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Where is the best place to start, career wise, in order to make it to the FBI as a detective?

Out of college, I am looking to get on a path that will lead me to the FBI. I'm not quite sure what the best beginning job is that will help lead me here. #career-path #fbi

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James’s Answer

To be eligible for the FBI Special Agent position, applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications at the time of application: Be between 23 and 36 years of age. FBI Special Agents have a mandatory retirement age of 57.

There are several basic requirements you need to meet to become an FBI agent:

You must be a U.S. citizen.
You must be between 23 and 36 years of age.
You should have a bachelor's degree.
You need a valid state driver's license.
You must have worked as a professional for two years.

I am also including a website with more detailed info. Good luck!


Thank you! Jillian C.

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John’s Answer

Jillian a key part of how to get into the FBI involves work experience. The average work experience required for a potential FBI special agent position is 2-years in a field related to your bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited in the United States. The FBI seeks candidates with specific critical skills, including knowledge of Law/Legal, Accounting/Finance, Military/Law Enforcement, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), or foreign languages, so professional full-time work in these areas is preferred. Furthermore, the FBI also looks for individuals who are both able to work effectively in a team and who can work reliably on their own, two traits which can be shown through work experience. The job of an FBI agent is a demanding one. Having the right education and employment experience is essential for this competitive career, but there are plenty of other factors that could affect an aspiring FBI agent’s chances of getting his or her dream job. FBI agents must be legal citizens of the United States and must have lived in the U.S. for at least three of the last five years. They must also have a clean record, with no felony or domestic violence convictions and no failures to make any child support, student loan or tax payments. Because the job requires agents to be in outstanding physical shape, they must be able to pass a personal fitness test. Though the competition to land a job with the FBI is fierce, there is a wealth of opportunities available to candidates with the right education, experience, physical fitness and dedication.

Good Luck Jillian

John recommends the following next steps:

Consider an internship – Participating in an internship can help you gain hands-on training in the field. These internships also allow you to explore whether an FBI career is right for you and to begin to network with FBI employees or other prospective FBI agents. You can apply for both paid and non-paid internships directly through the FBI.
Consider an advanced degree – While a bachelor's degree is the required minimum for employment, possessing a higher degree could help an applicant stand out in the competitive FBI application process. A master's degree in a field like criminology could also allow applicants to enter a more specialized special agent position.
Build physical strength – Since a physical examination is part of the FBI hiring process, you should begin building your strength and endurance as soon as possible. FBI special agent requirements include meeting strict physical fitness standards. Applicants are required to complete a physical examination by a doctor and submit their medical records to the agency. They must meet specific vision and hearing requirements. They also need to pass a physical fitness self-assessment test that includes completing as many sit-ups and push-ups as possible, as well as a timed 300-meter sprint and 1.5-mile run.

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Kim’s Answer

I would add to Jame's answer: Please thoroughly explore the "career paths" and "students" tab at the top of the page on the link he gave you. FBI isn't just about law enforcement - people specialize in many different areas!