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How do I become an FBI agent / Detective?

I am in my first year of college, with a major of criminal justice. I want to go into Detective work, maybe a homicide detective or even work in the FBI. But I don’t know how to get there. I’m thinking about joining the Army or Air Force reserve here in the next year or so as well. I just don’t know what steps I should take to go into the FBI with a good enough resume to have a big eye on me instead of other candidates. criminal-justice

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Lisa’s Answer

I think getting a degree in criminal justice is a perfect first step 👍 Thereafter, you could probably apply to the FBI Academy directly, though they would probably want some law enforcement field experience first so you might consider the Police Academy in your area as the next step. Great career path!
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Robert’s Answer

I did some of the initial testing to join the FBI, but in the end chose a different career. I know that when I applied they had a list on their website of specific skills they were looking for (languages, computer skills, etc). It would be a good idea to look those up and to focus on those if possible. You can gain valuable skills from a branch of military service but make sure if you do join that you keep your end goal in mind and work for a job in the service that will help you accomplish what you want once you are out of the military.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Griffin,

It sounds like you are starting out on a good path. It does sound like your goal needs a bit of refining. You have several organizations listed here with a variety of options in each of them. I would ask you to think about - what do you want to do? What areas interest you the most? Think about what you already have an affinity for. A detective is often local, while an FBI agent is national and a career that requires the ability to move around. Which would you prefer? In addition, what skills and talents are you bringing to these professions? I assume problem solving as both of those groups would need that. But what else? Are you a people person? Are you good at conflict management? Why homicide? How about tech crimes, robberies, missing persons? What about after the arrest? You could be a lawyer.

You need to consider what you want to do and then the path to how should become a little clearer. This process may take time. Your degree program will help with that as there is usually a good variety of perspectives covered in a major program. I would recommend taking classes that don't immediately appeal to you or you know nothing about. Challenge yourself to learn something different. That can help you clarify what you want to do and what you don't.

All of these careers are a path to service of your community and country. I admire that very much. Best of luck in finding your career.