If you’re looking for an interesting and important career in Illinois, one of your best options is to apply to work in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI is perhaps the most important law enforcement agency in the country, pursuing dangerous criminals and protecting the country’s citizens from acts of terrorism.
More than almost any other career, becoming an FBI agent is a time consuming, difficult process. In order for an application to be considered, you will need to meet all of the requirements the FBI considers important to a successful agent.
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How to Become an FBI Agent in Illinois
- Certification: There is no certification process when becoming an FBI agent.
- Age: The FBI maintains strict age requirements for its agents. Agents should be over the age of 23 but under the age of 37. Waivers are sometimes granted for candidates older than 37.
- Licensure: There is no license you must obtain before applying with the FBI.
- Degree: Like most careers, being an FBI agent has a minimum education requirement, which is a bachelor’s degree earned at an accredited university.
- Experience: Professional experience totaling three years is required before the FBI will consider your application.
- Citizenship: The FBI limits employment to United States citizens.
- Flexibility: FBI agents must be flexible in terms of where they are willing to live and work, as you will often be required to relocate to a field office away from where you currently live.
- Background: FBI agents can have no felonies on their record, no history of drug use, no failure to pay child support and must have registered for selective service. To prove this, you will be required to submit to an intensive background check.
- Fitness: Only candidates who are able to pass a physical fitness test will have their applications considered.
Application Process in Illinois
- Application: You should expect your application process to take at least a year. During this year, you will have to complete a three hour exam based on cognitive ability and logical reasoning, a ninety minute writing exam and two interviews, one formal and one informal. If your application is approved, you will take part in basic field training, and if you graduate, you will be a probationary FBI agent. Probation lasts eighteen months.
Degrees Related to FBI Agents
The FBI does not require that its agents have a specific degree, only that they obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. However, the FBI does look for agents with backgrounds in foreign languages, law, engineering, accounting and science.
Major Cities in Illinois
- 2.7 million people live in Chicago, Illinois’s largest city.
- Proviso township is home to 151,704 residents.
- The third largest Illinois city, Rockford, has 150,251 residents.
What Does an FBI Agent Do in Illinois?
- The FBI is, above all else, a law enforcement organization that handles multiple types of crime. FBI agents investigate crimes and track and arrest dangerous criminals. Common legal areas the FBI is involved in include public corruption, cyber crime, white collar crime and violent crime.
- FBI agents also work to prevent acts of terrorism, both within the United States and abroad.
- Working out of field offices across the country, the FBI organizes investigations alongside local law enforcement officials.
Anyone who works in law enforcement will have similar responsibilities to FBI agents, including investigating crimes and protecting the public from dangerous officials. Private detectives and cyber security professionals can also be similar to FBI agents.
Employment Numbers in Illinois
No employment numbers are available to the public for FBI agents, although estimates point to thousands of agents working to keep the country safe. There are two FBI field offices in Illinois, one in Springfield and one in Chicago.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Salary Ranges in Illinois
To determine the salary of an FBI agent, you would look at the government’s General Schedule (GS) payment for law enforcement officers. FBI agents are eligible to be paid at levels between GS-10 and GS-13, which can result in a salary range of $62,433 and $122,991.
Illinois Related Organizational Links
Education Programs for FBI agents in Illinois
- Criminal Justice, MA
- Homeland Security, MA
- DEM - Emergency Management
- BS - Criminal Justice
- MS - Cybersecurity
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Public Administration
- JM: American Legal Studies
- JM: General
- JM: Health Law
- JM: International Legal Studies
- JM: Special Student (Non-Degree Seeking) - Legal Studies
- LLM: International Legal Studies
- MPA: Law & Public Policy
- MS: Criminal Justice
- MS: Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
- MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership
- DBA - Criminal Justice
- DBA - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
- Doctor of Criminal Justice
- MBA - Criminal Justice
- MBA - Homeland Security
- BSCJ – Law Enforcement
- BSCJ – Juvenile Justice
- BSCJ – Homeland Security
- BSCJ – Forensic Psychology
- BSCJ – Crime Scene Investigation
- BS in Criminal Justice
- MSCJ - Corrections
- MSCJ - Global Issues in Criminal Justice
- MSCJ - Law
- MSCJ - Leadership/Executive Management
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
- Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
- Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security
- Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
- Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management
- BS in Corrections
- MS Criminal Justice
- MS Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism
- MS Criminal Justice: Public Safety Administration
- AS Criminal Justice
- BS Criminal Justice
- BS Criminal Justice: Criminology
- BS Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
- BS Criminal Justice: Legal Studies and Advocacy
- BS Criminal Justice: Police Administration and Operations
- BS Criminal Justice: Human Services
- BS Criminal Justice: Corrections
- BS Cyber Security
- BS Cyber Security: Secure Programming
- BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
- Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
- CTU - Criminal Forensics