What is a FBI contractor?
An FBI contractor is a person or a company that has a contract to perform a function at the FBI when, for whatever reason, it makes more sense to not hire FBI employees to do. The FBI uses thousands of contractors and contract firms to do everything from janitorial services cleaning FBI offices, to computer installation, maintenance and training, to local doctors who provide medical fitness for duty exams to FBI field agents. These contractors still have to undergo some form of background investigation, or, in some cases such as temporary repair services, might have to be escorted within FBI space for security purposes. It's often cheaper to hire contractors than to hire FBI personnel because it's not the FBI's responsibility to pay them healthcare benefits, train them, etc. I hope this helps.
As User noted, a contractor can be a person or corporation that supplies goods or services to the person advancing the contract. Where the FBI is concerned, an FBI contractor can also be someone hired to do a specific job for a set span of time, but who is not a FBI employee. This can range anywhere from a person performing janitorial services to one putting together a complex research project or doing technical surveillance on a case where the FBI doesn't have the necessary expertise, hardware, or manpower. Virtually every government agency hires contractors, and some companies have the federal government as their only client.
An FBI contractor is offered assignments by the FBI according to his or her specialty and accepts those that would be most beneficial to his or her location and time-frame and to the FBI objectives.
The fields of specialty are many, and working from directives and objectives for desired outcome which includes surveillance, tracking, phone tapping, computer monitoring, mingling with groups, searching specific areas, meeting with victims and or their families, gathering information from coroners, searching and following up on documentation such as passports, visas, and so on.
The scope of fields are almost endless - political, terrorist activities, businesses, gangs, rapists, pedophiles, security organisations, religious groups, individuals...
Feedback to the FBI is ongoing. The work can range from dangerous and daunting to quiet concentration on specifics. The most important requirement is to keep the fact that you are a FBI contractor totally confidential.
All of the above of course is field work. Other FBI contracting work may be very ordinary services-type work, but contractors need to have thorough background checks and sensitivities regarding how they behave and perform.