An FBI agent, or the Federal Bureau of investigation agent, is a special United States law officer working for the US Department of Justice. Although his/her main task is to enforce laws, FBI agents also provide assistance to other law enforcement agencies. They may focus on cases involved in a wide range of criminal activities, such as terrorism, racketeering, drug enforcement or espionage.
The FBI agent handles a myriad of activities, depending on the department or unit he/she is assigned in. Agents may handle government document forgery, cyber crime, hijackings, blackmail and extortion, bribery, espionage and other matters that deal with national security matters. Because of these responsibilities, FBI agents must be adept and properly trained to handle different types of situations and in the use of gadgets, instruments and equipments. He/she needs to perform surveillance, track and examine suspicious subjects and find evidences necessary to solve cases they’re assigned to. Agents are often required to travel to scene of crimes, locations where potential criminals are located, gather evidences, conduct interviews of suspects and witnesses, keep track business and financial records, sometimes electronically and by computer especially when the crime involves stock market manipulations. He/she is also trained to handle terrorist and life threatening situations.
Education and Training Requirements
To become an FBI agent, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, law, political science or a similar field. Potential agents must also complete and pass a physical exam, written test and a rigorous specialized FBI training.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
To be successful in this field, FBI agents must possess exceptional intelligence, perfect physical fitness, and be psychologically and mentally sound. Agents must also have a burning passion to help the weak and defenseless. Other useful skills of an FBI agent include analytical skills, good communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, advanced computer skills and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
FBI agents usually follow a 40-hour per week schedule. Traveling is an important part of this job. Work can be stressful and oftentimes fraught with danger. There are times when crossroads are reached which could forever alter an agent’s view of how the world really runs. Some might come out of those instances better people while others may take a sinister turn. The nature of the work makes an agent’s handling of personal relationships difficult.
The salary of an FBI agent is about $48,000. More often than not, the salary goes up to the $60,000 range because of overtime. The agent enjoys full benefits like health insurance, pension and paid vacations and holidays and a car.