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What would you recommend i do at ths point to getin this field?

I'm interested in Protective services. I've always wanted to be a detective or an FBI agent since I was little and I still want to be it. I don't want to let go of my dream way to easy #law-enforcement #career

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Danny’s Answer

Hi Ruby,

Depends on your age but there are several things you can do. Start by take some college courses. Here on the West Coast, most local agencies do not require a degree; however, many federal agencies, including the FBI require a four year degree just to get your foot in the door. If you do take the degree route, I suggest a degree in something OTHER than Criminal Justice or the Administration of Justice. The reason is this: Local agencies will send you to an academy and teach you how to be an officer hence a Criminal or Administration of Justice degree is not really necessary. But if you get a degree in say Business or Law, you can use it for careers other than law enforcement should it not work out for you or you are disabled on the job, etc.

Another route is join the military. Military service is VERY attractive to law enforcement agencies and will even help pay for college. Having served not only demonstrates courage, but teamwork, discipline and commitment. It will also give you the chance to mature through new experiences.

Finally, become a Reserve Police Officer. This will expose you to police work to see if it is really for you or not. It will also make you very marketable for a full time position in the law enforcement field, for reasons noted under military service.

My final piece of advice: Take any kind of writing and communications courses. Having been a training officer, I can tell you report writing is very high on the list of reasons trainees wash out. English, spelling and grammar are critical in our field.

Hope this helps Ruby, and good luck!

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Ian’s Answer


Congratulations on your interest in becoming a special agent for the FBI. Many people have dreamed of this and so few have come to realize it as a lifelong career. For starters, it would be ideal to earn a 4-year or master's degree in a field other than criminal justice. The reason for this is that the FBI looks specifically for individuals with unique skill sets that can benefit the organization the most. Contrary to what most people believe the most valuable degrees to have for entry into the FBI are related to accounting and foreign languages. Another route to go would be to work in the field of law enforcement for some time and specialized within that organization. Whether this means you pursue SWAT or focus on cases end human trafficking, this is likely the only way a criminal justice major will appear enticing to the FBI.

Some other advice I might give you would be two of you working for the FBI as a very long-term goal as many individuals find themselves making it through the first or second stage of the process only to be cut and ineligible to reapply for a calendar year. In order to be successful it is likely you'll have to try multiple times, but perseverance pays dividends here. That's okay because in the meantime you'll have all the time you need to acquire more skills, education, and experience to make you an ideal candidate as a special agent in the FBI. Don't forget to learn all you can about the polygraph examination as this is a common pitfall for many otherwise qualified candidates.

One additional piece of advice I could give would be to maintain peak physical condition and observe the FBI's website for its current physical training protocol. When I had last checked, the bureau would score you based on your ability to perform push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. In many ways this is not a pass or fail physical ability portion but a scored examination which will contribute to your overall application as an agent. For example, to score perfectly in 2018 you would have to perform 60 sit ups in under a minute, 20 consecutive pull ups without rest, and average a 6-minute mile in your 1.5 mile run. It turns out the bureau looks favorably on physically capable candidates.

I wish you the absolute best of luck in your endeavors and I'm sure that with enough hard work sacrifice and dedication you can accomplish anything you're looking to do.

-Ian Z. Burgos