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Intelligence Officer Salary

Intelligence Officers in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — half have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $50K to $122K per year, median earnings come to $83K annually. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a large number earn dental coverage. The majority of Intelligence Officers claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$50,628 - $120,671
MEDIAN: $83,209

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$50,628 - $120,671  
$0.00 - $7,891  
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).
$50,386 - $121,967  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 219

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United States (change)

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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 who take on a higher-level position such as Intelligence Analyst may get paid a little bit less in that new role, as Intelligence Analysts on average bring home $68K.

Intelligence Officer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Intelligence Officer

U.S. Air Force (USAF) pays the most with a median salary of $86K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $44K to a high of $129K.

While select Defense Intelligence Agency employees may bring in up to $136K, a median salary of only $73K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department.

Popular Skills for Intelligence Officer

Professional skills reported by Intelligence Officers are few in number. Those who have experience with Human Intelligence, Signals Intelligence, and Research Analysis can expect to be compensated well for these skills. 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.

Intelligence Officers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $65K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $82K. On average, Intelligence Officers make $93K following one to two decades on the job. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $107K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Intelligence Officers, 7 percent higher than the national average.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Intelligence Officer Salaries

National Average

up arrow 2%

up arrow 23%

Skills That Affect Intelligence Officer Salaries

Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
up arrow 8%

Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)

National Average

Research Analysis
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 54 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: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 73% employee benefits None: 8%