West Virginia is the 38th most populous state in the United States with an estimated population of 1.8 million people as of 2016. West Virginia has its capital and largest city in Charleston. The state of West Virginia does not have its own FBI field office. However, FBI operations in the state are carried out by resident agencies across the state under the supervision and jurisdiction of the Pittsburg Division. If you are in West Virginia and you would like to know how to get into the FBI then this article is just for you.
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Basic Requirements Needed to Become an FBI Agent in West 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
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 West Virginia.
- Candidate must be a citizen of the United States of America
- Candidate must be at least 23 years old and not more than 36.5 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.
- Has at least three years of work experience in a professional setting
There are a few exceptions to the experience requirement such as:
- Candidates with masters or doctoral degree need just two years of professional work experience
- Candidates with J.D. (law) degree do not require any documented professional work experience
- Candidates experienced in information technology or computer science or information technology do not need documented professional work experience
- Candidates with the ability to speak a foreign language fluently do not need documented professional work experience
- Candidates who have FBI Honors or were volunteer interns with a 3.0 GPG do not need a documented professional work experience
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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia is as dynamic as it gets. Here are a few FBI positions available to West Virginia.
Different Positions Within The FBI
FBI jobs in West Virginia may be available for
- Special Agents
- Intelligence Analysts
- Computer Forensic Specialists
- Information Technology Specialists
Also noteworthy is the fact that the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIS) Division is located in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The CJIS in Clarksburg which is also the largest FBI division was designed in 1992 with the purpose of being the central repository for the agency’s criminal justice information service.
Candidates of the FBI (West 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 need a high school diploma in any of these relevant fields.
Major Cities in West Virginia
All resident agencies and satellite offices in West Virginia are under the jurisdiction of the Pittsburg Division of the FBI. These offices are located in:
- Wheeling: FBI agents in the Wheeling, West Virginia are saddled with the responsibility of attending to any potentially threatening cases in counties such as Wetzel, Pleasants, Tyler, Ohio, Hancock, Marshall and Brooke.
- Parkersburg: FBI Agents in Parkersburg would normally be responsible for Wood, Jackson, Wirt and Roane Counties but this responsibility is assigned to the Charleston Agency.
- Charleston: FBI agents in Charleston, West Virginia are saddled with the responsibility of attending to any potentially threatening cases in counties such as Putnam, Kanawha, Nicholas, Clay, Fayette and Boone Counties.
- Martinsburg: FBI agents in Martinsburg, West Virginia are saddled with the responsibility of attending to any potentially threatening cases in counties such as Morgan, Jefferson, Grant, Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy and Berkley.
- Huntington: FBI Special agents in Huntington, West Virginia are saddled with the responsibility of attending to any potentially threatening cases in counties such as Wayne, Mason, Lincoln, Mingo, Logan and Cabell.
- Clarksburg: Clarksburg is West Virginia’s largest city with 18 counties under its jurisdiction. FBI agents assigned to the Clarksburg Agency are responsible for combating any potentially threatening situation in and around these 18 counties. The counties are: Tucker, Pocahontas, Webster, Upshur, Monongalia, Ritchie, Taylor, Randolph, Preston, Pendleton, Marion, Calhoun, Harrison, Lewis, Gilmer, Braxton, Doddridge and Barbour Counties.
As stated previously, the FBI’s CJIS Division is located in Clarksburg. Sub-divisions of the CJIS include: National Instant Criminal Background Check System, National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Biometric Center of Excellence, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, and the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR).
- Beckley: FBI Special agents in Beckley, West Virginia have the responsibility of attending to any potentially threatening cases in counties such as Wyoming, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Mercer, Monroe, and Greenbrier Counties.
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.
FBI Training Programs and Schools in West Virginia
Private Investigator Programs and Schools in West Virginia
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