Are you someone who dreams of making a big difference in your country by helping people — either in the field or behind the scenes?
Then a career with the FBI might be ideal for you.
But what types of careers are available with the FBI? How do you know if you’re eligible to apply? And how does the FBI application process work?
This article will cover the types of careers you can apply for, what you need to be eligible for a career with the FBI, and the hiring and application process.
More about the FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a national security organization in the U.S. that has law enforcement and intelligence responsibilities.
Its focus is to protect the American people against acts of terrorism, organized crime, cybercrime, public corruption, civil rights violations, and more.
The organization has over 37,000 employees at its locations across America. Some of the most popular FBI locations include:
Washington, District of Columbia
New York, New York
San Francisco, California
El Paso, Texas
Charlotte, North Carolina
In addition to the locations mentioned above, there are several other locations that you can consider, including, but not limited to:
Albany, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Haven, Omaha, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Springfield. In total, there are 56 field offices to choose from.
Types of positions available with the FBI
There are different types of careers available with the FBI for all ranges of expertise, qualifications, and skill sets.
According to 117 survey responses on Payscale, 11.1% of FBI employees are entry-level, and 22.2% are highly experienced.
This means that employees have the chance to work their way up the corporate ladder when working with the FBI, and many positions start at entry level.
Some of the most popular careers include:
STEM careers: Positions for skilled scientists, IT professionals, engineers, and math-based professionals. These include positions such as biologists, information technology specialists, and digital forensic examiners.
Special agents: These professionals use their skills and expertise to stay ahead of threats, protect innocent people, and uphold the law. As part of their job, they need to infiltrate organized crime rings, investigate terrorists, and seek out cybercrime.
Business and creative careers: These careers involve people who primarily work in field offices and are responsible for using their business knowledge to keep processes running efficiently, such as contract specialists.
Specialized careers: These include careers in the medical or counseling fields, such as occupational health nurses, victim specialists, and employee assistance counselors.
Independent contractors: These professionals are considered self-employed and not eligible to receive government benefits. They typically earn an hourly rate and need to perform work as agreed upon with the FBI office. For example, a contract linguist may be needed for translation services.
Learn more about FBI careers.
What do you need to be eligible for employment with the FBI?
To be eligible for employment with the FBI, applicants must not violate any automatic employment disqualifiers and pass a pre-employment drug test. The FBI runs a complete background check for all applicants.
Here are some immediate employment disqualifiers:
Conviction of a felony
Violation or failure of the FBI drug policy
Failure to pay court-ordered child support
Failure to file local, state, or federal tax returns
Bad standing with student loan repayments
Willfully engaged in activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force
Download the full FBI Eligibility Guide.
FBI hiring process
The steps involved in the FBI hiring process are as follows.
Application submission: Candidates can explore the different career options available and apply for the position (more on the application process next).
Review of eligibility and qualifications: An FBI HR specialist will review candidates’ applications and determine their eligibility.
Tests and interviews: Eligible candidates will be contacted for an interview. Specialized positions may require additional assessment.
Discover the top interview questions and how you should answer them.
Conditional job offer: After a candidate has completed the interview and any other assessments, they’ll receive a conditional offer for FBI employment.
Background Investigation (BI): Applicant will complete a BI, including drug tests and a polygraph, to receive FBI Top Secret Security Clearance.
Final job offer: After completion of the BI, the applicant will receive a final job offer.
Entrance on Duty (EOD) date scheduled: The employee will be scheduled for their first day at the FBI. They’ll be required to attend orientation in their first week. Some positions also require employees to attend training at the FBI Academy in Quantico.
Keep in mind that the complete hiring process can take over a year (depending on the type of position you’re applying for). This is because the review process alone can take up to 23 weeks, and the background check and field training process can take up to a year.
FBI application process
Here are the steps you can follow to apply for a job with the FBI.
Step 1: Look at listings or find a recruiter
Register an account on apply.fbijobs.gov and discover current job listings by entering the type of position you’re looking for into the search bar. You can filter the job listings by job title, location, or keyword.
If you don’t find a position that interests you, you can enable email notifications so that you’re alerted of new positions in that criteria whenever they are uploaded. Enable email notifications by:
Clicking the “Save Search” button once you’ve applied all the filters and have your desired criteria.
Name your search and check the box to opt-in to email notifications.
Alternatively, you can identify a recruiter based on your location by identifying your nearest FBI field office. Look at the list of offices here.
After identifying the recruiter, you can contact them to ask questions regarding your application.
Step 2: Fill out your resume
Once you find a position that you’re interested in and qualified for, you can fill out your resume using the FBI resume template.
It’s crucial that you provide a complete federal resume to be considered for a position with the FBI.
In your resume, you’ll be required to highlight your:
Professional work experience
Other work experience
Certifications or achievements
Volunteer work or community service
Military applicants also need to provide their rank, grade, job title, and start and end dates.
For more details on how you should fill out your resume, the FBI has created a Federal Resume Guide to make the process easier.
For you to stand out as a quality applicant, your resume needs to be outstanding. Discover some useful tips to improve your resume.
Step 3: Submit your resume
After completing your resume, go back to the online application and start applying for the position. You’ll be required to read the Terms and Conditions and select the checkbox to continue with the application.
The left side of the screen will display the application steps and show you where you are in the process. From there, you can simply follow the steps, fill in the necessary information, answer additional questions, and submit your resume.
Keep in mind that the number of steps will vary depending on the position you’re applying for.
If your application is successful, an FBI HR employee will contact you for an interview.
Apply for similar jobs
If you can’t manage to find a job with the FBI that looks right for you, you can always search for other similar positions on Jobcase’s job board. Simply head over to our job board and type in the position you’re looking for.
Filter your search by location to only look at positions that are close to you. Alternatively, if you prefer working from home, you can filter the search by ticking the “remote work only” box.
Ready to start your search for the ideal position?
Whether you want to work as a field agent or an office worker, there are many different job positions for you to choose from.
If not with the FBI, there are countless other law enforcement jobs available across the country.
Look at some of the best law enforcement jobs that are hiring right now.