Episode 041: FBI Special Agent – A Career Like No Other


Info in this episode regarding the physical fitness test, the drug usage policy, and the length of training has been updated. See also –Episode 257: FBI Special Agent Hiring and Training Update

In this special episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Special Agents Greg Branch and Bill Toland are interviewed about the qualifications and requirements needed to become a special agent with the FBI. Greg joined the FBI in 1995 and has been assigned to squads handling reactive matters, such as drugs and bank robberies and to white-collar crime investigations. For the past seven years, he has been task with recruiting efforts and is the Applicant Coordinator responsible for managing the special agent hiring program in the Philadelphia Division. Bill, a recent graduate of the FBI Academy, is also based in the Philadelphia Division where he is on a Cyber Squad. They provide a thorough and personal review of the FBI Special Agent hiring program and what it’s like to train at the FBI Academy. I encourage all listeners interested in joining the FBI to apply, especially women and minorities.  All potential FBI Special Agent candidates must start the application process online at FBIJobs.gov.

SA Greg Branch and SA Jerri Williams (Retired).












All potential FBI Special Agent candidates must apply online at FBIJobs.

To understand more about the FBI’s crucial need to hire more women and minorities and why diversity in law enforcement is so important read this recent New York Times article Where Are Women in F.B.I.’s Top Ranks? and listen to this podcast interview with Special Agent in Charge (Retired) Wayne Davis, among the first African American fully qualified agents. To learn more about what the FBI does visit the FBI website linked below and, of course, become a regular listener of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams.

Per FBI Headquarters, as of April 2016 13,401 Special Agents are employed by the Bureau.  Here’s a breakdown of diversity in Special Agent position in today’s FBI:

Total Men – 10,731 or 80.08%

Total Women – 2,670 or 19.92%

Total Minorities – 2,226 or 16.61%  (Includes all Hispanic/Latino, Black/African-American, Asian, Am. Indian/Alaska Native, Hawaiian/Pac. Islander, and Multi-Racial men and women)


When I joined the FBI in 1982, I was one of 24 black female agents in the FBI. Today, black females make up only 1% of the agent workforce. I encourage everyone interested in becoming a special agent to apply, especially females and minorities.




Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. Richard A PicoMarch 6, 2023

    Heck, out here in the SF Bay Area, a uniformed police officer is knocking down $100K. Cities of Fremont, SF, and San Jose are all making $100K right out of the gate or their first day at the academy. I thought a Special Agent earned a little better salary. Jerri, great podcasts.

    1. Jerri WilliamsMarch 6, 2023

      That episode is sevral years old, plus there are locality pay enhancements in big cities. But you certainly don’t become an agent for the money. Haha! Listen to episode 257 and 258 for updated hiring info.

  2. Jeffrey L. CovingtonNovember 2, 2016

    Greg Branch is a great agent and very good friend of mine! Once again you hit the ball out of the park with this well done podcast, Jerria!


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