Intelligence Officer Salary

With more than half of Intelligence Officers in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Intelligence Officers is $86K annually and can range from $49K on the lower end to $124K per year near the higher end. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. Most get medical and dental insurance, and a strong majority get vision plans, too. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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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

Those at U.S. Marine Corps can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $105K.

Although Defense Intelligence Agency hands out the lowest average salary in town at $73K, employee compensation still varies greatly; workers can make as little as $44K or as much as $136K.

Popular Skills for Intelligence Officer

Survey takers who work as Intelligence Officers usually report a few specific skills. Those who have experience with Human Intelligence, Signals Intelligence, and Research Analysis can expect to be compensated well for these skills. It is often found that people who know Human Intelligence are also skilled in Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).

Pay by Experience Level for Intelligence Officer

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

Intelligence Officers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. The average beginner in this position makes around $68K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $83K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $95K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $106K on average.

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%