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FBI Agent Job Description

Medha Godbole
It is so amazing to watch someone flash his or her Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent identification card on TV. But, it would be great if you could actually, closely experience and get to know what such a professional goes through. Read on...
"Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with the information, it becomes a Gestapo." These were the words of the first director of Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.
It's perhaps an ultimate fantasy of quite a few youth to be an FBI agent. Something like the scintillating and shrewd Joe Pistone aka Donnie Brasco in Donnie Brasco, or perhaps like Gillian Anderson in The X-files. There, Gillian Anderson plays Dana Scully, an agent ruminating over sidelined, unsolved cases, which involved paranormal phenomena.
Truly, many of us are absolutely smitten by the portrayal of such characters on screen; more so, if the role is played by "bad boy" Johnny Depp or the charismatic Clint Eastwood.
But, coming back to real life from "reel life," these professionals are the high-profile officers, involved in some serious crime investigation. The following paragraphs will acquaint you with their job description.


Now FBI, being a governmental law enforcement agency, has division of duties or labor as we call it. Thus, an FBI agent typically handles a particular aspect of investigation. It fundamentally entails investigation of crime. These criminal acts can range from drug trafficking to cyber or Internet crime, to bribery, to financial crimes and organized crimes.
All these are 'so to say' run-of-the-mill matters for them. What lights up their eyes is a high-end case, like airplane hijacking, international espionage, interstate criminal activity, and sensitive national security matters.
For all these investigations and getting the culprit out of the burrow, they need to be very deductive and intelligent. They should immediately be able to come to the possible suspects and motives.

On Field

Agents also require to dwell upon the evidence, ponder over missing links in the case, and crack it. This means that they have to go on the field to confirm their doubts or to eliminate them.
Going on field includes surveillance activities, encounter with criminals, etc. They always have to be on their toes, and need to be alert all the time. Field activity also involves arresting the criminals, when needed.

Off the Crime Scene

When not on the field, they interrogate people, do a criminal background check, and basically, mull over the evidence at hand to find the culprit as soon as possible. All this after thoroughly going through a case file and gathering all the bits and pieces along with the local police or other law enforcement officers to complete the jigsaw puzzle.
For instance, in murder cases especially, a forensics liaison accompanies an agent. Just like in the TV series "Criminal Minds," all of them - the investigating officer, the forensics person, and others - work in unison.
Sometimes, if it's a highly specialized case related to psychologically induced criminal acts, the agent could be a part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI.
All said and done, this entire description paints a very thrilling and rosy picture with guns and criminals and undercover activities. But, it's not a cakewalk.
Only those with excellent physical fitness and those willing to lap up potentially dangerous situations, and most importantly, the duty and desire to enforce the law and protect property and life, can be a part of this profession. If you have that grit and gumption in yourself, a la Donnie Brasco or the likes, it is a great idea.