Investigative Specialists are charged with the task of providing fixed and mobile surveillance assistant for the FBI’s criminal, counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. Investigative Specialist should have high level skills in both electronic and physical surveillance techniques, and may be called upon to participate in covert operations like legally entering a premises to investigate, or eavesdropping using computer technology.

Investigative Specialists do not have to be fully qualified Special Agents, but they are critical to the maintenance of national security. They use many different surveillance technologies and methods to be sure that suspects are under constant observation and their activities and communications are all recorded and properly analyzed.

The Process of Investigation

Investigative Specialists may engage in surveillance operations that require long periods of static observation which might be peppered with some energetic activity. Specialists must be patient, observant and quick to respond to unfolding situations.

Cases that Specialists are assigned to might go on for months, so that they become well acquainted with their suspects. When the FBI was investigating gangster John Gotti, Specialists became so familiar with the mobster they could tell what kind of emotional state he was in simply from reading his body language. Therefore Specialists must be in tune with the nuances of their subjects.

The main goal of Investigative Specialists is to gather evidence in order to instigate an investigation. Moreover, Specialists must gather said evidence in a manner that is legally acceptable and can be used in prosecution.

Job Description for FBI Investigative Specialists

Investigative Specialist must be able to:

1. Blend into crowds in order to trail subjects.
2. Be aware of the situation as their suspect conducts his/her business.
3. Use telecommunication and audiovisual equipment record their observations of suspects.
4. Go into a residence or office and plant recording devices without raising suspicion or being noticed.
5.Create and implement surveillance plans.
6. Collect intelligence fro multiple locations and pass it on to the correct investigative body.
7. Keep constantly vigilant over long periods of inactivity.
8. Maintain organisation of surveillance professionals and resources to ensure missions are uninterrupted.
9. Communicate with supervisory Agent to provide guidance for actionable plans.

Salary for FBI Investigative Specialist Staff

Investigative Specialists begin their career at the FBI at a GS-7 or GS-9 pay grade, which is dependent on their education and relevant experience. If Specialists are promoted to supervisor, they can earn up to GS-11 or GS-12. Salaries can also be adjusted from between 12.5 to 28.7 percent for cost of living, and merit bonuses can be given in the case of overtime worked, hazardous undertakings and availability.