Work Schedule of a full-time BI

I’ve accepted a position with SCIS and I’m waiting for my T5 investigation to be completed.

I’ve heard is that one of the perks of the job is that you can pick your own schedule. Does this pan out for those of you that been working?

I’ve thought about working three 12-hour days plus 4 hours sometime in the week. I’m thinking about working from 7AM to 7PM so I can be available to do interview before and after subject’s work. And then use the extra hours to cover last minute schedule changes and paperwork. Does this sound like a realistic plan? I’ll be working in a large city (Boston) if that helps.


Not realistic especially for a newbie. The availability of your subjects and sources will shape your schedule and vice versa, and your plans will constantly change. You can find a balance but you have deadlines.

Thanks for the input. How long do you usually get before something is due? It seems a lot of BI are very stressed out about deadlines. Can a lot of this be mitigated with good planning and time management? Do the time crunches get easier with experience?

And how do you usually schedule your week? 9-5, M-F?

I’m rather flexible and I make myself available as late or early as possible on any given day to include a day on the weekend if I have nothing in my personal schedule, and it’s priority work.

Plenty do 9-5, M-F but I (personally) find that to be unreasonable if you’re working with people from all walks of life. You’ve got students, young professionals, retirees, public safety personnel, military personnel, senior executives, etc. - not everyone operates or is available 9-5, M-F.

A steady set schedule is unusual in this line of work - some days are long, some aren’t as long. You can say, “Well I’ll only make myself available on such and such days,” but you’re only shooting yourself in the foot. People have found ways to make it work, however. Doesn’t work for my cases.
Mileage may vary depending on your geography, home life, and the sort of work you receive.

You’ll eventually juggle 1-3 dozen cases at any given time made up of different sorts of work (anything from single items to entire cases) that are required to be completed in 2-4 weeks time, which also accounts for planning the work, doing the work, and submitting the work (sometimes resubmitting work). You can be great at time management, but there are too many variables that have the potential to negatively affect your workday and even your entire week.

I appreciate you taking questions, this is actually the best information I’ve gotten so far.

Where do you usually conduct your interviews? Their work? Is interviewing people at their home common?

And what would you say the percentage breakout be for conducting interviews, report writing, travel, administration/setting up appointments, and “other”?

I’ll be working for SCIS and I imagine each contractor is different but: I’m happy with my starting pay, and my goal with this job is developing the skill set and doing quality work that I can be proud of of. This is will be my first civilian job, I went from college or grad school without working so I’ll learning just the basics of work for a while. Is there pressure to take promotions and therefore take on more production expectations? If I wanted to stay level 1 for 3 years, let’s say, would that be okay or that put me on the chopping block?

I think it’s important people know what they’re getting into without all the fluff. It’s important work, but it’s not for everyone.

With any vendor you’ll be encouraged to produce more in order to receive a promotion. If you don’t want one, that’s fine. Generally, the promotion comes with a higher expectation of completed cases. Some people would rather not take on the extra stress, so they’ll stay at the lower levels for years with no promotion or raise. The specifics regarding expectations for each vendor varies, so the steps to promotion also differ.

Subject interviews are generally done in the workplace or at a public institution. Sources are interviewed in a large variety of settings.

I can’t provide you with a percentage breakdown being as every week is different and geographic region is a factor. Here’s what I’ll say: you’ll spend a significant amount of your time doing all those things you mentioned plus more at any given time.

Thanks. Doesn’t seem so bad. I don’t mind stress. I think if I was so time-constrained that I was feeling that I was cutting corners or not doing my job (based on why the government requires BI, not based on the contractor’s metrics), that’s what would kill my motivation. If there isn’t a “up or out” mentality, then I think I’ll enjoy the job.

I am also going through the investigation phase to become a BI with SCIS. Perhaps we might be in the same training class. I am in California.

I’m In Boston, grew up in Orange County, California though. If there’s an August NIPT, that’s the one I’ll be attending.

How far along is you BI? Mine pretty much just started, so not sure if it will be done in time to attend the Aug training.
From OC? Right on! Been down to the LA area often when I was younger.

The BI said that all field work is complete and it’s in review now. If it doesn’t get kicked back, it’ll go up for adjudication. My guess would be that it’ll take another month.

How long did the field work take?

A little longer than a month

Your investigation from submitting your E-qip to where you are now only took a month?

Did you already have some level of clearance?

I have a DOD secret clearance