Home News Stories 2012 May Celebrating Women Special Agents, Part 1 Press Release, May 12, 1972

Press Release, May 12, 1972

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Full text of press release:

MAY 12, 1972

L. Patrick Gray, III, Acting Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that women applicants will now be considered for the FBI special agent position.

Mr. Gray pointed out that this action is required by President Nixon’s Executive Order 11478 dated August 9, 1969, relating to nondiscrimination and is further required by the recently enacted Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 which was signed into law by President Nixon on March 24, 1972.

According to Mr. Gray the special agent applicant position before today has been limited to male citizens of the United States. All additional existing requirements for the special agent position will remain unchanged. The attached background sets forth in detail the special agent position requirements.

Acting FBI Director Gray said that the intensive 14-week special agent training course would remain unchanged. This course includes firearms training requiring the applicant to become qualified in the use of .38 caliber revolver, shotgun and rifle. The training period also includes a comprehensive physical fitness program and requires the special agent applicant to become proficient in defensive tactics. The special agent training program is conducted at the FBI’s newly completed Academy which is located at the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia.

FD-257 (Rev. 2-3-72)

Information Concerning the Position of Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice and as such has jurisdiction over some 185 federal investigative matters, which include general investigations of a criminal and civil nature and domestic intelligence operations dealing with the internal security of our country. An additional responsibility is the correlation of information concerning the internal security of the United States and dissemination of such data to interested agencies in the executive branch of the federal government.

Applicants Must Possess the Following Qualifications:

1. They must be male citizens of the United States.

2. They must be willing and available to serve in any part of the United States or Puerto Rico in which it is determined that their services are required.

3. Education and experience. Applicants must be:

(a) Graduates from state-accredited resident law schools.
Note: Graduates of law schools must have successfully completed at least two years of resident, undergraduate college work. A resident college is one requiring personal attendance.

(b) Graduates from a resident four-year college with a major in accounting with at least one year of practical accounting and/or auditing experience.

(c) In addition, the Bureau is presently considering for the special agent position applicants possessing a four-year resident college degree with a major in a physical science, fluency in a language for which the Bureau has a need, or three years of specialized experience of a professional, executive, or complex investigative nature. No assurance can be given, however, that these requirements will remain in effect.

4. Age: They must have reached their 23rd but not their 41st birthday on the date that the application is filed.

5. Physical ability:

(a) Height - Must be at least five feet seven inches without shoes.

(b) Vision - All applicants for the agent position must have uncorrected vision of not less than 20/40 (Snellen) in one eye and at least 20/50 (Snellen) in the weaker eye without glasses and at least 20/20 (Snellen) in each eye corrected. No applicant can be considered who has been found to be color blind.

(c) Hearing - No applicant will be accepted if found by audiometer test to have a hearing loss exceeding a 15 decibel average in either ear in the conversational speech range (500, 1000, 2000 cycles).

All applicants must be in excellent physical condition and can have no defects which would interfere with their use of firearms or with their participation in raids, dangerous assignments, or defensive tactics. An applicant’s physical and visual condition will be ascertained through a rigid physical examination conducted at a government examining facility.

6. All applicants must have a valid license to drive an automobile.


Applicants who meet the basic requirements are afforded a detailed interview as well as written examinations. The latter are of a practical nature designed to test knowledge of law or accountancy. Any necessary travel expense incident to these tests must be borne by the applicant, and at no time should it be assumed that an appointment will be made because the opportunity for examination is offered. Prior to any appointment being made, applicants possessing the basic qualifications and who have successfully passed the necessary examinations are thoroughly investigated for the purpose of securing additional evidence of their qualifications and fitness for the position.

Training and Salary

The special agent position is not under civil service appointment regulations. All appointments in this service are made on a probationary basis and become permanent upon the satisfactory completion of a one-year period. Applicants receiving an appointment must satisfactorily complete a course of training at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the FBI Academy located at Quantico, Virginia, which is approximately 14 weeks in duration. Following this training, the appointee is assigned to a field office. The entrance salary for special agents is $12,151 per annum and they are paid their regular salary while attending the New Agents’ Training School. Following assignment to a field office, additional compensation in the amount of $3,036.80 per year may be earned for overtime performance as required in connection with official duties and provided the performance of the agent in this regard meets certain necessary official requirements. Since all promotions are based on demonstrated merit rather than seniority, excellent opportunities for advancement exist. While engaged in investigative work, special agents can earn as much as $24,362 yearly, exclusive of overtime, and many agents promoted to supervisory positions receive even higher salaries.

Benefits of FBI Employment

Among the other benefits which accrue to special agents are comprehensive life insurance programs offered under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program, the Special Agents Insurance Fund, and the Special Agents Mutual Benefit Association. Also, under the Special Accident and Travel Insurance Program, a long-term disability income plan, an accidental death and dismemberment plan, and an accident indemnification plan are available. Under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, health insurance covering hospitalization, surgery, and major medical benefits is also available to special agents and their families. The majority of the above programs continue following retirement. All special agents are covered by provisions of the Civil Service Retirement Act, which permits consideration for retirement at age 50 after 20 years of investigative service under its liberalized provisions relating to the nature of special agent duties.

Any applicant possessing the necessary qualifications may obtain an application by addressing a communication to the Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20535 or by contacting any of the divisional offices located in the following cities:

Albany, New York
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Alexandria, Virginia
Anchorage, Alaska
Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Birmingham, Alabama
Boston, Massachusetts
Buffalo, New York
Butte, Montana
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbia, South Carolina
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Detroit, Michigan
El Paso, Texas
Honolulu, Hawaii
Houston, Texas
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jackson, Mississippi
Jacksonville, Florida
Kansas City, Missouri
Knoxville, Tennessee
Las Vegas, Nevada
Little Rock, Arkansas
Los Angeles, California
Louisville, Kentucky
Memphis, Tennessee
Miami, Florida
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mobile, Alabama
Newark, New Jersey
New Haven, Connecticut
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
Norfolk, Virginia
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Omaha, Nebraska
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Portland, Oregon
Richmond, Virginia
Sacramento, California
San Francisco, California
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Savannah, Georgia
Seattle, Washington
Springfield, Illinois
Tampa, Florida
Washington, D.C.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an equal opportunity employer.