How to Become an FBI Agent in Tennessee

Tennessee has an estimated population of 6.6 million people as of 2016. Over the years, the state has an accumulated history of crime which dates back to the outlaw days of the Wild West and also the bootlegging during prohibition. FBI agents in Tennessee are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all FBI operations in and around their two main field offices in Memphis and Knoxville. If you are in Tennessee and you would like to know how to get into the FBI then this article is just for you.

FBI Agent Requirements in Tennessee

As with every other state in the USA, there are two main career options an applicant can choose with the FBI

  • Special Agent
  • Professional Staffer

Special agents are the backbone of the FBI and as such are required to undergo certain thorough and rigorous training and application regimen before they can be employed by the agency. This training is essential as it facilitates their ability to work as field experts on high profile crimes and several other investigations needing the FBI’s attention. Below is a list of requirements necessary to become an FBI Special Agent in Tennessee.

  • Candidate must be a citizen of the United States of America
  • Candidate must be at least 23 years old and not more than 37 years old at the time of employment
  • Candidate must have a minimum of a Bachelors Degree from an accredited 4-year university or college.
  • Candidate must be willing to relocate when necessary to any area under the FBI’s jurisdiction.
  • Candidate must successfully pass a written exam, a drug test, a background check, a polygraph exam, an interview and also a physical fitness test before getting hired.

Find schools and get information on the program that’s
right for you.
(It’s fast and free!)


FBI Training Tennessee
When applicants successfully pass all aptitude and psychological exams, they are further enrolled into a primary training program in Quantico, Virginia. At the end of the generalized program, applicants then enter a secondary training program that helps them develop skills in a specialized area.

Professional Staffers, on the other hand, do not have to undergo as much rigorous training as Special Agents. The professional staffing positions are reserved for FBI agents who do not want to or cannot be involved actively in the field or engage in FBI Special Agent Duties. While Professional Staffers are not exactly as prestigious as the special agents, Professional Staffers keep the agency running as they assist Special Agents via clerical, administrative, and maintenance services. The essential requirements to become an FBI Professional Staffer in Tennessee are;

  • A high school diploma
  • Completion of a background check
  • Previous work experience

From having to confront threats to acting as role models, the everyday life of an FBI agent in Tennessee is as dynamic as it gets. Amongst other primary responsibilities such as counterintelligence, cyber crimes, a criminal investigation, tactical operations, and counterterrorism, The FBI in Tennessee is also tasked with handling advanced situations. Here are a few FBI positions available to Tennessee.

Different Positions Within the FBI

With two field offices, the Tennessee FBI offers plenty of opportunities to learn new tasks and skills and take part in various operations:

Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT): Both the Memphis office and the Knoxville office have SWAT team members. The SWAT specializes in arresting armed and dangerous criminals, breaching locks, rescuing hostages, and also storming barricaded buildings. While the Memphis office has an 11-member SWAT team the Knoxville field office has a 14-member SWAT team. 

Evidence Recovery and Processing: These teams are responsible for evidence collection at crime scenes as well as analyzing this evidence for clues concerning a case. Crime scene evidence varies from DNA samples to bullets, blood, fingerprints, and other items found near or at the crime scene(s.). While the Knoxville field office has two 8-member teams who handle this task, the Memphis office has just one team of evidence analyzers, who regularly assist local law enforcement officials in high-profile cases and crimes. 

Bomb Recovery and Analysis: The bomb specialists are tasked with the responsibility of identifying possible explosive materials and detonating them. The Memphis and Knoxville office both have a team of three bomb specialists. 

Hazardous Materials: Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) experts are responsible for overseeing the handling of biological, chemical and radiological hazardous materials and waste. The Knoxville office employs one HAZMAT expert while the Memphis field office has three HAZMAT specialists.

Discover criminal justice & law enforcement programs in Tennessee that are a match for you!

Tennessee FBI Agent Education

Candidates of the FBI (Tennessee inclusive) are required to meet certain degree requirements. FBI Special Agent candidates must have at least a Bachelors Degree in a relevant field and from an accredited 4 year University.

FBI Special Agent degree requirements include but are not limited to

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology
  • Master of Science in Criminology

FBI Professional Staff such as experienced linguists, financial analysts etc need a high school diploma in any of these relevant fields.

Major Cities in Tennessee

Memphis: The Memphis field office is located in the Western part of Tennessee and is saddled with the responsibility of spearheading all FBI operations in the area. To efficiently execute their duties and curb crime to the barest minimum, the Memphis office partners with local and state law enforcement agencies as well as community groups including but not limited to the Memphis Field Intelligence Group, the Memphis Joint Terrorism Task Force, Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Joint Cyber Crime Task Force, Memphis Cargo Task Force, and the Mortgage Fraud Task Force.

The Memphis Jurisdiction has the following Satellite Offices: Clarksville, Jackson, Columbia, Nashville, and Cookeville.

Knoxville: The Knoxville field office is positioned on the Eastern side of the state and while slightly smaller in both jurisdiction size and job opportunities, the Knoxville field office experiences lots of traffic going to the Eastern Seaboard, as well as traffic from west-to-east via the Mid-West and Southern regions of the country.

The Knoxville Jurisdiction has the following Satellite Offices: Oak Ridge, Chattanooga, Johnson City, and Tullahoma.

Tennessee FBI Agent Salary

FBI Agents have varying responsibilities for about 36,000 employees and with these varying responsibilities come varying salaries but most of the FBI agents, technicians and specialists are paid according to the Governments approved General Schedule System (GS). Hence the salary between FBI Special Agents and Professional Staffs range between

  • Special Agents: $455771- $59505 (as GS-10 beginner pay grade salary) to peak earnings (GS-13 Agents) of $71674 – $93175.
  • Professional Staff: $33979 – $44176 (as GS7 beginner pay grade salary) to a peak earning of $84697 – $110104.

It is important at this point to note that entering pay grade for professional staff is often influenced by advanced degrees such as Master’s and Ph.D. as well as substantial professional achievement, high military rank, and a few other variables.

FBI Training Programs and Schools in Tennessee

Criminal Justice Programs and Schools in Tennessee

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
(It’s fast and free!)

Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. FBI agents are dedicated to America’s defense and security. There are a number of careers you can pursue within the FBI with current activities focusing heavily on anit-terrorism. No matter which career you pursue becoming an FBI agent requires deep commitment and dedication. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!