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Criminal Investigators and Special Agents Job Description

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Criminal Investigators and Special Agents

The following job description describes the common responsibilities for this occupation.

Job Description

Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

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Job Description of an FBI Agent - Comments

FBI agents have vastly different functions within the organization based on their specialty and department. Their general function is investigation, criminal justice, and homeland security. Agents work long hours and, if not working in an administrative capacity, also often work odd hours depending on the nature of their investigation. The job description of an FBI agent usually involves the willingness to travel, a commitment to justice, and the need to keep calm under extremely stressful situations.

The job description of an FBI agent may include investigating, interviewing, and collecting data and evidence, but most jobs within the organization are administrative. For example, one of the most effective departments has historically been the accounting department. Much of the data and evidence collection requires warrants and a tremendous amount of paperwork. An FBI agent who works in the field is often considered on-call and does not hold a regular schedule. FBI agents work closely with informants and other local and federal law enforcement agencies. One of their closest working partners is the office of the Attorney General, the prosecuting arm of the Federal Government.

The job requirements of an FBI agent differ vastly with regards to education. A person with a bachelor's or master's degree with no prior physical training must go through the same training program as a former military applicant with a tremendous amount of physical training. The training is rigorous both mentally and physically, lasting a total of 20 weeks. Not all applicants are chosen to be trained and they must finish the FBI academy to become an FBI agent. The physical section involves training in firearms, hand-to-hand combat, regular physical fitness tests, and obstacles. The academic portion involves intelligence techniques, forensic science, behavioral science, and general knowledge of law with an overall grade of 85 percent or above required.

According to PayScale salary survey data, an FBI Agent Salary can more than double over the course of 20 years. Surveys have also shown a difference in income when measuring median FBI Agent Salaries by State. To find the salary of an FBI agent in a specific state, use the PayScale Salary Calculator.

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