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Which agency best preps for a later move to FBI or HSI?

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  • Which agency best preps for a later move to FBI or HSI?

    I am considering starting 1811 somewhere else for at least a few years until I can apply to FBI or HSI. Is experience with any particular alphabet agency better or worse than others? I have no location requirements, I just want to contribute and serve.

    I once made it on the register/hiring list for DSS but was so far down on the list it looked like I'd get dropped before getting invited to a class, so I accepted a non-LE job offer elsewhere (we can talk about the major regrets of our 20's another time...).
    Last edited by OliveOyl; 10-02-2020, 10:37 AM.

  • #2
    Not much sense in starting as an 1811 elsewhere and later applying to the FBI. If you want to work there you should apply to work there. HSI is a little different since they train at FLETC and occasionally hire laterals.

    Either way apply where you want to and are willing to work. You never know if an agency will be interested or not. The agency that hired me was a test run for me. I assumed I wouldn't make their initial screening into superior qualified. Other agencies where I worked in civil positions and later applied to their OIG, being a SME in some of their programs already, I was ready to go as far as being prepared to investigate fraud/waste/abuse in those programs (which were abused a lot) and I never got more than a thanks but no thanks.

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    • #3
      BP is the lead in for HSI. I'd wager half my academy class was BP and a very large percentage of every other class I interacted with it.

      But I'm not sure what 1811 you think is 'more' entry level than HSI or FBI. I would consider HSI an 'entry' level 1811 all day. That's not saying their work isn't awesome, a great agency, and a great place to be, but HSI will hire people without degrees and no prior 1811/investigative experience.

      Same goes for FBI. FBI hires a ton of people with very qualified resumes who have no prior LE experience. They of course get a lot of career lawmen and other fed SAs, but if you have a specialized civilian skillsrt, job, or training they want but no mil/LE, you're just as likely to get hired by them.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by 9L81 View Post
        Not much sense in starting as an 1811 elsewhere and later applying to the FBI. If you want to work there you should apply to work there. HSI is a little different since they train at FLETC and occasionally hire laterals.

        Either way apply where you want to and are willing to work. You never know if an agency will be interested or not. The agency that hired me was a test run for me. I assumed I wouldn't make their initial screening into superior qualified. Other agencies where I worked in civil positions and later applied to their OIG, being a SME in some of their programs already, I was ready to go as far as being prepared to investigate fraud/waste/abuse in those programs (which were abused a lot) and I never got more than a thanks but no thanks.
        Originally posted by battlewagon View Post
        BP is the lead in for HSI. I'd wager half my academy class was BP and a very large percentage of every other class I interacted with it.

        But I'm not sure what 1811 you think is 'more' entry level than HSI or FBI. I would consider HSI an 'entry' level 1811 all day. That's not saying their work isn't awesome, a great agency, and a great place to be, but HSI will hire people without degrees and no prior 1811/investigative experience.

        Same goes for FBI. FBI hires a ton of people with very qualified resumes who have no prior LE experience. They of course get a lot of career lawmen and other fed SAs, but if you have a specialized civilian skillsrt, job, or training they want but no mil/LE, you're just as likely to get hired by them.
        This is all helpful - thank you both.

        Not proud to say I have an automatic DQ for FBI that won't lapse until after I'm aged out of eligibility. My thinking was to look at other agencies where I would also actually want to work anyway, then keep my option open for FBI down the road, or if I'm doing well just stay where I am (if I get in at all, of course..!).

        I want to work for HSI and have no automatic DQ's for them (or almost anyone else) but they don't appear to be hiring at the moment and I will age out soon, especially considering the extended time everything is taking due to the virus.

        My non-LE background should make me competitive, but I see what you said battlewagon, so who knows.
        Last edited by OliveOyl; 10-07-2020, 07:53 PM.

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        • battlewagon
          battlewagon commented
          Editing a comment
          Just get hired by BP or Customs or USSS UD or something that is more or less a guaranteed hire if you pass each step of the process, and if nothing else, only helps your 1811 ambitions.

      • #5
        A little cryptic about an automatic DQ at Bu but not other places. All that said, your best bet then is to just get any covered position that stops the clock fastest. Then work on your next steps if you need to.

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        • #6
          That ADQ is going to follow you, no matter when it “expires”.

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          • OliveOyl
            OliveOyl commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, of course, I can't change my past mistakes. From what I've seen, the incident will be taken into consideration in its full context when I cross that bridge. And I will sorely regret it if I don't at least try.
            Point taken though - I won't hold my breath.
            Last edited by OliveOyl; 10-03-2020, 05:39 PM.

          • NCG128
            NCG128 commented
            Editing a comment
            It will not keep you out. Just keep applying and don’t listen to people like that. A lot of negativity on here! I landed a federal LE position in a 3 letter agency. No one is perfect. Stay consistent!

        • #7
          Originally posted by 9L81 View Post
          Not much sense in starting as an 1811 elsewhere and later applying to the FBI. If you want to work there you should apply to work there. HSI is a little different since they train at FLETC and occasionally hire laterals.

          Either way apply where you want to and are willing to work. You never know if an agency will be interested or not. The agency that hired me was a test run for me. I assumed I wouldn't make their initial screening into superior qualified. Other agencies where I worked in civil positions and later applied to their OIG, being a SME in some of their programs already, I was ready to go as far as being prepared to investigate fraud/waste/abuse in those programs (which were abused a lot) and I never got more than a thanks but no thanks.
          This is so true of hiring experiences in the government for 1811 positions. It really is a dice roll who lands in these positions.
          Last edited by titoCA321; 10-07-2020, 11:42 AM.

