tbi special agent

criminal investigator


TBI Special Agent/Criminal Investigators are sworn law enforcement officers with the authority to investigate and enforce state and federal criminal laws. These Agents conduct criminal investigations including, but not limited to, violent crime, drug violations, conspiracies and organized crime.

Special Agent/Criminal Investigators must be able to interview individuals, seize property, handle evidence, attain information contained in computer databases and arrest suspects. Thoroughly documenting work activities as part of a case file and gathering evidence to be used by a state or federal prosecutor is of the upmost importance. Testifying before Grand Juries, judges and jurors, and handling records or evidence in a criminal case is expected.

Special Agent/Criminal Investigators audit financial records to determine if fraudulent activity is occurring. These Agents may also be selected to take part in special investigations including marijuana eradication, methamphetamine lab eradication, polygraph testing administration, and/or aerial surveillance.

After a successful completion of a two-year training period, all Special Agent/Criminal Investigators will be promoted to the next higher class. Inadequate or marginal performance during the training period will result in demotion or termination.

minimum qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year, accredited college or university

selection timeline

September 15, 2021 - September 21, 2021
Our Special Agent/Criminal Investigator positions will be posted on the Tennessee Department of Human Resources website. Interested candidates will need to complete an online application to begin the selection process.

September 22, 2021

Candidates will receive preliminary selection questions to complete in an online form.

October 28-29, 2021

Initial assessments of candidates will be performed virtually.

November 1, 2021

We'll notify candidates whether they'll continue to the formal interview stage.

November 4-8, 2021

1st Round interviews will be held virtually.

November 9, 2021

We'll email invitations for those selected for a second in-person interview.

November 15-17, 2021

2nd Round interviews and a proctored situational judgment assessment will be held at TBI Headquarters in Nashville.

November 22, 2021

Conditional offers will be extended to selected candidates. We'll also notify those not selected to continue in the hiring process via email.

November 29, 2021

We'll conduct background checks and polygraphs on those conditionally selected for employment.

January 4-7, 2022

Candidates will participate in a pre-employment psychological examination.

February 11, 2022

We'll extend official job offers to selected candidates.

February 28 / March 28, 2022 (Exact date TBD.)

Our new Special Agents will begin their employment with TBI.

available positions

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Applicants: what to expect

A Thorough Background Investigation

If conditionally offered a position as a TBI Special Agent/Criminal Investigator, candidates will be subject to an intense background investigation, which includes, but is not limited to, a check of state and federal criminal records, driving history, social media accounts, credit history, education, military record, previous employment, drug use, and reference verification.

Candidates will also be subject to a pre-employment polygraph examination as part of the background process.

Direct & Sometimes Difficult

Credibility is a cornerstone of being a TBI Agent, so candidates should expect some potentially personal questions during the interview process.


A candidate must not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or entered a plea of nolo contendre to a number of crimes to include, but not limited to: force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, DUI, or controlled substances. This includes a sufficient number of misdemeanors, of any nature, to establish a pattern of disregard for the law.


Violations considered "youthful indiscretions" or experimentation (domestic related offenses excluded) may be considered on a case by case basis.

Frequent Communication Through The Process

We're committed to making sure your experience of applying for a job with TBI is a pleasant one. 

We're committed to communicating, as we can, about the status of your application. We do, however, expect to receive more than 1,000 applications for these open positions, so we'll provide updates as we can, and prefer to do so via email.

If hired, Agents can expect a detailed onboarding process, designed to efficiently and thoroughly acclimate you to employment with the State of Tennessee and the TBI.

If Hired, Extensive

After joining our team, new Agents must successfully complete our 12-week Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Academy that includes the following coursework: interviewing and interrogation; drug enforcement training and surveillance/undercover operations; communication skills; case organization training; basic financial crimes investigation; handling informants; and training and instructor development.

Prior law enforcement experience is not a minimum qualification for TBI's Special Agent/Criminal Investigator positions.

questions? let us know!

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