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What education or training do you need to become an FBI agent?

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So you really want to become a real-life Dana Scully or Fox Mulder? You'll have to allow your past and present life to be dissected, then pass intensive entry exams and undergo rigorous training and testing. Finally, if you manage to become an official FBI special agent, prepare to set aside your personal life at a moment's notice. Amazingly, most special agents love their careers anyway.
Steps:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen between 23 and 37 years of age and capable of meeting the Federal Bureau of Investigation's strict physical requirements. These include having a corrected vision of 20/20 in one eye and no worse than a corrected 20/40 vision in the other eye.
  2. Possess at least a bachelor's degree from a specially accredited college. Your major must thoroughly prepare you for law, accounting, science, language or a diversified FBI program. Visit the FBI's Web site (fbi.gov) for the specific degree requirements.
  3. Look for the Special Agent Employment section in the FBI Web site. It contains special agent application information and FBI field office locations. Contact your state's field office for additional instructions before you submit your application.
  4. Be prepared for strict background checks, tough written tests and demanding interviews as part of your application. Lie detector tests may also be required.
  5. Go through an intensive four-month training period at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, if you get through the application process. Information about the training is also available on the FBI Web site.
  6. Expect a two-year probationary assignment at a field office once you graduate and become an official special agent. Chances are you'll remain in that location for at least four years.


Tips: Include writing classes in your college course work. As a special agent, you will be writing numerous reports each year. Expect to work often by yourself or with just one partner.

Understand that you must retire after 20 years as a special agent or when you are 55 years old, whichever comes first.

Warnings: Keep in mind that you will be trained to use deadly force and will be expected to carry a gun.
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