Normal Topic Day in the life of an Agent (Read 14151 times)
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Day in the life of an Agent
Jul 25th, 2002 at 10:54pm
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I would like to know as much information as I can get regarding a day in the life of an FBI agent.  I recognize there is no "typical" description, but, maybe average hours worked?  How many weekends worked per quarter?  I am no stranger to long hours as an ex-Army officer, however, I have the grand task of being grilled by a significant other as to the impact being selected will have on our relationship.  I am scheduled for the panel interview soon, and while the process is far from complete, and I am as far from Quantico as when I started, still, my answers to her questions involve no firsthand information.  Also, any tips for the panel interview or writing portion are appreciated as well.  Thanks in advance for any answers provided.
« Last Edit: Jul 25th, 2002 at 11:18pm by Mustang6 »  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #1 - Jul 25th, 2002 at 11:48pm
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Mustang6,

Just curious, why did you come to this site to request information of this type?  I would think you could get some answers to your question from the FBI's web site, or simply swinging on down to your nearest FBI Field Office and ask an agent.  Contrary to what most of the posters on this site will tell you, they will be up front with you as to what their typical day is like.

Batman
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #2 - Jul 25th, 2002 at 11:57pm
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Thanks for the response.  Actually, I am getting in touch with an agent this week.  I have posted on several sites to get as much info as possible.  Also, the FBI site just gives you the "warm and fuzzy" paragraph...good, but insufficient.  I found this site while researching concerns I had about the poly and just thought I'd give it a shot.
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #3 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 12:20am
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Mustang6,

As an agent you can expect to work some rather long hours on ocassion.  Much of this will most likely depend on what particular type of investigative activity you happen to be involved in at the time.  However, you will be an 1811 (Federal Job Series) and as a result you will receive 25% over and above your normal pay grade salary.  This is refered to as LEAP or Law Enforcement Avaliablity Pay.  Some agencies equate this to working an average of 10 hours of overtime per week.  Other agencies consider you to be on a 24 hour on call basis so you are always "available" so there is no hour equation put to LEAP by them.  When Congress enacted LEAP they pretty much left it up to each organization to interpret it as their needs required, but you will get it as an 1811 required to carry a weapon.

My money says that the hours you put in while on active duty in the Army will far out number those you put in as an FBI agent.  If not, at least as a Federal Agent you will be better compensated for you time.

I can tell you from first hand experience, you will have to have the support of that significant other if you are to succeed in the Federal Law Enforcement career.  Many family plans will be disrupted at the last minute.  There will be travel, some of it rather short notice.  However, you will be extremely fulfilled and personally satisifed if Law Enforcement is your true calling.  If you have the support on the homefront then you will be successful to boot.  Good Luck!

Batman
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #4 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 12:27am
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Thanks so much for taking a few minutes....I am cutting and pasting your response to her now.  If you have first hand experience...here are a few other things...

first assignment- I imagine much like the military this would be a crap shoot, but are there greater needs in one location verses another?  My interests lie in DC or KC, Missouri or Dallas Texas.  Secondly, while this is not of primary concern, pay increases....I would take a 22K cut right now to follow this dream, and while worth it, I have some support requirements that I must plan for.  How quick do increases come...Step1 to Step3, etc.?  Thanks again!
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #5 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 2:41am
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Mustang6,

Some of your concerns can only be answered by the FBI as you go through the hiring process.  As I understand it, the FBI hires at a rather low entry level, maybe GS-7, however I think that when you graduate from their academy you may be promoted.  You will have to ask them on that one.  As for step increases, there are OPM regualtions regarding that, but if the FBI plays by those rules then you should receive a step increase each year for the first three I think.  Then you receive one every two years up to a certain step level.

You seem interested in cities that have large field offices, but I do not know how the FBI places their new agents.  Again, your best source for this type information would be the recruiting agent you are dealing with, or the FBI's personnel office.

