FBI Special Agent Careers

Special agents from around the field discuss what it's like to work for the FBI and the qualities needed to become an agent.


Video Transcript

Al Tribble: My colleagues and myself, we didn’t join this outfit to get rich.

Tom O’Connor: FBI agent is a 24/7 job. When most people go home and are on condition-white, we’re always at yellow.

Jean O’Connor: We’re trying to put bad guys in jail and stop terrorist events from happening.

Dan Rodriguez: What pushed me to apply was the mystique about it, that it’s the elite law enforcement organization in the world. It just so happens that that perception is true.

Tribble: Prior to joining the FBI, I was a banking officer.

Tom O’Connor: I was a police officer for 15 years.

Rodriguez: I did research in solid organ transplantation.

Jean O’Connor: I was the director of a bank audit department.

Theo Williams: I played defensive end for LSU, and, after that, I went to NASA in their Aerospace Program.

Tribble: The personnel of the FBI comes from a very diverse background. We have recruiting efforts that extend to educational degrees from mathematics to business, physical sciences. We probably have every degree that’s known.

Rodriguez: The FBI makes a conscious effort to increase its employee diversity.

Jean O’Connor: Of federal law enforcement, the FBI has the highest percentage of female agents. I try not to look at myself as a female in the FBI. I’m just another agent.

Tribble: There are a number of qualities required to be a good agent.

Tom O’Connor: Somebody who takes their job very seriously.

Rodriguez: A personality that doesn’t quit.

Jean O’Connor: High moral character, stamina.

Rodriguez: That wants to overachieve, that needs to overachieve.

Tribble: Capable of doing the impossible.

Rodriguez: And doesn’t accept no for an answer.

Tribble: Those sort of attributes are going to catapult you into the FBI.

Rodriguez: In this line of work, frustration is inevitable.

Jean O’Connor: Not all of the cases that we work come to the end that you want. We’re all human, we’re all passionate about what we do, and it does become personal.

Tom O’Connor: But the beauty of the FBI: the FBI has an extremely long memory. We have people working cases for years and years.

Jean O’Connor: And we will continue on until we get the bad guy.

Williams: I ran out in the best stadium in the country at Tiger Stadium, but when actually go kick in a door, that feeling is second to none.

Sheridan: When you have that opportunity to witness the appreciation on the victim’s family’s face when a case is brought to justice, it is very rewarding, and we do have that satisfaction.

Tribble: Walking down the halls of this FBI office, you are one of the cogs that drives this well-oiled machine.

Rodriguez: Yes, the FBI is an elite law enforcement organization, but it’s one that you can contribute to.

Tom O’Connor: You can feel that you’re a part of something to help your fellow citizens. We can’t do it alone, and that’s as true as it possibly could be.

Jean O’Connor: We’re not what TV always portrays us. We’re real people with real families, and we want to recruit the next generation.

Tribble: We joined because we all had a collective purpose. And that purpose is giving back. And it feels mighty good.

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