The FBI in Liberal Arts
Candidates who have degrees in arts and communications fields lend their creative skills to remedy practical problems within FBI operations. Their skills support the mission of keeping the U.S. safe through clear communications; strong, impactful visuals; and much more. Career fields vary in scope but generally fall into the following categories:
- Graphic and Physical Design
For information about specific positions, see the featured roles below. To apply, please click here and select the specific position posting, keeping in mind certain positions may not always be available. Check back regularly to view additional open positions.
Audio and Visual Communications Specialists
Audio and Visual Communications Specialists apply their artistic technical training to evidence-gathering in order to assist the efforts of Special Agents, U.S. Attorneys, District Attorneys, judges and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Audio and Visual Communications Specialists are experts at conducting complex assignments relating to the enhancement and duplication of video and audio files used by law enforcement as evidence in the court of law. Additionally, they are tasked with shooting, editing and formatting depositions, raids, seizures, court-ordered surveillance, social events and speeches for recordkeeping and evidence compliance measures.
Applicants for this position must have experience in the operation of a wide range of complex video formats. Professionals in this role must also be able to work within the FBI’s Standard Operating Procedures, which set forth the guidelines, procedures and techniques for the enhancement and processing of video and audio evidence.
Audio-Visual Production Specialists
Audiovisual Production Specialists shoot internal FBI footage and use multimedia editing software to prepare presentation files. The candidate will be required to install and operate technical equipment such as cameras and audio mixers in auditoriums and forums for meetings and speaker engagements. Audiovisual Production Specialists are also responsible for overseeing the logistical technical planning for such events.
Applicants must possess extensive operational, installation and networking knowledge of high-definition cameras, imaging software, soundboards and editing software.
Applicants for the Forensic Photographer position should have an explicit interest in applying their photography training and skills into an investigative role within the FBI. Forensic Photographers handle a caseload of multiple assignments with pre-established priorities and deadlines. Candidates for this position must exhibit proficiency in the functions of most commercial imaging software.
Forensic Photographers must also maintain documentation for the chain of custody of evidentiary materials, document procedures employed in the photographic enhancement of evidence and follow HAZMAT guidelines for the disposal of chemical solutions.
Fingerprint Photographers conduct most work in a darkroom setting. They will work directly with Fingerprint Specialists to perform imaging of evidence with an emphasis on fingerprint impression analysis.
Fingerprints will often be photographed on surfaces with very poor to non-visible ridge detail such as glass, metal, wood, plastic, letters, money, checks, rubber and cardboard. Applicants will need to use prior experience and judgment to determine the safest chemical methods by which to develop and lift latent prints. Treatment methods for performing this task may include ninhydrin, silver nitrate, dusting powers, super glue, iodine fuming and laser technology. Applicants will also be required to adhere to darkroom and HAZMAT safety procedures.
Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Specialists are the primary point of contact for the Bureau’s media relations efforts. These professionals respond to requests for information from both the press and the public as they relate to the jurisdiction, mission, operations, statistics and accomplishments of the FBI.
By coordinating pertinent facts with Division officials, managers, and supervisors, Public Affairs Specialists issue statements, prepare and disseminate news releases and craft announcements on routine matters that reflect the official position of the FBI. They also assist FBI media representatives in preparing for press conferences and other media events and support other functions such as maintaining the FBI’s social media and online presence as necessary.
Applicants for the Public Affairs Specialist position must have superior writing and communications skills and prior experience with writing news releases for a large organization. Preferred skills and experience include the arrangement of interviews with broadcast and print media representatives; the maintenance of relationships with local media representatives; and the ability to interact with and coordinate communications with law enforcement agencies.
Writer/Editors are responsible for preparing communications for internal and external audiences. This position works throughout the Bureau and there are various specific communications, like the Presidential Report, internal and external newsletters, public releases and more, which applicants should be prepared to write and edit for. Writing and editing professionals in the FBI ensure that the highest quality of information and materials are presented in all communications.
Graphic and Physical Design Careers
There are two types of positions that fall under design careers. One involves physical design such as building crime-scene mockups and operational training sets. Positions in this field include:
- Wood crafters
In addition, the FBI hires graphic designers such as Visual Information Specialists.
Visual Information Specialist
Visual Information Specialists produce presentation materials for use by forensic evidence teams, government officials and the general public. Applicants must select visual materials to ensure that presentations are prepared according to the individual needs of various audiences and groups.
Visual presentations are created using state-of-the-art computer-imaging systems, which depict themes such as cultural diversity, crime, information technology, ethics and FBI historical data. In order to depict and present information accurately, Visual Information Specialists collaborate with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and printers.
Thorough knowledge of design principles, design standards, government requirements, photo attribution guidelines, publishing, layout, photographic manipulation, typography, image sourcing, illustration programs and film production on both PC- and Mac-based platforms is required.