Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) "private sector" Reviews | Glassdoor

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Employee Reviews about "private sector"

Updated Nov 5, 2019

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4.2
87%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director  Christopher Wray  (no image)
Christopher Wray
51 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great people, very dedicated to making sure you feel a part of their community(in 20 reviews)

  • "Best law enforcement agency in the world(in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "Long hours; sometimes dangerous assignments(in 15 reviews)

  • "NSA pays their scientists a STEM bonus to keep them from leaving to private sector(in 14 reviews)

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Reviews about "private sector"

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  1. "Special Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work and make a difference in the world. Benefits are good!

    Cons

    Can make more money in the private sector

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2017-09-07
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Special Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Agent 
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    * Opportunity to be part of high-profile investigations, kind of matters that you read on the front page of a newspaper. * Opportunity to use cool techniques/technologies to gather information to further your cases.

    Cons

    * Mediocre management (especially mid-level) at best. Part of the issue is that most mid-to-high level supervisors have little or no private sector experience or proper management training. Most are career government (civilian or former military). And government is not known for churning out good business leaders. Bureau is a government organization, but it is not much different than a big corporate behemoth. Issues... at the team/squad-level are not much different than a those experienced within a corporate team. But supervisors have no clue how to deal with them. * Poor technology infrastructure. It is 2019. Everything runs on a tech backend. You can’t further investigations without using a tech. Bureau has the tools. But they are poorly built/maintained. If you want to remember what tech was like back in 2000, join the Bureau. * Poor and burdensome internal processes. Agents or other investigators shouldn’t spend hours dealing with unnecessary admin matters. Even something as simple as a travel request takes an unnecessary amount of time. Learn something from the private sector. * 80/20 rule - 20% of the workforce does the real work while the rest don’t contribute at best or slow you down at worst.

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    Advice to Management

    * Train your investigators properly. Spend less time teaching firearms/tactics/hand-to-hand combat, more time educating on the tools (tech, legal, techniques, etc.) that agents actually use/need to further their investigations. There is too much emphasis put on OJT. OJT is a struggle when you have no or poor field-level mentorship. * Lead, do not manage. You hired adults. If individuals can’t manage themselves, you... probably hired the wrong person to begin with.

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    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2019-11-06
  3. "It's what you make of it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Language Analyst 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    - Mission oriented - Work alongside some truly brilliant and selfless individuals - A real plethora of career paths and opportunities - Decent benefits, flexible schedule options and time off

    Cons

    - Very invasive TS clearance process, be ready to bare all, keep nothing in the closet and always represent the organization wherever you go. - Salaries still not keeping up with the private sector, which is especially acute in technical specializations where turnover is steep.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2019-06-14
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Life as an Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intelligence Analyst 

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time

    Pros

    Resume booster for sure.

    Cons

    Hard to leave. The private sector pays much more and is very competitive money wise. Anyone can get in the FBI as long as they can pass a polygraph and background check. The Analyst role is ok but can really suck depending what squad and threats you are assigned. Also what office makes a huge difference. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re fresh out of college or older And have a rich spouse.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2019-05-03
  5. Helpful (8)

    "FBI Computer Scientist is a Dream Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    - Computer Scientist (CS) is far and away the best job in the Bureau. - Unlike Agents, CS's can choose their office, aren't forced to retire early, get to work on every type of case in the office, receive the best technical training out of any job in the entire Bureau (even better than Agents), and because there are so few per office and almost no one who can do what they do, they are usually treated like a... precious resource. Basic job is solving high tech crimes with digital forensics and developing solutions when problems pop up. - CS job has just about the best promotion potential you can ask for in government (GS14 naturally, some GS15 and SES positions exist). Much better program management than other career fields. - FBI has an amazing mission. Look forward to coming to work *every *single *day. - US Government has amazing benefits. Look forward to a ton of days off, a mountain of sick leave, comp time every time you travel, overtime if you're not an Agent. - Programs that back-pay college or pay for graduate degrees - Most people assume you have the best job when you're recruiting / meeting a liaison / meeting a victim. And they're right.

