How To Get A Job In Fbi Or Cia

How to Get a Job in the FBI or CIA

Getting a job in either the FBI or the CIA can be extremely challenging. You need to have a lot of drive, ambition and extensive qualifications for even a shot at employment. As both of these agencies often utilize the same recruitment process, this article will look at both, giving you the best chance at succeeding.

Firstly, the most important factor to consider when looking for a job in these agencies is your academic achievements. Being a college graduate is essential, and having an advanced degree in a relevant field can work to your advantage. If you are currently in college, it is highly recommended that you reach out to either agency and ask to apply for internship opportunities. This can open doors which can lead to full-time job offers.

Secondly, you will have to pass an interview, which may even consist of an assessment test that is designed to measure your skills. Most tests focus on interpersonal relations, problem-solving and national security protocols. Having prior experience of working in the security sector, or in law enforcement may be advantageous during this stage.

Third, must have a clean record. This doesn’t just mean having no criminal records, it also means avoiding posts on social media that could be considered extreme or offensive in any way. The FBI and CIA are both very strict in this area, so make sure to consider the consequences of your digital footprint.

Fourth, you need to decide whether you should apply internally or externally. The internal route is more complex, as you will have to go through the FBI or CIA recruitment process. This is not always a viable option, especially if you don’t have prior experience. The external route meanwhile would involve applying through a dedicated website, or again, by seeking out internships. No matter which route you take, it is essential that you research both the agencies and the roles they offer.


Before diving into the specifics of each role, it is essential to understand what it is that you are attending to. First and foremost, it is crucial to remember that these are both very prestigious organizations, and your work can have serious implications on national security. In other words, attention to detail is critical in these roles, and failure to do so is simply not acceptable. You have to be prepared to put in extra hours during times of pressure, as you are being entrusted with the safety of the nation.


Once your application has been approved, you will go through a lengthy and arduous training process. Depending on your current position and the role you are applying for, the duration of this process can vary from 6-18 months. The details of the training do not need to be discussed here, but is likely to involve classroom-based learning, as well as field-based training.

Background Checks

Finally, when it comes to applying for a job in the FBI or CIA, you will have to undergo a thorough background check. This can be an extremely intrusive process, as you will be asked to provide a list of your previous employers, as well as any involvement in any extremist or activist groups. Don’t be surprised if you have to also provide medical records, contact information and financial records too.

Job Roles

When looking for a job in the FBI or CIA, there are various roles available. Criminal investigators, intelligence managers and specialists, public safety officers, air marshals, researchers, and many more. While job descriptions may vary slightly between the two agencies, they are often very similar.


One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a job in either agency is to network with people already in the sector. You can use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to widen your connections, and by joining forums and associations you can get access to insider knowledge. You can even join email mailing lists and go to events related to the FBI and CIA, in order to make yourself more visible.

Garnering Experience

Experience is of paramount importance when applying for jobs in the FBI and CIA. You can obtain this experience in various ways, such as through military service, law enforcement roles, or even internships and volunteer positions. Experience will not only enhance your application, but also give you a better chance of passing the interview and assessment tests.

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Rosemary Harrold is an accomplished writer and researcher who is both passionate and knowledgeable about the world of secret services. She gained an MSc in International Relations in 2017 and has since built on her expertise with numerous publications on intelligence agencies, their practices, and recent developments. Rosemary has been writing about IBM, CIA and FBI activities since then, as well as providing in-depth analysis on intelligence-related topics.

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