What Are the Benefits of Being an FBI Agent?

by Craig Woodman; Updated September 26, 2017
Agent with gun

The FBI appreciates the contributions of its employees. The agency clearly understands the stress that their people are under. Agents are the ones who make the FBI function every day and their value is reflected in the way that the agency treats them. The FBI, like many other federal agencies, provides a generous benefits package for its employees. In addition to the employee benefits, there are other benefits to being an agent.

Health Benefits

The FBI is part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, which offers around 270 health plans for agents to choose from. These plans include traditional fee-for-service plans as well as HMO plans. The agent participates in the cost of the coverage by paying a portion of the premium. He may sign up for coverage any time within the first 60 days of employment, and benefits can be carried into retirement depending on how long the agent has worked for the agency. Long-term care insurance and flexible spending plans are also available, as is a comprehensive life insurance program.

Retirement Benefits

FBI agents participate in the Federal Employees Retirement System, which is designed to be one of the best retirement plans available. An agent can retire at age 50 with 20 years of service, and at any age with 25 years of service. The pension formula takes into account an agent's highest salary years and the length of service, giving an advantage to longer service or higher earnings. Former active-duty military personnel may be eligible for credit for their military service. The Federal Thrift Savings Plan also is available and acts similar to a 401k plan in the private sector.

Time Off

Vacation time starts for agents with under three years of service at four hours earned per pay period up to 13 days per year. An agent with more than 15 years of service receives eight hours off per pay period, or 26 days per year. She also receives 13 sick days per year as well as 10 paid holidays. Agents are also eligible for up to 15 days per year of paid military leave to attend military activities that are part of their reservist duties.

Other Employee Benefits

FBI agents receive training at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. This training is tailored to the individual agent and the potential that the agent has for advancement and development. The FBI also strives to provide flexible work-life programs for agents who are trying to balance special needs at home with work needs. FBI agents typically have most of their expenses for commuting through public transportation paid for by the department as well.

Other Types of Benefits

A federal agent is put in position to protect and to serve the general public. Some people thrive on serving others and want to do whatever they can to help other people. For this type of person, being an FBI agent fulfills a fundamental need to serve people. Some people also enjoy the excitement and variations in activities that come with a position as an FBI agent. Federal jobs such as being an FBI agent also are perceived as being less prone to layoffs.

About the Author

Craig Woodman began writing professionally in 2007. Woodman's articles have been published in "Professional Distributor" magazine and in various online publications. He has written extensively on automotive issues, business, personal finance and recreational vehicles. Woodman is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance through online education.

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