following statements under the FBI drug policy, ? Never sold any illegal drugs. Cannot have ever used any illegal drugs within the last three years. Cannot have ever used marijuana more than 15 times in your life. Cannot have used any illegal drugs other than marijuana more than five times total or within the last ten years. Cannot have ever used illegal drugs while employed in a sworn law enforcement or prosecutorial position or in a position of high public trust. Once the individual has passed the drug-screening process, they will be questioned in the polygraph regarding drugs to ensure the honesty of the individual. The polygraph test is given to test the individual?s integrity based on the information that was acquired from the application for employment on drug usage and other issues important to the bureau.
The last portion of the application process is to test the individual?s physical ability. The individual has to pass medical examinations to qualify for the Special Agent position. The FBI needs candidates who are physically fit for the academy and can accomplish their duties after the completion of the academy. Candidates have to complete a 1.5-mile run. The males have to complete it in 12.5 minutes; the females have to complete it in 14.5 minutes. In order to go to the academy the candidates have to meet the standard weight /height ratio or body fat requirement. Small, medium or large body frames divide the desirable weight ranges. Each range has different weights based on the individual?s height and weight. The larger the frame the more weight is acceptable. All individuals have to be mentally and physically ready before they make the journey into the academy.
The final process is the training at the academy. The academy is located on the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA. The other federal agency that has training there is the Drug Enforcement Administration. The length of time for newly appointed special agents is 16 weeks. The training at Quantico, is a program of 654 instructional hours that consists of physical fitness, firearms, defensive tactics, academics, investigative subjects, federal laws, practical exercises, and teamwork. The individuals are tested on tactical situations and mirror real life situations. All candidates are expected to have a minimum-passing grade of 85 percent on each academic examination. There are 10 examinations at the end of training. The following are conditions that can disqualify a candidate: Failing two examinations, lacking proficiency in defensive tactics, unable to demonstrate proficiency on all qualifying firearms courses by the eleventh week of training, failure to safely handle weapons during firearms training regardless of score, unable to show proficiency in simulated arrest situations and violations of conduct rules and regulations during training.
Once at the academy all the agent trainees are expected to pass physical examinations during their training. The total point to achieve is a 50. The physical exercises are pull-ups/modified pull-ups (women), push-ups, sit-ups, 120-yard shuttle run, and a two-mile run. The minimum of points is 1 and the maximum point is 10 in each exercise. There is 2-minute time limit for the sit-ups. Both male and women have to get 100 sit-ups in two minutes in order to Max out the exercise. The minimum of amount of sit-ups for both genders is 46 sit-ups. The two-mile run time minimum is 18:45 for women and 16:30 minutes for males, the Max is 12:00 for males and 13:45 minutes for females. The 120-
yard shuttle run time minimum is 29.0 for females and 26.0 for males, the Max time for women is 24.0 and 21.5 for males. In the pull-ups exercise the minimum amount for women is 10-11 modified and 2-3 for males, the Max for females is 28 and for males is 20. The push-ups minimum requirement for females is 14-17 and males are 25-30, the Max for females is 50 and 71 for males. In order to pass the examinations, trainees are required to have a minimum total of 15 points. Every trainee is required to performance their best and maintain physically fit.
All candidates will accept a salary of mid-30, 000?s per year while training at the FBI Academy. After graduation they will make mid 40?s (it does not include the amount of locality pay, prior federal service credit, availability pay, etc.) upon graduation. Once you graduate, the individual will get the FBI credential?s of a Special Agent. They will be issued a pistol, laptop and the FBI badge. The new agents will be committed to serve the FBI, be available at all times when the FBI needs you, weekends, holidays, emergency situations, and possible cancellations of special liberty/vacations. New agents are aware of the stressful and dangerous duties of the job. They will be drive vehicles, work 10 hours a day, witness crimes, crime scenes, pursue and apprehend violators of the law. In some situations, they will be required to defend themselves and others using physical tactics. If necessary, they have to use deadly force under strenuous circumstances. The Special Agents will be committed to serve three years upon graduation from the Academy.
Newly appointed agents will be assigned to a duty station based on the staffing needs of the FBI. At the initial process of the application, applicants are instructed to inform
their spouses, significant others and family members that agreeing to relocate is a requirement in order to apply and pursue the special agent position. Future Special Agents would be assigned to any of the field offices of the FBI?s jurisdiction according to the needs of the FBI. On a wish list, Special Agents get an opportunity to write down three duty stations they would prefer to live in. Their preference for assignment is known and some consideration is taken during the selection process.
The first assignment of Special Agents consists of a two-year probation period. Special agents will train and guided by experienced agents who will evaluate their conduct, performance and their ability to do the job in a professional manner. An agent will remain on their first assignment for a minimum of four years. Special Agent Wong informed me that some move one to three times their entire career. Once again it?s all on the type of work you do and their needs. In addition, he informed me that the FBI gives you a chance to go back to whatever station you wish to live in once your first 10 years. If you were stationed in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico, the FBI will give you two chances to go back to any duty station. The field offices are located in every major city of each of the states. Some states like Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have more than one field office. These states are bigger, have more people and one field office would not be enough.
