become an FBI special agent?

I want to become a special agent in the counter terrorsim division. I'm a United States Marine (reservist) and I am currently pursuing a degree in accounting. I also plan on a minor or double major in arabic. Is this a good plan? What else can I do to beef up my resume?

2 Answers

  • drdr
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A Bachelor's degree is required for federal special agent positions (very few exceptions). Any major is acceptable, but CJ, Computer Science, Sociology, Accounting, or Psych may stand you in better stead for most positions. Those meeting the minimum requirements may not compare well to the best qualified applicants, and there are always more applicants than positions. The FBI likes lawyers and accountants, but they hire from various backgrounds, with at least 3 years of substantive employment ( Any responsible employment is acceptable, but law enforcement may be beneficial. Other federal agency job announcements should be available at

    The FBI in particular needs people capable of investigating major frauds and conspiracies involving numerous business and technical occupations and professions; whereas, local police are more oriented to street crime. Federal agents must be capable of understanding and communicating at a level above that usually expected from patrol officers. Federal agencies are looking for people who fit in at all social strata, and the expectations are greater with regard to preparation of reports and affidavits. In my experience, state and local officers have their affidavits written by prosecutors; whereas, federal agents write their own.

    Being a military officer may be advantageous, and military service normally provides veteran preference in the hiring process. However, enlisted service will not necessarily enhance one’s prospects. Being a practicing attorney or accountant would also place one in a good position. Forensic computer expertise is desirable in almost all agencies. Language capabilities are prized by all agencies.

    You are more likely to be successful if you do not restrict yourself to one agency. Moreover, agents get hired from other agencies regularly. If you have proven yourself in another agency (particularly federal), you will have an advantage for FBI hiring. Being a police officer may be helpful, depending on personal performance and agency reputation.

    I recommend that people major in psych and minor in CJ (even though I majored in CJ for a BS and PhD, with a Masters in management [sponsored by and on government time]). The academic specialization for a graduate degree is not necessarily important.

    GPA (above 3.5 is a plus), testing, physical fitness, work experience, possibly a polygraph, ability to communicate orally and in writing, and graduate degrees are what determine who gets hired. And, I repeat, there are always more applicants than there are positions.

    There are numerous special agent positions (see list below, not all have full arrest, search, and seizure authority), in what was and I assume still is the 1811 job series (1810 are unarmed investigators without arrest authority). There are also law enforcement related positions in the Dept of Homeland Security and other agencies, such as inspector positions or Border Patrol agents, that could be open to those with 2 years of college or less. And, there are federal police officers within federal agencies (e.g., Dept of Veterans Affairs, Treasury, Federal Protective Service). Agencies:

    ATF, Customs and Border Protection (uniform wearing: Border Patrol Agent, Officers), DEA, Dept of Def, Dept of State, Dept of Homeland Sec (ICE, TSA)

    Dept of Labor, EPA, FBI, FDA, Fish & Wildlife (few positions, many applicants), Inspector General Offices within departments and/or agencies, IRS, Marshals Service, State Dept, Secret Svc, Securities Exchange Commission, and each branch of the Armed Forces (some civilian, some active duty).

    Apply at as many places as possible, and accept the first offer. Then, if that’s not where you want to be, keep applying to the agency you want.

    Source(s): Retired fed spec agent (NCIS [when it was NIS], Customs, & finally Homeland Sec [ICE]), crim justice adj professor, TX peace officer certification, TX investigative hypnosis certification, former tactical team member, TX licensed PI, sat on hiring panels for two fed agencies, defensive tactics and firearms instructor for two federal agencies, formerly USMC Military Police officer & enlisted (to include CID)
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  • oshell
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    there is fairly no way you would be aggressive for an FBI place without 4-year college degree.I wager whomever instructed you which you probably didn't want a level became a cop and not an FBI agent. For any open slot, there will be a lot of law enforcement officers with 4 year tiers making use of. you won't even make the 1st shrink. circulate to college, get your degree. a lot of law enforcement officers try this.

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