Special Agent (Federal) Salary

Median pay for Federal Special Agents in the United States is around $77K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Work is enjoyable for Federal Special Agents, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Men make up the vast majority of Federal Special Agents (86 percent) who took the survey. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$49,200 - $131,709
$49K
$77K
$130K
MEDIAN: $77,164
10%
50%
90%

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$21.36 - $50.42
$34
MEDIAN: $34.04
50%

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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.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,200 - $131,709  
   
Bonus
$1,987 - $15,242  
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).
)
$48,764 - $132,011  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 166
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
National Hourly Rate 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.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$34.04  
   
Overtime
$10.14 - $65.10  
National Annualized 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.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$1,987 - $15,242  
   
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).
)
$48,764 - $132,011  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 8
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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.

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Special Agent (Federal) Tasks

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

Special Agent (Federal) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Special Agent (Federal)


U.S. Department of Homeland Security attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $105K.

Pay by Experience Level for Special Agent (Federal)

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


For Federal Special Agents, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $65K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $75K. Federal Special Agents see a median salary of $92K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $96K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $77,831

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

For Federal Special Agents, busy Dallas offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 45 percent above the national average. Federal Special Agents can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+28 percent), San Antonio (+26 percent), San Francisco (+19 percent), and Chicago (+7 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Boston Federal Special Agents earning much less — 25 percent less — than the national average. Employers in Atlanta and Detroit also lean toward paying below-median salaries (23 percent lower and 16 percent lower, respectively).

Key Stats for Special Agent (Federal)

Gender

Female
14 %
Male
86 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 17 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
17%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Special Agent (Federal) Salaries

Late-Career
▲24%

Experienced
▲18%

National Average
$78,000

▼4%

▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 17 votes.

Gender

Female
14 %
Male
86 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 74%
vision benefits
Vision: 60%
dental benefits
None: 4%
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