Do you have what it takes to join the FBI?

Are you an out-of-work citizen with no felonies? Are you in great physical shape? Do you have technical expertise?

Can’t get an accounting job? Lost that lucrative law position?

How fast can you run a mile and a half, and how tight are those abs?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a hiring push in January and is still looking for employees.

Phoenix spokesman Manuel Johnson said the organization considers all kinds of candidates for positions ranging from administrative to managerial, technical and lab work.

Accountants, engineers, lawyers and scientists are among the most sought-after candidates.

We wanted to ask about special agents, probably the most well-known FBI employees.

There are only about 12,500 in the world, and the agency usually hires between 800 and 1,000 nationally every fiscal year, Johnson said.

Depending on the region to which they are assigned, new agents can take home between $61,100 and $69,900 annually.

How tough is it to get this gig?

Question: I’d assume that someone who wants to become a special agent has to have perfect grades, be in perfect physical shape, never have had a speeding ticket, etc.

Answer: The general qualifications are a four-year college degree. There’s an age requirement of between 23 and 36 years of age. The average age of a new agent is late 20s to around 30 years of age. He or she has anywhere from five to 10 years of work experience.

Q: Does it matter what undergraduate degree a person has?

A: Some degrees lend themselves to other job opportunities for obvious reasons. Post-9/11, we look for individuals with intelligence-type background whether that’s military intelligence (or) the physical sciences like biology, chemistry and physics.

Traditionally, the FBI has looked at lawyers and accountants. We do have law-enforcement officers. Law-enforcement officers and military personnel probably are our two largest backgrounds.

Q: What other qualifications are there?

A: No felony conviction at all. You have to be a U.S. citizen or a naturalized citizen. We’re really looking for somebody who has life experience, work experience and an educational background along with being able to get through the background check and be in good physical condition. There is a fit test.

Q: What kind of physical condition are we talking about?

A: You have to be able to do push-ups and sit-ups within a required time frame. You have to run 300 meters and you have to run a mile and a half.

Q: What about the background check?

A: There is a thorough background check. There is an extensive, long form that (applicants) fill out. We’re going to check everything that you put.

We’re going to look at your foreign travel, we’re going to look at your associates, associations you belong to, we’re going to do a neighborhood investigation, we’re going to contact every reference and ask those individuals if they can recommend anyone that we can speak to. It’s going to go far beyond . . . that application.

Q: What is a day like for an agent?

A: It’s going to depend on your assignment. If you’re working in a white-collar field, you might be working on a case that takes three years of investigation. You’re doing interviews. You’re maybe working with a financial analyst, going over financial documents. If you’re working violent crime, let’s say fugitives or bank robberies, it’s very reactive.

Q: Finally, just curious, when you’re an FBI agent, can you openly tell people what you do for a living or is it better to keep it quiet?

A: Generally we’re advised to be discreet.

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