I investigate criminal cases involving the sexual exploitation of children. I am also a crisis negotiator.

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What do you do? I am a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I investigate criminal cases involving the sexual exploitation of children. I speak at schools and community functions about the risks children take while online. I am also a crisis negotiator. I deploy with our SWAT team and can communicate with a suspect if he or she becomes barricaded.

How did you get that job? When I was hired by the FBI, I attended the training academy in Quantico, Va., for 16 weeks. This training prepared me with basic investigative tools for all violations the FBI enforces. After I was assigned to the Seattle Division, I spent a year investigating other criminal violations before I was assigned to our cyber squad.

How does someone else get a job like yours? Interested individuals must be at least 23 years of age, but younger than 37 upon their appointment as a special agent. They must possess a four-year degree from an accredited college or university and have at least three years of professional work experience. New special agents must also be completely available for assignment anywhere in the FBI’s jurisdiction. FBIjobs.gov is a great resource.

Best part of the job? There are many great opportunities to work with wonderful people while serving our country. I also enjoy being a positive influence in our community. There are times I have come into people’s lives when they are at their lowest, but I get to help them resolve problems and move in a positive direction.

What did you do before this job? I was a police officer in Virginia. I worked uniform patrol as an officer and sergeant. I had just been promoted to lieutenant when the FBI hired me.

What would surprise people about your job? Special agents do not only interact with the public on the enforcement end of the law –like arresting criminals and executing search warrants — but also positively in ways like crime prevention, victim support and community building. For instance, in addition to my outreach efforts about online risks, I also get to work closely with other law enforcement agencies. I even went to Africa to teach crime scene management to police officers from different African countries.