How to Become an FBI Agent in Virginia

Virginia is the twelfth most populous state in the USA with an estimated population of over 8.3 million inhabitants as of 2016. Virginia’s predominant languages are Spanish and English. While Richmond is Virginia’s capital, Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state. The FBI has two field offices in Virginia overseeing FBI operations in 100 counties and 8 satellite offices.

The FBI field offices have existed in Virginia since 1937 with the two Field Agencies in Virginia located in Norfolk and Richmond. While the Norfolk office has eight counties in Southeast Virginia and a satellite office in Hampton under its jurisdiction, the Richmond office has 82 counties and six satellite offices.

The FBI Academy is located in Quantico, Virginia – this serves as a major research hub, an advocacy center for law enforcement practices worldwide, as well as a center for training FBI special agents and intelligence analysts.

The decision to join the FBI is quite unlike most other career choices. With each passing day, a new, exciting, and rewarding challenge arises and offers Agents the opportunity to not just serve the country but also save lives. If you are in Virginia and you would like to know how to get into the FBI then this article is just for you.

FBI Agent Requirements in Virginia

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

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Special agents are the backbone of the FBI and as such are required to undergo certain thorough and rigorous training and application regimens 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 Virginia.

  • 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.

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 Virginia are;

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

FBI Training Virginia

Primary Positions Within the FBI in Virginia

With two field offices (located in Norfolk and Richmond), the Virginia FBI offers plenty of opportunities to learn new tasks and skills and take part in various operations:

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)

Hazardous Materials: Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) experts are responsible for overseeing the handling of biological, chemical, and radiological hazardous materials and waste.

Bomb Recovery and Analysis: The bomb specialists are tasked with the responsibility of identifying possible explosive materials and detonating them.

Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT): The SWAT specializes in arresting armed and dangerous criminals, breaching locks, rescuing hostages, and also storming barricaded buildings.

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Virginia FBI Agent Education

Candidates of the FBI (Virginia 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 needs a high school diploma in any of these relevant fields.

Major Cities in Virginia

The FBI offices in Norfolk and Richmond are dedicated to fighting the most dangerous security and criminal threats the US faces but with an initial focus on the citizens of Virginia.

Norfolk: Beyond the aforementioned primary positions within Virginia FBI, the Norfolk office also comprises a team of translators and a hostage rescue team who are trained to locate and rescue victims of hostage situations. A Cyber Crime Working Group was created in 2003 in Norfolk to bring together the efforts and experience of local, state, and federal experts in a bid to tackle computer/high-tech crimes, cyber crimes against children, telecommunications fraud, and identity theft.

Richmond: Apart from the positions mentioned above, the FBI at Richmond have a victim assistant to support people physically, emotionally, etc as well as a Joint Terrorism Task Force comprising of 40 local, state and federal agencies; tasked with the responsibility of running down terrorism leads, develop and investigate cases involving suspected terrorists. The FBI in Richmond also provides extra security for special events.

Virginia 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 Virginia

Criminal Justice Programs and Schools in Virginia

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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!