Discussion in 'Federal Agencies' started by spahopeful, Dec 2, 2008.
Anyone currently going through the FBI application process?
But go FBI, have heard nothing but good from retired agents.
Just be single, no major obligations.
I'm no expert, but just from some internet research it seems pretty tough to get on as a FBI SA without a combination of an advanced degree in one of their critical skills categories, extensive technical or law enforcement experience, and critical language skills. It is a dream job for many, myself included.
You are absolutely right with the competitiveness of the process. From what I've gathered, you need an advanced degree for an invitation to a phase II interview. Once you successfully complete the phase II, your chances seem to increase considerably. About 1% of the applicants make it to Quantico and become SA. It is a difficult process but not impossible.
Would you guys call an advanced degree a Bachelors or Masters? I'm applying to quite a few Federal Agencies. Right now the only thing holding me back from the FBI is the 23 year old age requirement. I'd the range of difficulty for getting into a Federal Law Enforcement Agency at a SA position are as follows: CIA, FBI, DEA, U.S. Air Marshal then all the rest in my opinion. Not sure what experiences you all have had that would contradict that opinion. I'm wrapping my my last final tomorrow then I will be obtaining my Bachelors Degree from an Accredited University. Keeping my fingers crossed and dropping as many applications as posisble now.
A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for the FBI (as well as many other FLE agencies). Applying to a high demand job such as FBI SA with the bare minimum requirements leaves you at the bottom of a very large applicant pool. By all means apply, but temper your expectations to the reality of your chances.
caveat: I am not an expert, I am not a SA, I'm still in school so I haven't even started my LE career, so I very likely am completely wrong. I don't think I am in this case, however.
I have reality in check. I'm looking to get into an agency other than the FBI to start off. For example the Secret Service's SA min. requirements for a SA is @ a GS-05 level and the min. requirements for the DEA SA position is a GS-07. GS-07 require a BS with mininal experience at a 3.0+ GPA to be considered. After speaking to a DEA recruiter, she advised that I should also have military/police experience if I wanted to increase my chances. Mind you the DEA is the third on my "list" so I can pretty much guess how much more difficult the FBI will be to get into.
In my opinion, you need to be good and lucky to get an opportunity with the FBI. If the Bureau needs your critical skill, you have a chance, if they don't, you'll have to wait. Get three years of solid experience in a area the FBI is looking for; accounting, computers, law, military, etc coupled with an advanced degree (masters or above) will make you a competitive candidate. They also select cadidates from various backgrounds so if you don't fill in one of their specific areas, you still have a chance. The application process can take years so you be patient.
A few thoughts. You seem to be looking for a criminal investigaotr job (1811). The hiring process is very competitive for all agencies. Right now ICE, DEA and ATF are ramping up to hire. FBI is on going. One thing you have to keep in mind that most agencies will require that you move to your first duty station. You can look up the pay scale on the OPM website (opm.gov) but a GS 5 or 7 is not huge money. CIA does not have any criminal investigators. they have some security guys who they call special agents but thats it. Federal Air Marhsals are looking for people with tactical skills. They dont do many investigations in fact most of the guys and gals spend live sitting in a seat trying to stay awake. If you really want FBI you will need a masters in one of the key areas they are looking for or you need to be a tactical applciant (former SWAT, Ranger, Special Operations etc.)
I applies for the FBI back in 2005 and made it as far as the Phase 2 test. That process is no joke. As spahopeful said, find a critical need that interests you and go for it. If accounting or computers don't interest you, try for a foreign language. If you are willing to move and don't mind the desert, Border Patrol or CBP can give you a lot of experience. You don't need an advanced degree, but you need to be able to sell yourself. In my experience, you can't be humble. Also, don't get stuck in a rut about FBI. You didn't mention ATF on your list of hopefuls, they are currently hiring. The agent that procotored the phase 2 testing when I attended opened the day with the following, "50% of the candidates that took the phase 1 test passed, of those only 50% were offered the phase 2 test, which only 50% of you will pass." Guess what, he was right. Good luck and stay safe.
