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Criminal Justice Articles

How do I know if a career as a FBI Agent is right for me?

Maybe you are one of those who love watching crime and investigation TV series to unwind?

If you belong to this category of people, you could aspire to be a forensic investigator, or better still, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. A career in the FBI will promise you the thrill and challenge that few other vocations can offer.

The FBI is the apex investigating body of the United States. There are about 260 statutes of criminal offences that no other agency other than the FBI has investigative rights over. Copyright infringement, white collar crimes, civil rights violation, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking, and terrorism are some common criminal violations that the FBI has to handle. FBI agents are assigned a number of duties, which can include conducting surveillance, examining financial records, or taking part in an undercover operation.

To become a FBI agent, you need to fulfill the eligibility criteria. You have to be a citizen of the U.S. or the Northern Mariana Islands and be between the ages of 23 and 37, with a valid driver's license. You must be in a sound physical condition, and be willing to work in a 24/7 environment. Other basic requirements are being able to clear the vision and hearing tests and possess a four-year degree, preferably in law, accounting, or a foreign language.

A physical test will determine whether you are physically fit to be an FBI agent. Among the tests, there is a 1.5-mile running test, which you have to complete under a specific time, which is less than 14 minutes 10 seconds for women or fewer than 12 minutes 40 seconds for men. If you are applying for a scientist's position in the FBI, you must have a degree in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, nursing, bio-chemistry, forensic, or medical science. If you want to be an FBI forensic scientist, you need to have a master's degree in biotechnology, biochemistry, or biology. The work of a forensic scientist generally entails analysis of various samples, ranging from hairs and fingerprints to DNA and handwriting samples.

The selection process is stringent, and candidates will be tested in report writing, surveillance, and cognitive tests. As a candidate, you have to clear the polygraph and drug test as well. Besides the valued character traits such as integrity and good judgment, you will also score highly if you possess leadership skills, partake in community service, have a good credit record, and complete an internship. If you can fulfill all the requirements mentioned above, an FBI agent may be the right career option for you.

As an FBI agent, you will have the opportunity to serve the public. It is a job that requires immense responsibility and commitment. If you fare well, you are assured of rewards in the form of an attractive salary, thrills, adventures, and above all, respect and pride.

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