Intelligence Officer Salary

Intelligence Officers who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up just over a half of Intelligence Officers. Pay fluctuates from $49K to $124K per year, but expected earnings average $86K per year. Career duration and the company each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and a fair number get vision benefits. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$50,511 - $123,809
MEDIAN: $86,426

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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.
$50,511 - $123,809  
$0.00 - $8,808  
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).
$48,903 - $124,475  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 221
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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

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

Common Career Paths for Intelligence Officer

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Intelligence Officers may not see large compensation differences if they transition into an upper-level role such as Senior Intelligence Analyst. Senior Intelligence Analysts on average make about as much as Intelligence Officers do.

Intelligence Officer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Intelligence Officer

U.S. Marine Corps offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $105K.

Defense Intelligence Agency offers the least money; the median income there is just $73K. The pay range is also pretty narrow, as compensation generally sits between $44K and $136K.

Popular Skills for Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officers who responded to the survey indicated only a few skills that they use on the job. Those who have experience with Human Intelligence, Signals Intelligence, and Research Analysis can expect to be compensated well for these skills. Most people who know Human Intelligence also know Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).

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. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $68K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $83K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Intelligence Officers make a median salary of $95K. Intelligence Officers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $106K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $86,995

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

For Intelligence Officers, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 7 percent above the national average.

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Experience Affects Intelligence Officer Salaries

National Average

up arrow 21%

Skills That Affect Intelligence Officer Salaries

Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
up arrow 3%

National Average

Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
up arrow 1%

Research Analysis
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 41 votes.


7 %
93 %

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: 84%
medical benefits
Vision: 75%
dental benefits
None: 8%