Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents enjoy competitive salaries, robust health insurance coverage, excellent retirement benefits, and a certain level of status and prestige, making the job one of the most sought-after law enforcement career options in the United States. While careers in the FBI may be lucrative, there are several important requirements to meet before you can become an agent. Here's a look at some of those requirements and what you can expect from a career protecting Americans as an FBI agent.
What Are the Minimum Requirements to Become an FBI Agent?
As with many positions within the federal government, there are a few minimum requirements to meet before you can land a job as an FBI agent. To even be considered for the role, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 23 and 36
- Hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited academic institution
- Have a valid driver's license
FBI agents must also have at least two years of professional work experience, be able to pass medical and security clearances, and be willing to relocate to new locations around the world if necessary. Additionally, your chances of becoming an agent will improve if you speak at least one foreign language and can pass a language competency test.
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How Does the FBI Hire Agents?
The FBI accepts fewer than 20% of applicants, making jobs within the bureau highly competitive. Applicants typically begin their candidacy through one of the FBI's various entry programs, all of which are tailored to specific FBI career tracks. Whether you're interested in working as an FBI agent in computers and technology, law, accountancy, or another division, you will need to prepare for the testing process once you meet the minimum requirements listed above. These include written tests that assess your basic abilities, knowledge, and competency, as well as rigorous fitness tests and physical requirements.
The FBI's Physical Requirements
FBI fitness standards are tough, making the physical testing process perhaps one of the biggest hurdles to overcome if you pursue a career as an agent. Unless you already have a background in the military, sports, or law enforcement, you should begin cardiovascular and strength training as soon as possible to increase your chances of passing the FBI's physical requirements. Male and female applicants must be able to perform a high minimum number of push-ups and sit-ups within a minute, as well as be able to complete short- and long-distance running challenges.