The Special Agents enter the FBI as GS-10 federal employees. The FBI is one of the highest federal agencies; other agencies come in as GS-5 and GS-7. The entry-level salary begins from 36, 847 up to 46, 359 after graduating from the academy. The pay is
configured by grade and annual rates for steps. For example: an agent who has a grade of GS-10 and has an annual rate step of 6 will be making 41, 603. Special Agents get a pay increase yearly and get paid every two weeks. The base pay does not include the locality rates of pay, 25% extra after graduating, cola and BAH. They get additional compensation of 9, 212 for overtime and locality pay. Special Agent Kal Wong informed me that in 5 years many agents can make between 60-70,000 a year. As stated in the Internet, The special Agents can move up to GS-13 grade level in field non-supervisory assignments. Promotions to supervisory, management, and executive positions are available pay, which is an additional premium compensation for unscheduled duty equaling 25 percent of the Agent?s base salary.
As an FBI employee, you will be entitled to a variety of benefits, including group health and life insurance programs, vacation and sick pay, and a full requirement plan (The FBI Homepage). Special Agents get more training on the job and have opportunities to advance in vast areas of administrative and supervisory positions. Every year the FBI loses 500 agents and the need to hire and promote is beneficial to maintain this great organization.
There are many benefits in working with the Bureau. The benefits are paid leaves, medical insurance, and life insurance and retirement plans. These benefits are to ensure the employee?s health, morale, and efficiency at a very high level (The FBI Homepage).
Paid leaves consist of annual leave, paid holidays, family and medical leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, family friendly leave and other leave benefits.
Annual leaves are taken by employees for rest, vacation and many other personal reasons. The annual leave days are determine by an employee?s length of service and the
Accumulation of credit days. There are ten holidays that the government grants, Martin Luther King?s birthday, New Year?s day, President?s day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran?s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
Every employee that has worked over 5 years is covered by the Federal Employment Retirement System (FERS). FERS consists of basic annuity benefit, the thrift savings plan, and social security. In order to retire, employees have to work certain years and have reached a certain age. Special Agents can retire when they are 50 years of age and have worked 20 years. They must retire when they reach the age of 57.
The federal Bureau of Investigation is the most admired and respected agency. Since 1908, it has been enforcing federal laws, statutes, securing information and apprehending criminals. Special Agents successfully accomplish the mission in emergency situations, both active and reactive. There are many competitive requirements such as, age, education, special skills and work experience to be considered for employment. The Bureau chooses wisely its employees through screening processes, background investigations, drug-screenings tests and polygraph examinations. Only selected few make it through the selection process and successfully complete the FBI?s Academy. I have shown you that the FBI is very demanding in the selection process, training and maintaining professional standards. Despite of the challenges, the FBI is very rewarding. It offers individuals a good pay, duty station preferences, Advancement, pay increase, paid leaves and retirement plans. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is America?s finest.
Federal Law Enforcement (2000). Federal Bureau of Investigation. [On-line]. Available: http://www.fbi.gov/
Federal Law Enforcement (2000). FBI Employment. [On-Line]. Available:
Israel, F.L., & Schlesinger, A.M. (1986). The Federal Bureau of Investigation. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.
Kessler, R. (1993). The FBI: Inside the world?s most powerful law enforcement agency. New York, NY.
U.S Office of Personnel Management (2000). 2000 General Schedule. [Pamphlets]
U.S Office of Personnel Management (2000). Desirable Weight Ranges. [Pamphlets]
U.S. Department of Justice (2000). Wanted by the FBI. [Pamphlets].
U.S. Department of Justice (2000). FBI Special Agents: America?s Finest. [Brochure]. Hawaii.
U.S. Department of Justice (2000). FBI: The Professional Support. [Brochure]. Hawaii.
Walker, S. (1999). The police in America (3rd ed.). United States: McGraw-Hill College.
Appendix 1Application Checklist for the Special Agent Position
Appendix 2Preliminary Special Agent Application
Appendix 3Application Background Survey
Appendix 4Special Agent Qualifications Questionnaire
When I began researching the FBI, I was already interested in becoming a Special Agent. I want to pursue a career with the Bureau because I have what it takes to become and Agent. I like challenges and am not a quitter. Competition is what I thrive for. I remember that many of my friends told me that I couldn?t make it in the Marine Corps. They all had bets that I wouldn?t make it through Basic Training. One of my friends went to boot camp five months before I went. He was sent back home in the middle of his training because he had asthma. He lied in order to preserve his strong image among us. I went and came back. I was in the Marine Corps for over 4 years and received an honorable discharge. Despite of being in the military, I went to college part-time. I am currently attending school and I am expected to graduate in December of this year. The military was not a set back; it only made me stronger and a fighter. All the skills that I received in the Marine Corps, I am going to use it in every place. Another good quality that I have is that I am fluent in both languages and I feel that I can use this skill in the FBI. When I was in the military, I worked long hours and trained really hard in order to get the job done. I was tested mentally and physically the four years in the Marine Corps. Nothing scares me, I like a challenge. After doing this research, I would consider joining the FBI. What is not to like? It is a very respectable job, pays well and offers rewarding outcomes.