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Facts and Figures 2003
Image of HRT training
Some Agents receive specialized training to become part of the elite Hostage Rescue Team.

FBI SPECIAL AGENTS AND EMPLOYEES:

What it takes to work for the FBI

As of June 30, 2003, the FBI employed 11,633 Special Agents and 15,904 Professional Support people. The FBI hires its own employees through recruitment efforts by the field offices and a centralized hiring system at Headquarters. Due to the FBI's responsibilities in criminal law enforcement and in the Intelligence Community, all FBI employees, whether they are Special Agents or Professional Support, must qualify for a top-secret security clearance before they can begin their service. This qualification includes an extensive background investigation. The FBI does not make a final decision to hire an individual until all the information gathered during the background investigation is assessed. Once hired, all FBI employees must maintain their eligibility for a top-secret security clearance, undergo a limited background check every five years, and submit to random drug tests throughout their careers.

Some positions within the FBI also require a medical examination, and some require employees to sign an agreement stating their willingness to be assigned anywhere in the world.

FBI Employee Statistics (as of 6/30/2003)*
SPECIAL AGENTS
 
Number of Men
Percent of Total
Number of Women
Percent of Total
Total Group
Percent of Total
American Indian
37
.3
11
.1
48
.4
Asian
311
2.7
59
.5
370
3.2
Black
518
4.5
125
1.1
643
5.5
Hispanic
709
6.1
150
1.3
859
7.4
White
7949
68.3
1764
15.2
9713
83.5
Total
9524
81.9%
2109
18.1%
11633
100%
All Minorities
1575
13.5%
345
3.0%
1920
16.5%
 
SUPPORT PERSONNEL
 
Number of Men
Percent of Total
Number of Women
Percent of Total
Total Group
Percent of Total
American Indian
32
.2
55
.3
87
.5
Asian
183
1.2
226
1.4
408
2.6
Black
631
4.0
2827
17.8
3458
21.7
Hispanic
272
1.7
605
3.8
877
5.5
White
4144
26.1
6930
43.6
11074
69.6
Total
5262
33.1%
10642
66.9%
15904
100%
All Minorities
1118
7.0%
3712
23.3%
4830
30.4%
*Due to rounding, percentages may not total to 100 percent.
 
FBI Employees with Disabilities (as of 6/30/2003)
FBI EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES
 
Field
FBIHQ
Bureau
Special Agent
100
7
107
Support Personnel
420
440
860
Totals
520
447
967

Special Agents

FBI agent interviewing witnessFBI Special Agents are specially trained personnel, chosen from an extensive pool of applicants because they possess specific areas of expertise. To be an FBI Special Agent, an individual must:
. be a United States citizen;
. be at least 23 and not yet have reached his or her 37th birthday on appointment;
. have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited, four-year resident program at a college or university;
. pass a written examination;
. complete several in-person interviews; and
. pass a comprehensive medical examination, including vision and hearing tests.

Applicants with these qualifications will be chosen if they have specific experience or expertise needed by the FBI. The criteria changes over time according to the FBI's current priorities. Traditionally, the FBI seeks applicants with backgrounds in law enforcement, law, or accounting. Today, the FBI not only seeks applicants with these backgrounds, but also with expertise in languages, computers, and the sciences. For information on what specific skills the FBI is looking for today, check http://www.fbi.gov.

Once chosen, applicants must complete an intensive, seventeen-week training program at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This training program teaches new Special Agents the basic skills they will need to conduct effective investigations in all the FBI's investigative programs, such as:


 

. Counterterrorism
. Ethics, with practical law enforcement applications
. Computer intrusions and fraud
. Communications and interviewing
. Informant development
. Evidence collection and handling
. Equal opportunity employment and cultural sensitivity
. Counterintelligence
. Computer search and seizure
. Human behavior
. Communications and interviewing
. Constitutional criminal procedure
. Physical fitness and defensive tactics
. Firearms
. Practical problems
Firearms training at QuanticoFirearms training at Quantico

 

What does the FBI look
for during a background
investigation?


Character:
a person's general attitude, trustworthiness, reliability, and discretion

Associates: types of people, groups,
and organizations the person has been associated with, focusing in particular on whether those associates are disreputable or known to be disloyal

Reputation: a person's general standing in the community

Loyalty: the person's attitude and allegiance to the United States

Ability: the person's capacity or competence to perform well in an occupation

Bias/Prejudice:
an irrational attitude directed against any class of citizen or any religious, racial, gender, or ethnic group

Financial Responsibility: whether lifestyle or spending habits are consistent with the person's means

Alcohol Abuse:
excessive use of alcohol that impacts on a person's behavior

Illegal Drug Use/
Prescription Drug Abuse:
any use of illegal drugs or abuse of prescription medication
Trainees who complete the program are sworn in as Special Agents of the FBI. The new Agents then begin a two-year probationary period in which they must demonstrate the basic skills they learned at Quantico and learn advanced investigative techniques on the job from more experienced Special Agents. After the probationary period, Agents are required to keep their skills up to date through ongoing training. Agents may also choose to obtain special certification as a Special Agent Bomb Technician, a Technically Trained Agent, or a member of the elite Hostage Rescue Team.

The FBI's current staffing needs and investigative priorities determine to which office a new Agent will be assigned. During their careers, Special Agents are required to relocate to other offices in order to meet the FBI's needs.

Federal law requires that Special Agents retire by age 57. In rare circumstances, the FBI Director may grant one-year extensions, up to age 60, for a particular Special Agent.

Professional Support Employees

Technical Support EmployeeThe majority of the FBI's workforce is made up of Professional Support employees, who work alongside and in support of Special Agents. Some Professional Support positions require only that an applicant be 16 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED; many others require college degrees, or even advanced degrees, and specific work experience. All Professional Support employees must complete the same application and go through the same background investigation process as Special Agents, but are not generally required to pass a written entrance exam or have a medical examination. There is no mandatory retirement age for most Professional Support employees.

Two employees in the labThe FBI offers some unique career opportunities for Professional Support Employees:

. The FBI Laboratory is staffed by experienced scientists and engineers from all applied science disciplines and supported by field office evidence technicians and photographers.
. FBI Headquarters divisions and field offices rely on the expertise of legal advisors, intelligence analysts, victim specialists, foreign language translators, fingerprint examiners, electronics technicians, surveillance experts, writers, and accountants to complete investigative tasks.
. Computer specialists, policy and management analysts, and other subject-matter experts handle the technical, administrative, and program-oversight responsibilities critical to FBI operations.
. Intelligence and surveillance experts help track criminals and terrorists, often using sophisticated equipment.
. Firearms experts work with guns and help train Special Agents.
. The FBI Security Division is staffed by experienced security specialists and technical experts from all security disciplines, including personnel, physical, and training, as well as information assurance and information systems security.
. The FBI has its own specially trained police force.
. The FBI also has a staff of well-qualified clerical workers and experienced craft, trade, and maintenance personnel.

For more information on FBI employment, including a list of current vacancies and employment applications, go to http://www.fbijobs.com.

 

 

 

 

Introduction
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Working for the FBI
Counterterrorism
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