How To Become A Federal Agent

federal agents
federal agents are employees of the federal government, and they are qualified and authorized to carry out tasks that others are not. also known as "special agents", federal agents may legally exercise the tasks of testifying, intelligence gathering, executing a search warrant, making an arrest, and doing desk work. they may also operate outside of united states territory. one of the biggest attractions in becoming a federal agent is the opportunity to do a variety of work on a regular basis. the career is usually not mundane, nine-to-five, or monday to friday; but it may not be the most highly paid. federal agents are always on call to protect the nation; therefore, only those who are highly committed should pursue a career as a federal agent.

what do federal agents do?
while there are many different types of federal agents, and it is not possible to cover all of them, the more well-known hiring agencies are the u.s. department of justice, the federal bureau of investigation (fbi), and the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives (atf). federal agents of the atf perform the following duties:

  • gather and analyze evidence
  • testify in court
  • prepare criminal investigative reports
  • investigate violations relating to tobacco, alcohol, arson, firearms and explosives
  • investigate criminal violations of federal laws

federal agents of the fbi perform many similar duties, but they may have other duties than atf agents.

how to become a federal agent
if you are interested in becoming a federal agent for the fbi, then the following are some requirements in order to become an agent; there may be no exceptions to the following:

  • u.s. citizenship
  • a valid driver's license
  • a four-year college or university degree
  • at least 23 years of age but younger than 37 at the time of appointment as a federal agent
  • minimum of three years of professional work experience

this is just the beginning; you will need to meet additional federal agent qualification requirements like:

  • pass the fbi background investigation
  • meet the federal agent physical requirements

the first step in applying for a position is by completing the online application. it is worth mentioning here that the application process could take years or as little as six months. the fbi's federal agents are graduates of the fbi academy in quantico, virginia, where they are put through 5 months of intensive training. training is both in-class and on-field. agents are taught a wide variety of academic subjects. agents are also taught the use of firearms, defensive tactics, physical fitness, and practical application exercises.

how much are they paid?
during training, fbi agents are paid a little less than $2,000 per each two-week pay period. after training, agents may earn between $60,000 and $70,000 depending where in the country they are assigned to work. during service, fbi agents are covered under life and health insurance programs. like other federal employees, they are given sick and vacation days. upon retirement, they are entitled to a full retirement plan.


Q:How long does it take to become a federal agent?

A:To become a federal agent, you need to enroll in training programs at the agency and also acquire plenty of work experience on the job. However, to be eligible for this field, it is important that you first complete your college education. You can earn an associate degree or a bachelor degree to help you qualify for FBI careers.

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