I work for ICE, I also made it far into the FBI application process fairly recently before I washed out (as someone said, it is ultra-competitive; I have a resume that stands out in most crowds-- it did not stand out in terms of the almighty Eye). Even with current federal service and all of my qualifications, I did not get an invite to the academy. The things that shot me down the most were that I never finished my Master's, and that my skillset includes lots of training on many different little things, but no area of expertise on one particular thing (being vague on purpose). Over 12 years military experience, 7 years municipal PD, Bachelor's degree, fluent Spanish, conversational Portuguese and Italian....still did not get me in the door.
If you want more details, PM me.
That said, during my time at ICE, I have only seen people go on to the FAM and CBP. Nobody has left my office for the FBI-- yet.
As spahopeful said, a minimum of 3 years experience in one of the critical skills is necessary just to open the door for the FBI. Think about going to school for a law degree, finance, foreign language, or computer science. If you want to get out working, as MPD703 said, ATF, ICE, DEA are all looking for bodies. DEA just thawed after their last freeze. The key to most 1811 jobs is mobility. Have you thought about CBP or Border Patrol as options? Both have tactical teams now and with tactical being a priority with FBI it could work. The key is to find something you like not something that would get you the job. I know guys, myself included, that have been trying for years to get an 1811 job. There is alot of luck that's involved with the process, timing is everything. Be patient, 2-3 years in the process is not long in the government, and 5-6 years is not unheard of. The proctor for my Phase 2 test with FBI opened the day with the following, "50% of the candidates that applied for the Phase 1 test were selected to take it, 50% of those people passed. Of those that passed the Phase 1 test, 50% were selected for the Phase 2 test. Only 50% of you will pass Phase 2." It's a hard road, but a rewarding one. Good luck and stay safe.
I'd imagine that the FBI offices in New England are probably the most sought after assignments. GS-7 pay, a master's degree just to get in but no pay raise, no take-home vehicle for a few years, and the closest to home I'll get is some toilet like Cleveland? All set, thanks. Or just get on the task force via your department and make twice as much money as the 1811's in the mean time.
Now I'm convinced you know what you speak of.
Keeper01, as you probably know, you have one opportunity for a phase II retest. Currently, I believe there must be a minimum of 6 month period between tests. It was changed from a 1 year period. I know a few people who have passed after learning from their first time around. Once you pass the phase II, the process moves into high gear with a PFT, poly, PSI, medical, and background all done within a month after your phase II. Good luck.
FBI SAs start at GS-10 and recieve adjustments for locality and overtime. Therefore, no hourly overtime. Benefits are no better than other local or state departments but they do have a take home vehicle. You will have to relocate somewhere in the US and you won't find out where until week 8 of the academy. Chances are, you'll end up in a state you never thought you would ever live in.
However, any agents I've spoken to have no regrets with their decision. Many left jobs where they made more money and worked less hours.
Just a little reality check....those of you in this thread with dreams of John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and wild shootouts, guess again. It's extremely rare for an FBI Agent to actually make an arrest; they require pre-approval from the US Attorney's Office, unless it's an emergency.
I'm not saying it's a bad job, but a patrol officer on even a moderately busy police department is going to make more arrests their first year than many FBI Agents make in an entire career. Frankly, I would be bored to tears, but to each their own.
Catch 22 with the feds.
Have to be young enough to not have a family to stay mobile.
But very hard to get in when your young with no experience.
You then get the experience and get old, but now have the family to uproot.
I'm in the process with a great agency that would directly lead to 1811.
Problem is the family. Don't want to uproot and have a very difficult time to come home.
DEA/FBI have both stated that Boston is the number one spot that folks try to get back too.
Money in the feds however is ridiculous.
1811 Gs-13 (which you rise to non-competitive) step 10 is 138k due to the 25% LEAP. Takes a long while to get there but by that time it will be more than 175k.
That's non supervisor....
They get their money 15th of January EVERY year, no retarded retro checks or stalled contracts.
I pretty much have the gig but will more than likely have to turn it down....
If you have 10+ years in the state it makes no sense to go feds as the retirements are different.
Both are great in their own right.
Very difficult decision if you are in the state system..
try applying to baltimore police....FBI and DEA seem to recruit our guys a lot
How is living in Baltimore?
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