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FBI Law Enforcement Careers for Veterans

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Careers for Veterans at the FBI in Law Enforcement

Like all Federal Agencies, the FBI values your military service and offers many opportunities for you to continue to serve the nation. But, unlike some federal agencies, the FBI actively recruits military and veteran candidates like you to apply for any of the positions that may interest you.

FBI Special Veterans Hiring Programs

If you are eligible, you can apply for Veterans’ Preference Points. To learn more about Veterans’ Preference, click here. The FBI also has a specific program for Wounded Warriors, also known as Operation War Fighter. Click here for more information about the FBI’s Wounded Warrior Internship program.

More information on benefits for veterans and servicemen and women is available on the FBI’s Benefits page, as well as on FedsHireVets.gov.

College Recon help you find the college or university that offers the degrees need to be successful in Law Enforcement. Click here to learn more.

FBI Career Paths for Veterans

As a veteran you may apply for any of the jobs at the FBI, from Special Agent to any of the professional positions, like forensics, accounting, information technology/cybersecurity, surveillance, intelligence analysis, and more. There are two main career paths within the FBI. The best known is Operations & Intelligence, which is most often seen in movies and TV shows.

FBI Operations and Intelligence

The FBI career opportunities in Operations and Intelligence include Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, Forensic Accountants, and Surveillance Specialists.

Special Agents

The mission of the FBI is to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States. Special Agents are responsible for enforcing more than 300 federal statutes, in addition to investigating criminal activities.

FBI Special Agents possess a broad range of education, experiences and skills. Special Agents often come from a unexpected professional backgrounds outside of law enforcement, including education, science, business and technology.

Intelligence Analysts

FBI Analysts scrutinize data and intel, make judgments and recommendations to help determine if action is needed to mitigate all threats. Having the right information and guidance is critical to protecting the United States. Intelligence Analysts’ recommendations and strategies help identify and combat threats, while working with state, local and federal partners and other members of the Intelligence Community to help diminish risks before they happen.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accountants tackle complicated challenges with every assignment. They work with Special Agents to keep our country safe by tracking and linking funding sources to criminal activity.

Surveillance Specialist

Surveillance Specialists keep the nation safe and take on both domestic and international threats, the FBI relies on a constant stream of intelligence gathered by a team of surveillance professionals.

Professionals doing surveillance work alongside case agents to discreetly gather intelligence in support of ongoing counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence and criminal investigations.

FBI Opportunities in Specialized Careers

The second career path focus is on Specialized Careers that directly support the FBI’s efforts to protect the American people and the Constitution. Professional career path is less known, but these professional teams are also an important part of keeping our communities and our nation safe. FBI Professional teams include, Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, Facilities and Logistics, Legal, and Federal Security/Policing. For the sake of this article we will focus on the law enforcement related specialties.

Federal Security and Policing

Security personnel play a huge role in the FBI’s mission. There are several opportunities for security professionals including Physical Security Specialist, FBI Police Officers, Industrial Security Specialists, Personnel Security Specialists, which described below.

  • Physical Security Specialist is one of the first lines of defense against domestic and international threats. They are most often responsible for facility security and managing guest check in and staff access.
  • FBI Police Officers keep the FBI and surrounding areas secure. If you are selected for the FBI police force you will be required to complete the FBI’s 12-week, Uniformed Police Officer Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA. Cadets will then get an additional four weeks of specialized instruction at the FBI Academy and five weeks of on-the-job training at their new permanent duty station.  For more information about the FBI Police Officer position, please download the Police Officer Selection System Candidate Information Packet.
  • Security Specialists provide direct support and service to the administration of the FBI Personnel Security Program by conducting complex security assessment investigations and rendering appropriate adjudications.
  • Industrial Security Specialists safeguard FBI operations through the proactive identification, assessment, and mitigation of risks associated with the procurement of critical assets and classified contracts.
  • Personnel Security Specialists are responsible for managing background investigations of FBI employment candidates and employees. They give direct assistance to the background investigation procedures.

Entry-level applicants should apply to this position via the FBI’s Collegiate Hiring Initiative.

Eligibility for Joining the FBI

All FBI applicants must meet the FBI’s Employment Eligibility requirements. Below are specific non-starters that will get you instantly disqualified. These include:

  • Non-U.S. citizenship
  • Conviction of a felony (Special Agent candidates only: conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor or more serious offense)
  • Violation of the FBI Employment Drug Policy (please see below for additional details)
  • Default on a student loan insured by the U.S. Government
  • Failure of an FBI-administered urinalysis drug test
  • Failure to register with the Selective Service System (for males only, exceptions apply – please click here to find out more)
  • Knowingly or willfully engaged in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force
  • Failure to pay court ordered child support
  • Failure to file federal, state, or local income tax returns

If you are disqualified by any of the above criteria, you are not able to serve in the FBI at any level. Be sure you can meet FBI employment requirements and pass all disqualifiers before you apply.





About the author

Terry Howell is a retired Coast Guard veteran, where he served for 20 years.

He is currently the Executive Director for Veterans' Legacies, a non-profit that works to preserve veterans personal stories to help educate our youth.

Terry is also the author of The Military Advantage, an annually updated guide to military and veteran benefits.