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Special Agent (Federal) Salary

An average Federal Special Agent in the United States can expect to take home roughly $90K annually. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by career length, followed by geography and the particular employer. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and the larger part earn dental coverage. Federal Special Agents who took the survey are largely men, dominating at 83 percent. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$51,123 - $126,907
MEDIAN: $89,843

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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.
$51,123 - $126,907  
$0.00 - $24,468  
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).
$50,560 - $127,294  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 149
United States (change)

Job Description for Special Agent (Federal)

A special agent (federal) is a law enforcement specialist who engages in the enforcement and investigation of violations of federal statutes. As these investigations and apprehensions can be highly involved and of clear and immediate danger to the general public, agencies who hire special agents are highly selective of their personnel. Special agents are also often detailed to teams and task forces revolving around a fairly tight focus.


Special Agent (Federal) Tasks

  • Record interviews using cameras or other means.
  • Interview suspects and witnesses to obtain and verify information.
  • Search for and collect evidence, such as fingerprints, DNA samples and computer records.
  • Identify case issues and evidence based on complaints, charges or allegations of violations.
  • Prepare detailed reports of findings.

Special Agent (Federal) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Special Agent (Federal)

The smallest paychecks can be found at Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — the median salary there is $99K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with salaries varying between $44K and $129K.

Pay by Experience Level for Special Agent (Federal)

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

For many Federal Special Agents, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $75K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $96K on average — a distinctly larger sum. On average, Federal Special Agents make $98K following one to two decades on the job. Deeply experienced professionals who boast more than 20 years of experience haul in an ample $108K on average.

Experience Affects Special Agent (Federal) Salaries

up arrow 20%

up arrow 9%

up arrow 7%

National Average

up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 32 votes.


17 %
83 %

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: 97% dental benefits Dental: 67%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 3%