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What are the educational requirements for becoming an FBI agent?

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Quick Answer

In order to become an FBI agent, applicants must have a college degree. A number of other eligibility criteria apply in addition to this.

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Full Answer

In terms of education, applicants wanting to become an FBI agent must have a four-year college degree that was obtained at an officially recognized institution. The other requirements include:

  • Applicants must be US citizens
  • Applicants must be between 23 and 36.5 years old. This is because of the mandatory retirement age of 57. Starting a career in the FBI no later than 36.5 years means a person can complete 20 years of service before retirement.
  • In most cases, the applicant must have at least 3 years' work experience in the field in which the applicant's degree was obtained. Exceptions include those with master's or doctoral degrees who only need 2 years' experience. Certain degrees and specialties require no work experience. This includes those fluent in foreign languages, accountants and people with degrees in computer science or information technology.
  • Applicants must also have lived in the United States for 3 of the last 5 years.
  • Finally, there are things that applicants cannot have on their records. This includes felony convictions or convictions for domestic violence. It also includes people who have not paid child support, those who have failed to file tax returns and those who do meet drug use guidelines, as set by the FBI.
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