The FBI is a complex organization, covering a vast range of responsibilities, duties and functions in protecting our nation and citizens from terrorists and criminal activities. Because the Bureau has such far-reaching mandates and powers, it is necessary for it to be divided up into a number of branches which serve specific areas.
Within these branches and jobs, the most skilled and experienced agents are division specialists, who possess advanced training, expertise and experience. Learn about the branch divisions of the federal bureau of investigation, and the role a career as an FBI division specialist plays within the overall organization.
FBI Branch Divisions
There are a number of divisions within the FBI, but in general and besides the Office of the Director, the Bureau is split into six functional branches. Each branch covers a different overall scope of responsibility in the Bureau’s overall mandate. These six branches include:
- National Security
- Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services
- Information Technology
- Human Resources
Within each of these branches are dozens of different specific divisions and jobs. Some examples include the Criminal Investigative Division, or CID, in the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch; the Cyber Division, in the Information Technology Branch; the Laboratory Division in the Sciences Branch; and the Counterterrorism Division, under the auspices of the National Security Branch.
In many cases, even these divisions are subdivided—Counterterrorism, for example, has four branches under its own umbrella.
Every branch of the FBI is manned by both professional staff and Special Agents. The most advanced and accomplished Special Agents become division specialists. These divisional specialties include drug enforcement agents, counterterrorism agents, special undercover agents, and a range of other specific career paths.
The vast majority of agents who engage in an FBI division specialty has an advanced degree, a wealth of experience, displayed great success in their agency, and a range of special secondary skills. Whether they speak multiple languages, are outstanding marksmen, are ace hackers or possess other specific skills, this is part and parcel of what it takes to become a division specialist within the FBI.
Finding Work in an FBI Division Specialty
The key to becoming a Special Agent with a division specialty in the Bureau begins with your path to becoming an agent. First, you must meet all of the prerequisite requirements, which involves being in the proper age range; going through rigorous background checks to examine your credit history, eligibility for high security positions, mental health, and clean criminal background; possession of a valid driver’s license; U.S. citizenship; educational requirements and other basics.
Next, you will go through extended training at the Quantico, VA, FBI training facility. This will involve physical training as well as tactics, specialized skills and other knowledge you’ll need to ply your trade. You’ll then have to work hard to build your skills and expertise as you excel in your field. With hard work and a bit of luck, you’ll be among the best the Bureau has to offer!
If you’ve got a drive to excel in any field you pursue, and the idea of helping to protect the U.S. from criminals at home and overseas appeals to you, consider starting on the path to adapting an FBI Division Specialty.