If you live in Illinois and feel that a career as an FBI agent might be a good fit for you, then you are probably curious about how to get started and what kind of training you will need to go through.

To answer your question truthfully, the training for prospective FBI agents is quite rigorous and tough, and only the best of the best will make it through and come out with one of these very lucrative and very prestigious careers.

If you can commit yourself to a lot of hard work and dedication, though, you could be one of these accomplished few.

The first step is to ensure that you meet all of the basic prerequisite requirements set in place by the FBI. If you do not, then there is no point in continuing toward becoming an FBI agent. There are, unfortunately, no exceptions to these requirements.

In order to be a FBI agent, you must be a United States citizen or a Northern Mariana Islands citizen with full rights; between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-six at the time you submit your application; free of any felony convictions; the owner of a valid driver’s license; drug free; in good financial standing with no instances of defaulting on a federal student loan; physically healthy; and mentally healthy.

FBI agents also will have to have a bachelor’s degree earned from an accredited college or university. So, if you pass all of the above requirements, then your next step is to get to work on your education. FBI agents come from a wide variety of different educational backgrounds, so you can, in theory, choose any major you want.

However, most FBI agents have educational training in one or more of the following areas: accounting and/or financial studies; law or law enforcement, especially degrees in criminal justice, law enforcement, criminology, and crime scene investigation; foreign languages and/or linguistics; and computer related studies, such as computer science and computer information technology. Picking one of these areas to major in can greatly improve your chances of being hired by the FBI.

When you have made a decision about your subject area of interest, then it is time to consider where you want to go to school. Illinois is, fortunately for you, home to many wonderful colleges and universities. You can choose any one of these schools that you like, as long as it is fully accredited. Of course, some schools are more prestigious and well known than others, and it can help your employment chances if you attend one of these schools. However, just getting a solid education from any accredited school in the state will prove to be a great start for you.

If you do not feel that a traditional school is right for you at this point and time, you still have lots of options available. Many people, for example, choose to attend community colleges, vocational schools, or trade and technical schools. These schools do not offer bachelor’s degrees, so they won’t be your final step on your educational journey, but they do offer associates degrees, which can generally be earned in about two years, sometimes less. As long as you attend an accredited institution to earn your associates degree, you should have no problem transferring the credits you earn to an accredited bachelor’s degree program. You also have the option, in our modern age, to attend an online school, which will allow you to make your own educational schedule. Just make sure any online school you attend is also accredited.