Becoming a Special Agent Takes Dedication
The Special Agent Selection System (SASS) is a mentally and physically challenging process designed to find only the most capable applicants. Those who make it through the process become part of an elite team that keeps our country safe.
The FBI Special Agent (SA) position requires significant commitment and dedication. Special Agents must:
- Adhere to the highest standards of conduct, especially in maintaining honesty and integrity.
- Be available for worldwide assignment on either a temporary or long-term basis. Not sure about the transfer process?
- Work a minimum of 50 hours a week (which may include irregular hours) and be on call 24/7, including holidays and weekends.
- Maintain a high level of fitness necessary to complete training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, and throughout your career.
- Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.
- Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants and other dangerous assignments, all of which pose the risk of personal bodily harm.
FBI Employment Requirements for All Positions
- Must be a U.S. citizen.
- Must be able to obtain a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) Clearance.
- Must be in compliance with the FBI Drug Policy.
See more about FBI Employment Requirements.
Employment Requirements for the Special Agent Position
To be eligible for the FBI Special Agent position, applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications at the time of application:
- Be between 23 and 36 years of age.
- FBI Special Agents have a mandatory retirement age of 57. In order to achieve the required 20 years of service for retirement, Special Agents must enter on duty no later than the day before their 37th birthday. Applicants must apply for the Special Agent position prior to their 36th birthday to allow adequate time to complete SASS. The FBI may disqualify applicants at any time if it is determined that they will reach age 37 before appointment.
- Current FBI employees are encouraged to apply to the Special Agent position prior to their 39th birthday to allow adequate time to complete SASS. Current FBI employees must be appointed and assigned to the FBI Academy no later than one day preceding their 40th birthday.
- Have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S.-accredited college or university.
- Have at least two years of full-time professional work experience; or one year if you have earned an advanced degree (master’s or higher).
- Possess a valid driver’s license and have six months of driving experience.
- Meet the Special Agent physical fitness standards (see the Physical Requirements page).
- Be available to report to one of the FBI’s 56 Field Offices for interviews and testing several times throughout the application process. You are responsible for your own travel to and from the Field Office. Applicants who reside overseas must be available for travel to the United States for testing and processing at an FBI Field Office at your own expense; you may choose a Field Office that is most convenient for you. While travel from an overseas location to the Processing Field Office (PFO) is the responsibility of the applicant, any additional travel for Phase II testing from the PFO will be incurred by the FBI.
- If you are currently on active duty in the military, you must be within 15 months of completing your service before submitting your application.
FBI Special Agents are required to adhere to strict standards of conduct and exemplify the FBI’s Core Competencies listed above. Please explain how you have demonstrated these competencies in real-life situations within your resume. Provide as much information as possible. Use the Situation, Action, Result format to describe the situation, the actions you took and the resulting outcomes.
Definitions of the FBI Core Competencies.