The FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some prerequisites for becoming an agent are experience in law, law enforcement or the military. Also, you must have a bachelor’s degree and three years of work related experience. Most candidates hold degrees in criminal justice, law or foreign language.
FBI training involves four areas: academics, fire-arms training, case exercises and operational skills. Basic training requires 850 hours of instruction and lasts 20 weeks.
Academics consist of course work in law, ethics, behavioral science, investigative techniques, forensic science and interrogation. In addition, the student learns how to manage and control counter-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and criminal investigations. The student must then score better than 85% on exams covering at least three areas, including interrogation, national security investigations and criminal investigations.
Training in fire-arms is essential to the FBI graduate. He is expected to learn how to use fire-arms and maintain his skill throughout his career. Therefore, FBI agents are expected to be experts at firing a gun and capable of making split second decisions in life or death circumstances. This training is required before the graduate can leave the academy. In order for the student to pass the fire-arms test, he must shoot 80% or better out of two of three record attempts. During his time spent at the academy, the student fires 3,900 rounds of ammunition.
Case exercises are included in FBI training . The student is introduced to case scenarios like terrorism, where actors role play terrorists and criminals. The student then investigates the case and presents his evidence in a mock court set up at the Academy. Case exercises teach the FBI student the value of real life encounters he could face after graduation.
Operational skills include defensive tactics, safe driving techniques, physical fitness training and surveillance, including undercover operations. Operational skills training utilizes up to 90 hours of the total training hours. The student is given scenarios of events like bank robbery, kidnapping, assault and dangerous arrests. This training is probably the most basic and most valuable of the four areas, since it teaches the student every day life situations that can occur.
Another requirement for becoming an FBI agent is that of passing a physical fitness test. In order to withstand the physical rigors of the job, the student must be in good physical shape. The test is a standardized fitness test and includes sit-ups and push-ups, a 300 meter sprint and 1.5 mile run.