Top FBI Careers: Job Positions, Duties, Benefits, and More

Last updated: April 21, 2024
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Top FBI Careers: Job Positions, Duties, Benefits, and More
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A career with the FBI can be exciting and highly fulfilling since it enables you to protect the American people and make a big difference in their lives.

Whether you want to work in the office, lab, or field, there’s a position for you. From science and psychology to action-based jobs, you’ll find something that’s perfect for your qualifications, needs, and expertise.

This article will look at 16 of the most popular job positions with the FBI and dive deep into their education requirements, responsibilities, eligibility, and more so you can decide if a career with the FBI is right for you.

About the FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a threat-focused security organization in the United States. It protects the American people against terrorism, cyber-attacks, criminal activity, and more.

The violent crime rate in the U.S. has fallen from a high of 758,2 reported crimes (per 100,000 population) in 1991 to 398.5 reported crimes in 2020.

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The FBI has aided in lowering the crime rate and strives to remove as much crime as possible so that people can live safer and more stress-free lives.

It aims to remove the biggest threats by hiring specialized, qualified, and skilled people who have the means and drive to make a difference.

Some of the most popular FBI locations include:

  • Washington, District of Columbia

  • New York, New York

  • Quantico, Virginia

  • Huntsville, Alabama

  • San Francisco, California

  • Phoenix, Arizona

  • Houston, Texas

  • Arlington, Virginia

  • El Paso, Texas

  • Charlotte, North Carolina

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Aside from the locations mentioned above, you can choose many other areas. These include but aren’t limited to Albany, Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Diego, and many more.

This means people looking for a career with the FBI will likely be able to find a position at one of the offices close to their house.

Look here to see if there is a field office in your area.

Who is a career with the FBI perfect for?

A career with the FBI is the perfect option for you if you’re:

  • Someone who wants to help the community

  • A person with self-initiative and drive who can work well under pressure

  • Someone who’s excellent at being a team player

  • A person with interpersonal abilities who can relate to people and offer comfort when necessary

  • Someone with powerful problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

  • Someone who’s selfless and enjoys protecting and helping people who can’t protect themselves

It’s also worth noting that the FBI has a veteran’s preference. This means that ex-veterans who were honorably discharged or have a service-connected disability are eligible for a 10-point preference.

Furthermore, veterans with valid top secret clearances will have a better chance of getting a job with the FBI.

Want to apply for a job with the FBI but unsure if you’ll qualify? Learn more about the FBIs background investigation procedures.

Different FBI careers you can pursue

The FBI offers many career opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds, qualifications, skillsets, and experience levels.

It offers opportunities in the following industries:

  • Acquisitions and Logistics

  • Independent Contractors

  • Investigative Careers

  • Medical and Counseling

  • Victim Services

  • FBI Police

  • Skilled Trades

  • Special Agents

  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Careers.

Here are 16 of the most popular job positions at the FBI.

1. Contract specialist

Contract specialists are responsible for obtaining services and supplies efficiently and appropriately while adhering to statutory compliance.

To do so, they need to plan, create, award, and administer contracts for the supplies, services, construction, and research the FBI needs. They’re the only employees at the FBI allowed to allocate federal government funds to purchase services and goods contractually.

To become a contract specialist with the FBI, you need a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S.-accelerated college.

2. Contract linguist

Contract linguists are considered independent contractors. They provide interpretation, translation, and cultural expertise services to the FBI.

They’re required to work onsite and perform work as agreed upon by the local FBI office. These types of opportunities are often available in many major U.S. metropolitan areas.

It’s important to note that independent contractors aren’t eligible for government benefits. They receive payment on an hourly basis based on their level of skill and experience.

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People interested in becoming contract linguists with the FBI must pass all of the FBI’s eligibility requirements, receive Top Secret Clearance, and complete all background checks.

3. Forensic accountant

The forensic accountant position is one of the most popular and sought-after careers within the FBI.

People in this role are responsible for using their accounting skills and investigative techniques to research the systems through which money may be illegally funneled or laundered by spies, terrorists, and criminals.

They mainly investigate financial crimes, including institutional, corporate, healthcare, securities, mortgage, and commodities fraud.

