Intelligence Officer Salary

Intelligence Officers in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — roughly one-half have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $50K to $122K per year, median earnings come to $83K per year. Career length and the company each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Intelligence Officers report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and most earn dental coverage. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$50,386 - $121,438
MEDIAN: $83,476

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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.
$50,386 - $121,438  
$0.00 - $8,000  
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).
$50,077 - $122,104  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 215
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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 often transition into a Intelligence Analyst position. Intelligence Analysts report a slightly lower median income of $68K.

Intelligence Officer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Intelligence Officer

Employees of U.S. Air Force (USAF) can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $86K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $44K to $129K.

Offering a median salary of only $73K, Defense Intelligence Agency gives out the smallest paychecks. Furthermore, the earnings range of $44K to $136K isn't that wide, either.

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. Skills that pay less than market rate include Research Analysis. Those educated in Human Intelligence tend to be well versed in Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).

Pay by Experience Level for Intelligence Officer

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

Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Intelligence Officers. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $65K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $82K. Intelligence Officers see a median salary of $93K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Professionals who boast more than 20 years of experience reap the fruits of their labor to the six-figure tune of $107K — the plum median salary in this group.

Pay Difference by Location

Washington offers some of the highest pay in the country for Intelligence Officers, 7 percent above the national average.

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Experience Affects Intelligence Officer Salaries

National Average

up arrow 23%

Skills That Affect Intelligence Officer Salaries

Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)

National Average

Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 49 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: 87% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 72% employee benefits None: 8%