Men represent the vast majority of Intelligence Officers in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $84K per year nationwide. Career length and the company each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Intelligence Officers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number get medical and dental insurance, and most get vision plans, too. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$52,275 - $123,297
MEDIAN: $84,012

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$52,275 - $123,297  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$46,284 - $123,298  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 117

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Job Description for Intelligence Officer

Intelligence officers are typically hired by governments, usually by defense or intelligence-gathering departments; however, private contractors hired by the government may also employ these professionals. Intelligence officers often spend much of their time doing office work and analysis, spending comparatively little time in the field. Intelligence officers are frequently distinguished from field operatives or agents in that they are not necessarily specifically charged with gathering sensitive data and intelligence. While that may be something an intelligence officer is asked to do, they are more typically responsible for performing analysis, looking for patterns in large data fields, and examining, categorizing, and organizing collected information. Intelligence officers are expected to be able to think clearly and quickly when needed, but also also be able to conduct long and intensive investigations. Additionally, they are expected to keep secure all information and intelligence-gathering methodologies.


Intelligence Officer Tasks

  • Collect and analyze imagery using photogrammetry and terrain analysis.
  • Serve as an intelligence advisor/resource to other units.
  • Utilize a variety of tools, equipment, vehicles to collect intelligence.
  • Control collection operations and interviews.
  • Coordinate and participate in various counterintelligence investigations, operations and production.

Common Career Paths for Intelligence Officer

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Intelligence Officers who become Senior Intelligence Analysts may see a small rise in pay. On average, Senior Intelligence Analysts earn $92K per year.

Intelligence Officer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Intelligence Officer

Heading up the field in terms of compensation, U.S. Marine Corps offers the most; Intelligence Officers earn $86K on average there.

Offering a median of only $73K, Defense Intelligence Agency pays the least. Moreover, the compensation range seems pretty narrow; employees make $44K on the lower end and $136K on the higher end.

Popular Skills for Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officers report a narrow range of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Signals Intelligence, Geospatial Intelligence, Human Intelligence, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people familiar with Research Analysis also know Human Intelligence (HUMINT).

Pay by Experience Level for Intelligence Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Intelligence Officers. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $72K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $79K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $98K. Professionals who boast more than 20 years of experience reap the fruits of their labor to the six-figure tune of $111K — the plum median salary in this group.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $83,629

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Related Job Salaries

Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Intelligence Officer Salaries

National Average

Skills That Affect Intelligence Officer Salaries

Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT)
up arrow 6%

Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
up arrow 3%

Research Analysis

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 17 votes.


10 %
90 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 85%
medical benefits
Vision: 82%
dental benefits
None: 8%