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          • #8
            Originally posted by OliveOyl View Post
            I am considering starting 1811 somewhere else for at least a few years until I can apply to FBI or HSI. Is experience with any particular alphabet agency better or worse than others? I have no location requirements, I just want to contribute and serve.

            I once made it on the register/hiring list for DSS but was so far down on the list it looked like I'd get dropped before getting invited to a class, so I accepted a non-LE job offer elsewhere (we can talk about the major regrets of our 20's another time...).
            HSI and FBI recruit from a diverse pool of candidates. The needs of FBI and HSI hiring change year-after-year, they may need language skills one year, cyber-skills the next, accountants, engineers or lawyers in another year. Keep applying; ultimately landing an 1811 job with FBI/HSI comes down to luck, FBI/HSI hiring needs, and what you have to offer to the table at the specific time of your application

            If you can, try to get your foot in the door with Federal experience, either civilian or military. There are certain hiring preferences that are available to you as a veteran or Fed, also the sooner you start contributing towards a pension the better. Even if you plan on a long 1811 career, retirement will eventually come one day.
            Last edited by titoCA321; 10-07-2020, 09:14 PM.

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            • #9
              Apply to the USSS. They hire a lot.

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              • #10
                Either way apply where you want to and are willing to work. You never know if an agency will be interested or not. The agency that hired me was a test run for me. I assumed I wouldn't make their initial screening into superior qualified. Other agencies where I worked in civil positions and later applied to their OIG, being a SME in some of their programs already, I was ready to go as far as being prepared to investigate fraud/waste/abuse in those programs (which were abused a lot) and I never got more than a thanks but no thanks.
                I can't speak to the federal side of things, but this comment rang really true with me. It mirrored my personal experience almost exactly.

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                • Winter_Patriot
                  Winter_Patriot commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Seems like federal 1811 hiring is all over the place. I've more or less given up on it for now. I'm starting in federal probation and maybe a few years down the road will try again. On the Special Agent blog, he makes it sound like internal hires have a major boost for 1811 vacancies. But I work with a couple 1811s now who had the opposite experience.

              • #11
                How is federal probation going? I just got called for an intern for north Florida. Any tips that you can offer regarding interview process?

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                • #12
                  Originally posted by JerseygirlinFL View Post
                  How is federal probation going? I just got called for an intern for north Florida. Any tips that you can offer regarding interview process?
                  What are your credentials? I've applied to a few locations. I never hear back.

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                  • #13
                    I’m am currently a state probation officer in South Florida. I have applied to southern district since 2017 and never heard back so I finally applied to northern district and heard back within a week. I honestly think southern district prefers Spanish speaking individuals.

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                    • #14
                      1811 jobs (at any agency) are the most competitive jobs in federal LE. You don’t just settle for one as a backup in case you don’t get the FBI or HSI. These positions are sought after and getting one involves a lot of luck and timing, along with a good resume and background.

                      Most prior feds in my CITP class were CBP, BP, DoD police, or BOP. Those seem to be decent stepping stones.

                      Also don’t discount starting at local LE. You get a lot of experience really fast depending on where you work. The average state or local cop has a lot more investigative experience than the DoD police that scans IDs at the base. They can also be a part of task forces and work directly with the FBI on cases. Keep in mind the FBI recruits prior LE but I am gonna guess they get tons of applicants with experience.

                      Best of luck, may the odds be in your favor!

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                      • Winter_Patriot
                        Winter_Patriot commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The BoP folks in your CITP class -- were they traditional COs or did they work more in SIS/SIA (investigations)?

                      • Levithane
                        Levithane commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The jobs are competitive, but I don't agree with LE really giving people that much of an edge. With how short staffed local, state, and federal agencies are you're likely to get picked up as long as you pass everything. Im serious when I say this, majority of the times I looked into someone for one of these jobs they didn't have LE experience. TFO's have LE experience for obvious reasons, but agent's not so much. Your success is going to depend on how you market yourself to the agency. USMS is the only one that I know for a fact focuses on prior LE and military experience. The FBI from what I have heard will limit how many LE applications they are willing to take.

                        I don't have any LE experience, and I got a conditional offer (doesn't mean a whole lot with how long the process is) from an agency I used to do work for while at my previous job for one of these positions. The interview is definitely the most important part when making your case why they should hire you.

                    • #15
                      Originally posted by JerseygirlinFL View Post
                      How is federal probation going? I just got called for an intern for north Florida. Any tips that you can offer regarding interview process?
                      I'm just waiting for my medical clearance at this point, I'm excited to get going.

                      I applied to probably 35-50 US Probation / Pretrial Service positions in the last 18 months, including a couple PO assistant jobs to stop the clock. I'm a criminal prosecutor now, with about seven years of experience. Although I think that helped me, what really probably set me apart was my experience in prosecuting mental health and substance abuse cases (civil commitments). I had very little luck my first 12 months of applying, not one response or testing invite.

                      I got some great, valuable help on the forum here and started reading the Federal Probation Journal. I was able to get more familiar with some of the tools that USPOs use, and I think that helped me stand out and have more talking points in interviews. I was already sort of using aspects of those in my legal practice but I didn't know the terminology until doing research. Ended up with two offers out of about seven interviews. Be persistent and keep building your experience, but also be mindful of framing it in a way that is the most appealing. I almost gave up when my first round of applications didn't get traction last year, but I'm happy I kept applying and improving my resume.
                      Last edited by Winter_Patriot; 10-28-2020, 11:52 PM.

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