80-90,000 range. This amount may also be adjusted depending on your geographic location and education level.
FBI agents need to be smart, alert and analytical. Their understanding of the U.S. criminal justice system must be infallible, and while agents undergo an intense training program before going into the field, a degree in criminal justice can also be a big help. FBI agents must be between the ages of 23 and 37, and they need to have at the very least a diploma from a four-year college or university and at least three years of work experience. Applicants must also qualify under one of the following subject areas: accounting, computer science/information technology, language, law, or diversified, so majoring in one of these areas would be very useful.