In the United States, a career as a special agent isn't the only way to find work in law enforcement with the federal government. The Federal Bureau of Investigations, like the United States Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security, employs a uniformed police force to protect the people and property of the FBI.
As part of the security division within the Bureau, FBI Police officers are more than just security guards. In fact, they are fully sworn federal law enforcement professionals, with full police and arrest powers. They enjoy jurisdiction in and around key FBI facilities, including the FBI Academy and lab in Quantico, Virginia and the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C.
Officers with the FBI's police force are responsible for ensuring security at FBI facilities, protecting the people who work with and for the FBI, and enforcing federal laws in and around property controlled by the FBI.
According to the FBI's website, the primary mission of the FBI Police is to "deter terrorist attacks with the visible presence of a well trained, well equipped, professional police force; and to protect the FBI from criminal acts and unauthorized access."
In practice, this means officers maintain access points at FBI facilities and patrol the grounds, buildings, and surrounding areas. FBI officers are tasked with identifying potential threats and preventing, stopping and investigating crimes that occur within their jurisdiction.
The first step to becoming an officer with the FBI Police is to apply. You can do so by searching current vacancies and submitting an application online at the FBIJobs.gov website or by getting in touch with an FBI recruiter and providing them with your resume.
The minimum qualifications for FBI Police officers are similar to the minimum qualifications for other police jobs. You need to be at least 21 years old, a United States citizen, have a valid driver license and be able to qualify for a Top Secret security clearance.
If you meet the minimum requirements and prove to be a competitive candidate, you will move on to a panel interview and written test. The test will determine whether or not you have the basic cognitive abilities needed for the job. The panel interview, conducted by active FBI officers, will help determine whether or not you're the right fit for the job. After the interview will come an extensive background investigation, which will include a polygraph exam and an employment history check.
If you successfully pass the background check and receive a job offer, you'll attend a 12-week Uniformed Police Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia (FLETC). Once you complete your basic training at FLETC, you'll attend an FBI Police Advanced Training Program at the FBI Academy.
Reasons to Become an FBI Police Officer
The starting base salary for FBI Police officers is between $34,000 and $47,000 per year, depending on your level of education and experience. Overtime pay is also available. FBI police officers also receive great federal retirement and healthcare benefits. Besides the pay and benefits, though, a career as an FBI Police officer provides an opportunity to work in a rewarding field protecting and serving others.