How to Become an FBI Agent
One of the first steps that anyone will take to a successful career as an FBI agent is through the FBI academy. It is extremely important that new agents show the skills, knowledge, and integrity necessary to become an agent during this time. It is the duty of the FBI academy to prepare each agent for the dangers and situations that they may face out in the world once they are an agent, and make them aware of the duties they will have as a future FBI agent. This is also a great way to sort out the people that don’t have what it takes to become an FBI agent, and they can get sent home before they are out in the field.
There are many sacrifices and things that go on behind the scenes leading up to the academy as well with any potential FBI agent. Chances are, there are some that have given up on jobs that are paying a lot more than they will make as an agent. But, they want to serve their country and get the most out of doing something that they could love and feel good about doing. It is also a pretty slim selection process and not just anyone can get in. Once in, they will have to spend a lot of their time pouring over ethics and investigation techniques, learning about the Bureau, and not to mention the physical toll the training is going to take on their bodies as well.
Twenty Weeks of Training to Become an FBI Agent
Many people think that it would be a long and lonely twenty weeks of training, which is partially true, but remember that you also have your classmates that would be going through the exact same thing you are. There are also going to be the instructors and counselors that are there to help challenge and lift the potential agents to their best. The bulk of the twenty weeks of training is going to be the 850 hours of instruction that every candidate must go through. Of those 850 hours, one half of it will be case exercises and academics, and then the other half will be firearm skills and operational skills. Some of the 850 hours will also be training on the web.
The Academic Portion There are going to be many subjects that will be studied during the candidates time in the academy, which will build a variety of skills necessary to have success as an agent. Ethics, investigating, laws, interviewing, writing reports, intelligence gathering, forensic science, and even interrogation. The goal behind all of this studying and preparation is to ensure that students will be able to face any situation with confidence once they have completed the academy successfully. The students must score an 85% or better on all of their different exams before that can happen.
Firearm Training Agents have been allowed to carry firearms as far back as the 1930s. Although you don’t often see an agent have to use their firearm training in a real life situation, they still must know how to use it if it does come down to that. They also have to make sure that they maintain those shooting skills throughout their career. They have to pass tests for both a handgun and a shotgun in order to graduate from the academy. They will have three recorded chances to get a score of 80% or better in order to pass the minimum requirements. There will also be a variety of drills and situational instances that they will have to learn how to apply these firearms skills as well.
Situational Training There are lots of real life situations that the candidates are going to have to be prepared for during their career as an FBI agent. In order to prepare as best as we can for those situations, each potential agent will go through case exercises where they test themselves both physically and mentally in situations that they are likely to see after the academy. There is a mock town that is used to play out the different situations. There are people that are payed to act out the roles of criminals and terrorists in these scenarios. It really is as close as you can come to experience in the field after the academy.
The Operations Portion The operations portion is basically the surveillance and defense tactics. It also has a lot to do with operating vehicles and physical fitness as well. This portion is really going to build the tactical skills and abilities of any candidate looking to become an FBI agent. Planning, interrogation, defense tactics, undercover operations, usage of intelligence, and quite a few other important skills will be addressed in this section of training as well. There are over 90 hours of different instruction in all of these areas that will help to build the overall skill set of an agent.
The Physical fitness needed to Become an FBI Agent
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that you have to be in shape physically to have a successful career as an FBI agent. There are going to be times when that physicality is what makes or breaks a situation. There are a variety of different exercises that will be performed throughout the academy, including sprints, runs, situps, and pushups. There will be four times throughout the academy that candidates will be tested in each of these.
After the candidates have passed all of the necessary qualifications to become an FBI agent, they will be involved in a special ceremony. This is a ceremony that marks the transformation to an agent, and all of the families of the agents that graduated are invited to share the occasion. There are also different awards and honors that will be handed out during this time as well to those that went above and beyond during training. On their way out from the academy, the agents will grab the gear that they need and head to their first post. Then they are ready to start their career as an FBI agent.