They can also apply their skills and expertise to counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cybercrime, and more.

To apply for this role, you need a bachelor’s degree or higher in accounting or a related field, such as business administration, public administration, or finance.

4. Forensic psychologist

Forensic psychologists specialize in forensic concentration. Mainly working inside the office, this job is more mental than physical.

People in this role are responsible for evaluating the mental competency of criminals during trials and diagnosing mental disorders and conditions. They also make recommendations for the length of prison sentences and determine whether criminals must be committed to mental institutions.

They’re required to do a lot of writing during evaluations, they are sometimes required to compile reports for court trials, and they often work alongside doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, lawyers, and paralegals.

On average, forensic psychologists working at the FBI earn $55,500 per year.

5. Employee assistance counselor

The FBI is committed to the health and well-being of its employees. As such, its Human Resource Division and Employee Assistance Unit offer supportive services for employees and their families.

Employee assistance counselors work within the FBI Employee Assistance Program and are responsible for offering counseling, assessment, and support to employees who need it.

They offer support for various concerns, including, but not limited to, marital and family problems, stress, financial issues, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, and more.

6. Occupational health nurse

Since a healthy, safe, and fit workforce is crucial for the FBI to succeed, it’s highly focused on providing exceptional healthcare to its employees.

Occupational health nurses work with the Human Resource Division and Medical Operations and Readiness Unit to respond to work-related illnesses, injuries, and medical emergencies of FBI employees.

They also provide employees with health education, so they maintain optimal health during and after treatment.

Have you considered a work-from-home nurse job? Look at the top work-from-home nursing jobs that you can consider applying for.

7. Automotive equipment specialist

Automotive equipment specialists are responsible for maintaining a state-of-the-art fleet. They need to keep vehicles in a prime state to ensure that special agents and police officers can arrive at emergency locations quickly and without mechanical problems.

They need to perform scheduled and unscheduled repairs and ensure that all emergency vehicles conform to industry, city-state, and federal standards.

People in this position will receive training and development opportunities to guarantee they stay on top of the game in this ever-evolving field.

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8. Police officer

Police officers play a vital role in fulfilling the FBI’s mission. They serve as first responders in emergencies and are responsible for aiding employees, visitors, and the surrounding public whenever help is needed.

They also track, note, report, and investigate any suspicious activities or persons to ensure that no illegal activities occur.

To become a police officer, The Police Officer Selection System (POSS) will evaluate and rate you on several competencies, including initiative and motivation, stress tolerance, judgment and decision-making, oral communication, and more.

9. Victim specialist

Victim specialists are responsible for supporting and helping victims of crimes so they can better deal with the aftermath of their experiences.

They make sure that victims who have suffered physical, financial, emotional, or psychological harm are provided the support and services they need to recover effectively.

Some examples of the victims they work with are people who were victims of child abuse, violent crimes, domestic and international terrorism, human trafficking, white-collar crime, fraud, and more.

10. Computer scientist (field operations)

Computer scientists work alongside technology professionals within a dynamic environment to prevent cyberattacks through counterintelligence, fraud, counterterrorism, identity theft, bank robberies, and other crimes.

They bring extensive experience in quality assurance, computer programming, operating systems, data structures, network security, and more.

To become a computer scientist with the FBI, you need a relevant bachelor’s degree or higher — preferably in the computer science or information technology fields.

11. Data scientist

Data scientists are responsible for analyzing and interpreting data trends and patterns by applying advanced mathematical methodologies and statistical techniques.

These professionals work at FBI headquarters and in some field offices. They’re required to have strong skills in coding, mathematics, statistics, data analysis, data visualization, data intuition, and data wrangling.

To become a data scientist, you need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or actuarial science. Or you need a combination of education and experience to include 24 course hours in one or more of the abovementioned fields.

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12. Data analyst

Much like data scientists, data analysts work with data and are responsible for applying their analytical skills and statistical principles to data to answer questions, solve problems, and advance investigative work.

However, instead of looking for trends and patterns, they review the data and identify critical insights into how it can be used to make better decisions and reach better results.

To become a data analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, information science, information systems management, mathematics, operations research, statistics, or technology management.

Alternatively, you need a combination of education and experience to include 24 course hours in one or more of the abovementioned fields.

