Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
In the old days, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was responsible for tackling crime inside the nation's borders, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated abroad. There has been a blurring of responsibilities since the terrorist attacks of September 11. The FBI has since stated that it will produce and use intelligence to protect the nation from threats and bring to justice anyone who violates America's laws. This is the FBI's ten-point plan:
Protect the United States from terrorist attack.
Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage.
Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes.
Combat public corruption at all levels.
Protect civil rights.
Combat transnational and national criminal organizations and enterprises.
Combat major white-collar crime.
Combat significant violent crime.
Support federal, state, county, municipal, and international partners.
Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI's mission.
There are many opportunities in the FBI, but one job has become more famous and notorious than any other, courtesy of movies and television. That is the position of special agent. In order to become a special agent, you have to be between twenty-three and thirty-seven years of age. You must be a college graduate and have a valid driver's license. You must be in excellent physical condition and prove it by passing a grueling physical, and you must have a clean criminal record and undergo a thorough background check. Successful applicants then attend the FBI Academy, located on the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia. Those tough and smart enough to graduate from the FBI Academy become special agents at a starting salary of $42,548.
In order to be considered for entry into the FBI Academy, applicants for the job of FBI special agent must possess training and/or education in a critical skill area. Applicants must be able to show a work history including at least two years of relevant work experience. A college degree in the skill area is also acceptable. The FBI has identified the following skill areas as critical:
Accounting and finance: Certified public accountants (CPAs) are qualified in this skill area
Computer science and other information technology specialties
Foreign language fluency
Legal experience (as an attorney or judge, for instance)
Law enforcement or other investigative experience
The sciences, including study and research in applied or pure physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, nursing, biochemistry, forensics, and the medical specialties
Applicants interested in working for the FBI can work in many other professional capacities, including intelligence analysis, information technology, applied science (engineering and technology), linguistics (including translation and intelligence work), business management, FBI police, and investigative support and surveillance.