The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams under FBI employ are some of the most highly trained tactical professionals in the world. This is why SWAT is the most called upon first response unit in the FBI, and has a Tier 1 ranking under the Attorney General.  

SWAT teams your high-tech equipment in their crime solving, with situations including:

1. Hostage retrieval.
2. Vehicle inspection.
3. Attacks on aircraft, train and bus assaults.
4. WMD missions.
5. The pursuit of fugitives.
6. Attacks on fortified locations.
7. Personnel safety.
8. Aircraft hijacking.
9. Sniper missions.


Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices in the U.S. has a SWAT team assigned to it. They can deploy at a moment’s notice to anywhere in the country or internationally. SWAT members are not full time, but rather, volunteer Special Agents from the FBI who do Special Agent duties unless specifically activated for SWAT.

SWAT are recruited from the Tactical Recruiting Program, and are subject to a two year probationary period where they must perform as a Special Agent. SWAT teams have up to 42 members, and are trained in the following skills:

1. Breaching.
2. Assaulting.
3. Medical.
4. Sniping.
5. Fast Rope Speciality.
6. Tactical Air Operations.

SWATs are commanded by a Special Agent in Charge or On-Scene Commander who gives instruction and oversees operations.

To be employed on a SWAT team, professionals must pass the following tests:

1. Marksmanship.
2. Problem solving.
3. Decision making.
4. Physical fitness
5. Arrest techniques.
6. Commanding and obeying orders.

Potential SWAT members are required to perform in extreme conditions, under exhaustion, stress, and other duress. Once approved personnel must also complete SWAT and WMD training.

Job Description for FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Officer

Candidates for SWAT must be able to:

1. Operate at optimum capability over extended periods of time.
2. Use electronic or other surveillance to gain intelligence from missions.
3. Create and implement response tactics for hostage situations, staffs and hijackings.
4. Chasing and catching fugitives and criminals.
5. Investigating crime scenes and parlaying information to FBI.
6. Find and stop terrorists and other WMD operations.
7. Staying in peak physical and mental states while off-duty.
8. Be a Special Agent case worker.
9. Travel to remote locations for missions and training.
10. Using up-to-the-minute technology to gain intelligence.
11. Interrogating witnesses and bystanders.
12. Give medical assistance to wounded personnel and bystanders.

Salary for FBI SWAT Personnel

SWAT employees receive the following yearly wages:

1. Entry level:  $61,600-$92,400
2. Average:  $74,800-$112,200
3. Highest earners:  $88,000-$132,000

Wages awarded rely on the location of the staff member, their seniority and other responsibilities. SWAT members are also eligible for benefits packages with health and life insurance, paid personal leave days, and Thrift Savings Plans.