13. Digital forensic specialist

Digital forensic specialists play a crucial role during the initial steps of investigations. They’re responsible for identifying and preserving digital evidence associated with a crime.

They need to obtain evidence, even if it was damaged due to forces of nature or if the perpetrator tried to destroy it.

Some of their significant duties may include incident response, evidence collection, preservation of data, processing data, basic analysis of digital evidence, and report writing.

14. Information technology specialist

The FBI’s information technology (IT) specialists are responsible for providing comprehensive technical analysis and ensuring that IT systems remain optimized.

They make sure these systems can be accessed by the FBI and its local and international law enforcement partners.

They’ll need to install, upgrade, and maintain computer software and hardware systems and test new equipment and software.

On average, IT specialists working for the FBI earn around $86,000 per year.

15. Electronics engineer

Electronic engineers design, implement, test, and operate algorithms or computer systems that use secure technologies.

They also help with technical analysis of electronic devices and any digital evidence that was found at a crime scene. Some electronic technicians will help manage system projects where they’ll have to plan, do cost analysis, and implement these systems.

To become an electronics engineer for the FBI, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from a school of engineering, with the Accreditation Board having accredited at least one program for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

16. Special agent

Special agents are the people responsible for seeking out cybercrime, infiltrating crime rings, and investigating terrorists.

They work in the field.

A typical day in a special agent’s life might include surveilling a subject, tracking the online activities of terrorists, testifying in court, and more.

Special agents at the FBI need to be at least 23 years old and will require a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of professional, full-time work experience. Alternatively, they can have an advanced degree and one year of professional, full-time work experience.

Furthermore, they’ll need to undergo training at the FBI Academy — which will prepare them for in-field operations.

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FBI internship programs

The FBI also offers an Honors Internship Program that aims to give post-secondary students and recent graduates as much professional experience as possible.

The internship equips students with practical skills by giving them challenging and rewarding assignments that uncover the workings of investigative and business operations so that interns can grow their professional networks.

To be eligible for the internship program, you’ll need to:

  • Be a U.S. citizen

  • Attend a U.S.-accredited college or university as an undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctoral student

  • Have and maintain a 3.0-grade point average (GPA)

  • Pass the FBI background check and be able to receive Top Secret Clearance

Other internship programs include the Collegiate Hiring Initiative, Visiting Scientist Program, and the Beacon project.

All of these programs have different entry requirements and are for people with various aspirations.

Learn more about the FBI’s different internship programs.

Benefits of working for the FBI

The FBI offers its employees many benefits, varying from position to position. However, here are some of the most common benefits you can expect when working with the FBI.

  • Federal health insurance

  • Dental and vision insurance

  • Life insurance

  • Long-term care insurance

  • Flexible spending accounts

  • SAMBA Employee Benevolent Fund

  • Special Agents Mutual Benefit Association

Learn more about all the different benefits you can expect from working for the FBI.

How to apply for a job with the FBI

To apply for a position with the FBI, there’s an in-depth process that you need to follow.

You’ll first need to find an available position on the FBI’s job board.

Remember that there are different eligibility requirements for the various positions. So make sure that you meet all requirements before starting the process.

After finding a position you’re eligible for, you can press the “apply” button to start the process.

Upon application, you’ll be required to follow the steps that’ll be displayed on the left side of your screen. This includes filling in vital information, submitting your resume, and more.

Keep in mind that the hiring and application process could take up to a year since the background check itself runs over several months.

Discover the entire FBI application and hiring process here.

Ready to make a difference in the community?

Working for the FBI can be highly rewarding and is the ideal solution if you’re someone who enjoys helping others.

If none of the jobs mentioned above sound like the right fit for you, find other law enforcement careers that are hiring right now.

Also, be sure to check out our Getting Hired Resource Center for information on how to succeed in your job search. You can find articles on interviewing, resume tips, and more.

1 Comment


Kimmo Crow
Bullet point

I must say this looks like a very interesting thing, thanks for this blog, it was interesting to read! Besides, I can't help noticing that I like this profession very much, because I had read here about criminal justice and it really intrigued me, because I had no idea how interesting this could be, I would really like to discover crimes.