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    Cons

    - 7yr up or out for line supervisors is stupid. More often than not, the best supervisors ride out until theyre demoted while the average or below average ones move up. Leadership / climate surveys seem to have no effect on promotion potential and bad leaders are never demoted. - NSA pays their scientists a STEM bonus to keep them from leaving to private sector. FBI has been authorized this bonus for years but... hasn't paid it out because, probably, it's a family feud with whoever doesn't get it. - There's a few offices that don't treat their CS's well because some crusty agents don't want to share interview / forensics / analytical work. Looking at you Atlanta. - Not enough employees to actually meet the quantity of work - US Government is highly tolerant of incompetent employees / leaders. - Most starting salaries are terrible. Non agents can expect to start at GS7 and agents start at GS 10 (keep in mind, agents require ~3years prior job experience). Hidden pro: promotions are much faster and more reliable than private sector. This is maybe acceptable for clerical positions but the average starting salary for private sector CS is 60-70k$. - Hiring requirements for CS's are too strict. While this does lead to a very high skill floor, it also leads to a lot of trouble hiring and retaining talent. What percent of cases are solved with Differential and Integral Calculus (excluding crypto challenges)? - Us vs Them. It's a thing. It's the way some special agents treat support. It's the way some IA's treat SOS's. It's the way if you are not directly part of a squad that solves cases (HR, IT department, security, clerical folks) you are occasionally treated as non mission essential, are heavily limited in promotion, and will probably never receive a reward any higher than 'employee of the month' because your contribution to the mission is less tangible. - Overlapping job roles leads to constant nonsense. Examples... - SOS vs IA: Staff Operation Specialist (SOS) is probably the most important person on most teams and does most of the "solving the case" intel work. But they cap at GS12 and have no degree requirement. Meanwhile, Intel Analysts (IA) have a positive degree requirement, a challenging-ish recruitment process, tons of training on paperwork, can hit GS14 naturally (higher depending on the office/program) and yet most produce almost nothing of value and everyone lets them know it all the time. This leads to IA leadership, which rates and evaluates SOS's, sometimes making SOS life miserable out of pettiness, or flat out stealing the SOS job role for themselves while trying to still meet report quotas. This will only get worse when Data Analysts start in the near future and are capable of using modern analytics tools to do what IA's won't learn how to do themselves (correlate data using SQL / Splunk/ etc and draw conclusions efficiently). Obviously not every intel leader is a bad leader, but its a frequent enough issue to mention. -IA vs SA - IA asks Special Agent "what happened with X, I need to write a report on it so people know about it." SA says "I already wrote a report." "Oh... uh... let me read what you wrote and write it the official way." Reporting on what already happened is not a function that requires a separate job. - CS vs CART (computer analysis response team) vs DOS (digital operations specialist) vs SA with DExT (special agent with an in-house cert): All of these jobs do digital forensics, but the one thats supposed to be focused on it has the lowest hiring standards, the most rules, the least amount of training and the lowest promotion potential. Digital Forensics is a big challenge and the more brains the better, but overlapping turf and likely never-gonna-get-solved disparities between pay, training, and competence cause frustration on all sides when instead these jobs should be working together like a high tech dream team.

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    Advice to Management

    - More civilian Unit Chief positions. - Less OST's. - GS14 for civilian supervisors (many are 13 unless in a huge office with large span of control, but an SSA of 0-3 people is still a 14+25% ). - Get off your butts with the STEM pay. - Reclass all non-senior FE's as DOS, and they are embedded with squads doing imaging and low-level analysis. Anyone who wants to become CART must meet the senior FE... requirements, no more direct hire GS7 associate degree forensic examiners. Senior FE is now GS13/14 in the field and gets world class training just like CS's. no longer bound to SOPs and DELRx since the people who shouldn't be CART were reclassed to DOS.

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    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2019-04-04
  6. "Good place to work overall"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great benefits working for the federal government Work is interesting and satisfying Feels good to know you’re making a difference in the country

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, like any government agency Federal government shut downs when Congress can’t agree on a budget Coming from the private sector sometimes means taking a pay cut

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2018-02-12
  7. "Honors Internship Program Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern 

    I worked at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

    Pros

    The professional staff and agents were very knowledgeable and happy to teach. The benefits, even for interns, were great compared work in the private sector.

    Cons

    The information shared with interns about the internship process was very vague. Additionally, it was very difficult to know where you stand in the background investigation process and infrequent communication was the norm for every intern. The full-time pay for finance/accounting positions is lower compared to the private sector at almost every level.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2018-02-07
  8. Helpful (7)

    "Bureaucratic, poor front line leadership without seasoned case experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Agent in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, interesting mission at times, talented motivated field agents protecting the country (the majority of of front line supervisory agents do not fall in this category). I've worked in the field on both the national security and criminal fronts have served with some inspiring Agents; however, one thing most Agents can agree on and can be overheard venting their frustrations at is the poor front line... management (not executive level).

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    Cons

    Full disclosure, this job is nothing like the movies. Lots of paperwork. Lots of workplace gossip and rumors. Lots of restrictions. Additionally, a bad supervisor can turn a great assignment into an awful one and there's a disturbing trend that the Agents that can't hack it in the field or are just lazy, seek administrative supervisory leadership roles. This directly impacts you as the Agent because they rate... you, review your cases, and are your initial approval authority. As someone who served in the military and local law enforcement, the FBI has some of the worst front line supervisors I have ever seen. I've seen motivated, talented, and experienced Field Agents get side-lined or worse have a supervisor seek to undermine their reputation because they didn't align with their boss. If you have are independent hard charging motivated individual, this is not the organization for you. Stay in the private sector, local law enforcement, or military.

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    Advice to Management

    Leadership makes or breaks an organization. Hire competent leaders who have been accomplished field agents that can lead through example, knowledge expertise.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2016-11-20
  9. "Great Organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Supervisory Special Agent in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    I worked at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

    Pros

    Feel like you contribute to an important mission. Colleagues care and teamwork is stressed.

    Cons

    Pay is not awful but not as much as private sector (you don't go into this profession for the $).

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the street agents.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2015-08-02
  10. Helpful (2)

    "most rewarding career anyone could have"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Supervisory Special Agent in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

    Pros

    Pride in serving our nation

    Cons

    Low pay in comparison to private sector

    Advice to Management

    Reward success

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)2015-04-20
Found 14 reviews