Washington has a population of an estimated 7.1 million people as of 2015, thus making it the 13th most populous state in the US. Named after the first president of the United States, George Washington, the state’s FBI office is situated in Seattle. FBI agents in Washington are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all FBI operations such as child pornography; trafficking of counterfeit goods, drugs, and people; murder; mortgage fraud; and also domestic violence on Native American /Indian reservations in Washington.
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If you are in Washington and you would like to know how to get into the FBI then this article is just for you.
Basic Requirements Needed to Become an FBI Agent in Washington
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 Washington.
- 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.
- Candidate must be an American resident for three of the past five years
- Candidate must be willing to go through 20 weeks of training in Virginia, if hired.
- Candidate must be willing to carry firearms at all times, if 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 Washington 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 Washington is as dynamic as it gets. Here are a few FBI positions available to the FBI in Washington.
Functions of the FBI in Washington
The FBI Field Office in Seattle is actively involved in the pursuit of terrorists and high profile criminal cases which have seen this field office record their fair share of successes with cases like:
- Discovery of the infamous Green River Killer
- Bringing an end to the terrorism caused by a white supremacist group called The Order.
- Executing the arrest of Earnest James Ujaama – an international terrorist.
- Solving the Tylenol murder case.
FBI agents in the Seattle Division are actively involved in cases that go beyond pursuing serial killers and terrorists; they also fight against
- Cyber Crime
- Drug Trafficking
- Human Trafficking
- White Collar Crime
- Civil Rights Violations
- Bank Robberies
Candidates of the FBI (Washington 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 Washington
The Washington Division of the FBI has a main field Office in Seattle and eight resident agencies/ satellite offices in the state which include:
One of the Bellingham satellite office’s most notable operations is a 2012 raid that saw FBI agents arrest 23 suspected gang members and high-risk offenders within the Whatcom County. Amongst the arrested 23, was a suspect wanted for kidnapping amongst other crimes.
The Everett County FBI partners with the North Sound Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) in Everett and together they have been instrumental in recovering juveniles victimized by prostitution, as well as now adults who were forced into prostitution as juveniles.
The FBI agents in Olympia are actively involved in protecting children from exploitation via their actions in CETFs.
Spokane is the home of the Inland Northwest Regional Terrorism Task Force. Historically, Spokane is lauded for arresting a white supremacist who had placed a radio-controlled pipe explosive on the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. march. The culprit was sentenced to thirty two years in prison.
Thanks to the FBI Agents in the Poulsbo satellite office, a bank robber who robbed 4 banks in Kitsap County as well as a some espresso stands was in December 2012, sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
In line with the United States commitment to fishing out individuals involved in child exploitation, Tacoma FBI agents not only take part in the South Sound Child Exploitation Task Force but have also helped in jailing people involved in exploiting juveniles.
FBI Agents in the Tri-Cities are tasked with the responsibility of combating gangs and other violent crime matters. In their capacity, they have helped investigate and apprehend members of major drug trafficking rings distributing tons of cocaine in this area.
The FBI in Vancouver recently recovered over 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, as well as indicting a man responsible for sending letters containing white powder to members of congress.
The Yakima FBI satellite office very recently, investigated a robbery crime and helped find a bank robber. They also unraveled the estate of a man suspected of running a Ponzi scheme.
FBI Agents have varying responsibilities for about 36,000 employees and with these varying responsibilities come varying salaries but most of the FBI agents, technician and specialists are paid according to the Governments approved General Schedule System (GS). Hence 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.
Education Programs for FBI agents in Washington
- 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