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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #6 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 6:05am
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Mustang6,

A few additional thoughts to that of what has already been offered to you...  I highly concur with Guest's general enthusiasm for a law enforcement career--in particular you are to be envied if you are to enter into service with the Bureau.  Unless things have changed in the almost year since I retired from the Bureau (and following 9/11/01 many things have), you will begin as a GS-10.  During the 16 weeks of new agent training you will not receive the availability pay that Guest spoke of, but will upon reporting to your first office.  Over the next 5 to 7 years (has changed over the years) you will progress to the journeyman street agent investigator level of GS-13.  Your desires, aptitude and the availability of management/executive positions will determine to what degree you receive promotions following that (up through Senior Executive Service (SES) level 6). 

“The needs of the Bureau” in addition to your desires and those of your family largely determine your first office assignment as well as many other assignments within the Bureau.   At various times, new agents were initially sent to top 10 or 12 (large offices) and at other times to small offices.  This changed with some frequency over the period of my 25-year career.  No doubt the needs of the Bureau have been affected by 9/11 and related activities and the increased personnel resources devoted to counterterrorism within the Bureau.  As has been suggested to you by the others, those involved in applicant recruitment within your local Bureau Field Division or Resident Agency will be your best source of current detailed information.  Best of luck to you...

Drew Richardson
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #7 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 4:51pm
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Drew,

Thank you for your response...it significantly added to the wealth of information I am collecting about this career path.  I expect to be notified (formally) NLT August 3rd about travel arrangements for the panel interview in KC, Missouri.  Any advice on this panel interview?  The polygraph?  As I am sure is the case with many other applicants, I made some stupid choices when I was quite young, none of which should rule me out based on the applicant criteria, however, I am a very "type-A" personality, high strung on the inside, and wonder to what degree this will affect the results of a polygraph.  I have told the truth on all aplication material, but have heard (latrine chat) stories of false positives, etc.  Any thoughts or comments?

Cordially, M6
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #8 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 6:26pm
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Mustang6,

I'm glad you found the information I provided to be helpful.  I'm afraid I can't offer you very much useful information about the panel interview.  That, amongst many other things, is an addition (actually a substitution) to the applicant process that I took part in some 27 years ago.  I suppose as a result of wise guys like me, they have decided to introduce psychological testing into the mix.   Additionally, with various changes that have taken place in the candidate pool, it apparently has become necessary to do some prescreening in connection with physical training and firearms issues.

With regard to polygraph screening (to include the Bureau's program), a very casual reading of my message-board posts, and, in particular, my last response to Public_Servant under a separate thread, should make it quite clear that I have very strong views on the subject.  You have characterized yourself as a former Army officer who will receive notification by the 3rd of August regarding travel arrangements to Kansas City for a panel interview.  Assuming this information to be correct, you may well have sufficiently identified yourself to the Bureau as to want to be able to honestly say, if asked, that you had not received any specific information from me regarding polygraph exams.  I don’t think they’ve generally introduced this as a sacrifice relevant question—YET.  Grin  This, of course, does not preclude you from generally obtaining this information from other sources.  Again, best wishes and please keep us posted with regard to the process you will undergo.  No doubt, many of the readers of this site will be interested.  Best Wishes,

Drew Richardson
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #9 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 7:05pm
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Well, my response to the question of "previous knowledge of polygraph procedures" would be a "yes" regardless of knowledge obtained from this site.  I was a Military Police Officer in the US Army, and visited the (now gone I believe) Polygraph institute on Ft. McClellan, AL some time ago.  I have heard and been in discussions with CID, MPI and USAF Investigator(s) discussions/conversations regarding the use of a polygraph.  Not that my knowledge can be construed in anyway as remotely extensive, rather, I had no use in retaining that info and was attempting to use this site as a refresher.  And, as I am apt to do, when I want something or have set a difficult goal (FBI SA) I want to be as knowledgeable and as prepared as possible.  From the tone of your message, can I infer than more knowledge of the poly process isn't necessarily a good thing?

Cordially, M6
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #10 - Jul 26th, 2002 at 7:06pm
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PS  I will be off-line for the next 2 hours, but would welcome your response via private email, or thru this site.  My sincere thanks for your time, and responses.

M6
  
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Re: Day in the life of an Agent
Reply #11 - Jan 5th, 2011 at 1:31am
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Lips Sealed fbi is a secret, dont present too muchg information about your self you may get disqualified
  
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