Career Spotlight: FBI Profiler

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Within the Federal Bureau of Investigations, there are a variety of different roles that criminal justice professionals can pursue – one of which is an FBI Profiler. Individuals in this role are responsible for assisting with special investigations in which there is a need for a comprehensive behavior and psychological profile of a criminal or suspect.

Profilers work directly with other agents to determine an individual’s background and legal history. Using analytical and research skills, they uncover vital information that can ultimately change the outcome of a particular case. Within the FBI, these positions are typically classified as Special Agents, as opposed to “profiler”; these roles are vital when bringing criminals to justice.

Special Agent

In the world of investigations and researching, there are many individuals who play vital roles in determining justice. Within the FBI, the job of profiling is not completed by what the Bureau refers to as a “profiler”. Instead, these individuals are referred to as Supervisory Special Agents who typically work under the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). Within the NCAVC, a part of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, agents team up with law enforcement officials across the globe in a variety of ways by:

  • Developing profiles for criminals
  • Analyzing crime scenes
  • Identifying effective interrogation and interviewing techniques
  • Assessing current or potential threats
  • Gathering expert testimonies
  • Providing advice for managing major cases

Depending on the case, these individuals are responsible for taking an overall look at an incident or existing threat. They research and identify all aspects that may serve beneficial for law enforcement and throughout legal proceedings. This information and other profiling documents provide an overall insight into how a crime was committed and the personality and history of suspected individuals. Utilizing elements of psychology, profilers or other special agents are tasked with examining and understanding the way criminals think and how that may affect their behavior.


Becoming a Special Agent of the FBI, regardless of which division one enters, is a lengthy and selective process. Becoming a Supervisory Special Agent involves qualifying for the requirements set by the FBI for Special Agents and includes:

  • United States citizenship
  • Being within the ages of 23 – 36, with the exception of eligible veterans
  • Having obtained a four-year degree from an institution acknowledged by the U.S. Secretary of Education
  • Having at least 3 or more years of work experience
  • Passing a complete background check by the FBI

Aside from the general qualifications required for becoming a Special Agent, individuals must also qualify for one of the following entry programs:

  • Accounting
  • Computer Science/Information Technology
  • Language
  • Law
  • Diversified

Each category has separate requirements to qualify for any of the required entry programs. Some of the qualifications include a corresponding bachelor’s degree, prior work experience, or specific skills. After being accepted into these categories, applicants are then categorized by specific critical skills that the FBI is looking for within their Special Agents. For those who want to have a competitive advantage, earning an advanced degree like a Master’s in Criminal Justice with a track in Federal Law Enforcement can set the stage for the best opportunities.

The rigorous application process also involves a physical fitness test, vision and hearing test, and a comprehensive medical review. This is to ensure individuals have the ability to meet the demands of a highly physical position.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for criminal justice professionals pursing the role of becoming an FBI Profiler is one that proves promising. Expected to increase 21 percent by 2020, investigators and private detectives will be in high demand as security issues continue to increase. The need for qualified individuals to investigate, protect, and handle safety concerns across the globe is always growing. Another contributing factor to the projected growth for Special Agents stems from cyber-terrorism. This is more likely than ever to occur as the Internet continues to evolve into the primary resource of information and communication between citizens. With the prevalence of these threats and background checks being done to identify criminals, the role of investigators and FBI Profilers will be more necessary in coming years.

As an FBI “profiler,” Special Agents are required to dig deep into investigations. This is done with in-depth research to determine exactly how crimes were committed and identify a complete profile of suspects. Utilizing elements of psychology, criminal justice professionals are tasked with understanding how a criminal’s behavior or personal history may have played a part in their decision to commit a crime. With so many necessary qualifications needed to become a “profiler,” individuals who enroll in Saint Joseph’s University online Master’s in Criminal Justice with a track in Federal Law Enforcement will build the foundation and education necessary to pursue these roles within the FBI.

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Career Spotlight: F B I Profiler
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Career Spotlight: FBI Profiler