© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

FBI Agent


The FBI won't let just anyone become a Special Agent. There are some intense requirements involved, not the least of which is that you have to love Point Break. Here are some of the other necessary qualifications:

Age—You must be at least 23 years old, but younger than 37. There are some exceptions to the "38 is too old" rule, but you probably don't qualify.

Citizenship—You must be a citizen of the United States OR the Northern Mariana Islands. You didn't even know the Northern Mariana Islands was an American Commonwealth, did you? Well, it is. We picked it up after World War II. In fact, it was the reason the U.S. entered the war in the first place.*

*No it wasn't.

Education—You must possess a four-year degree from an accredited college or university approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Think you can skip the degree because you're a highly decorated war hero? Nope. Everyone in the FBI graduated from college.

Driver's License—You must have a valid driver's license if you want to join the FBI. How else are you going to drive one of those sweet mobile command units?

Flexibility—You must be willing and able to go anywhere for the Bureau. There are 56 field offices and 380 resident agencies within the United States and Puerto Rico, and there are even legal attachés within U.S. embassies and consulates general worldwide. Seriously, you could be sent anywhere, so don't tell your neighbors you can take care of their pet Schnauzer Jürgen when they go to Cancun for the summer. You can't make that level of commitment.

Still with us? Good, because those were just the general FBI qualifications. There are even more specific qualifications for those who want to become a Special Agent:

Work Experience—You must have at least three years of work experience. It's not like the NFL where you're drafted right out of college; the FBI would prefer that you be a bit more mature.

Entry Programs—There are five entry programs (Accounting, Computer Science/Information Technology, Language, Law, and Diversity), and every Special Agent applicant needs to qualify under one of these. After that, there are further breakdowns regarding Critical Skills such as Engineering Expertise and Foreign Language(s) Proficiency.

Physical Fitness—This is where things get really tough. You'll be tested to determine your strength and fitness levels, visual and hearing acuity, and overall medical health. If you’re a half-blind asthmatic who runs a 12:50 mile and has a max bench of 18lbs., the FBI won't care how smart you are; you're not getting in.

Background—If you've made it this far and still think you've got what it takes to make it to the FBI Academy in Quantico, let's hope you've been a good boy or girl. All of that hard work and training is erased if you've ever been convicted of a felony, failed a drug test, or even defaulted on a student loan. The FBI is really looking to avoid admitting hooligans with drug charges looking to help out their miscreant friends. And, you know, poor people who can't pay their student loans.