New on FBI 'Most Wanted' list: Special agents

From Staff Reports

   The FBI has developed a different kind of "most wanted" list. As it kicks off one of the most aggressive hiring campaigns in recent years, the FBI is tailoring its recruiting initiative to identify men and women with very specialized skills to become Special Agents.
   The events of and subsequent to Sept. 11, 2001, have resulted in a realignment of the FBI's resources to enhance its ability to address terrorism and homeland security. Accompanying a realignment of its resources is an assessment of the skills needed to ensure the organization's success in addressing terrorism and homeland security.
   The FBI plans to hire approximately 900 Special Agents before Sept. 30 and is focusing its recruitment efforts on identifying candidates for the Special Agent position who possess certain critical skills which are deemed essential to address our increasingly complex responsibilities. Those skills are:
   * Computer Science and other information technology specialities;
   * Engineering;
   * Physical Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology);
   * Foreign Language Proficiency (Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Urdu, Chinese [all dialects], Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese);
   * Foreign Counterintelligence;
   * Law enforcement or other investigative work;
   * Counterterrorism;
   * Military Intelligence experience; and
   * Fixed Wing Pilots.
   Although the above listing includes the most critical investigative skill needs, the FBI continues to be a diverse agency with employees possessing various experiences. Candidates who possess skills and experience such as accounting, law, business, education, and health care are also encouraged to apply.
   Basic qualifications for the special agent position include a four-year degree plus 3 years of professional work experience. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 23 and 36, be completely available for assignment anywhere within the FBI's jurisdiction, and possess a valid driver's license. Applicants must also be able to pass a thorough background investigation which includes, but is not limited to, a drug urinalysis and polygraph examination. All candidates must be willing to carry a firearm and be willing to relocate to one of our 56 field offices located within the United States based on the investigative needs of the FBI.
   To achieve the Agency's commitment to maintaining a diverse FBI workforce, reflective of the society we serve, the recruitment of minorities and women continues to be another high priority during this recruitment initiative.
   Special Agents receive a starting salary of $43,705 while in the 16-week training program at the FBI Academy located at Quantico, Va. Upon graduation, the salary ranges from $53,743 to $58,335 depending upon the locality pay of their geographic assignment. The FBI offers excellent advancement opportunities, retirement, and health benefits.
   For more information visit the FBI Website at www.fbi.gov.