National Avg. Salary$79,620 More Salary Data →
Job Growth Rate-1.2% More Growth Data →
Recommended DegreeBachelor's Programs & Degrees →
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The primary responsibility of a criminal intelligence analyst is to gather intelligence as a means of protecting the United States from external threats and attacks. The CIA gathers information and passes it along to the president and other policymakers to assist in decisions related to national security.
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The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in central intelligence analyst roles:
- Identify potential and real threats that require investigation
- Gather intelligence through a variety of means, including translation, satellite imaging, decryption, and interrogation
- Analyze intelligence and predict implications of findings on national security issues
- Provide unbiased reports to the president and other political decision-makers
- Perform covert operations as needed
A Day in the Life
Criminal intelligence analysts serve the U.S. government and its citizens by protecting the country against foreign threats. They’re responsible for identifying possible threats, investigating those threats by gathering information through a variety of sources, and then reporting findings to the president and other government decision-makers. Because the CIA is not involved in decision making or setting policies, the information they provide government officials is unbiased by political leanings.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a CIA agent vary depending on which analyst position is held. Analysts can focus on counterintelligence, cyber threats, economics, military, and weapons, among others. These analysts are called in to investigate when a crime against the country is suspected. For example, when it was believed that Russia hacked into U.S. systems during the 2016 election, CIA cyber threat analysts investigated the potential breach and provided their findings to government officials.
The sources used to investigate threats are numerous. CIA agents may translate newspapers, websites, and audio transmissions while investigating; they may interrogate suspects and informants; or they may work as spies and infiltrate known or suspected terrorist organizations. After investigation have completed and the analyst and his/her partners and leaders have drawn plausible conclusions, they provide the report of their finding to the president and other government officials for action.
Typical Work Schedule
Depending on the specific role, CIA agents may be required to work day, evening, and overnight shifts, weekends, and holidays. Overtime may be common, and frequent overseas travel may be required as well. Working as a CIA agent is not a 9-5 job.
Criminal Intelligence Analysts Specializations
- Analysts are subject-matter experts in a variety of fields, such as counterintelligence, cyber threats, economics, military, or weapons. They conduct investigations and produce reports of their findings to government officials.
- Business, IT, and Security Agents work in more administrative positions and conduct work that keeps the CIA running efficiently. These individuals may work in human resources, legal affairs, finance, or information technology positions, among others.
- Directorate of Operations Agents conduct secret operations at the direction of the president. They perform their work undercover and may be unable to tell even friends and family members the details of their day-to-day job responsibilities.
- Language Agents are experts at speaking and translating foreign languages. They perform translation services, and they teach other agents and government officials about the cultures and customs of foreign nations.
- Science, Engineering & Technology Agents work in the research and development branch of the CIA. They analyze technologies and weapons from foreign countries to understand and potentially recreate the technology, and they develop innovative technologies.
CIA agents are employed by the United States federal government.
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Criminal Intelligence Analyst Salary Data
We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Annual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Criminal Intelligence Analyst salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Criminal Intelligence Analyst's can make an average annual salary of $79,620, or $38 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $53,810 or $26 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#143 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
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How To Become
The process of becoming a CIA agent depends somewhat on the specific role you’re applying for, though a bachelor’s degree at minimum is preferred for most roles. The specific bachelor’s degree sought should vary based on the role being pursued. For example, language agents will likely need a bachelor’s degree in the language(s) they want to specialize in translating, but cyber terrorism analysts will need bachelor’s degrees in information systems and technology to perform their roles.
The application process for a CIA agent can be lengthy. Some candidates are approved within a few months, while for others it can take more than a year. Applicants go through a series of tests to ensure they’re fit to perform their roles. They undergo thorough background checks, psychological evaluations, drug tests, and physical examinations. Because of the secrecy with which most roles must be performed, candidates are thoroughly evaluated before becoming agents in order to ensure they’re fit for the role.
For some positions, a master’s degree may be required or preferred. Again, the specific master’s degree pursued should be related to the field in which you wish to work. Science, engineering, and technology analysts may need advances degrees in engineering, information technology, data analytics, or data science.
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While a bachelor’s degree is preferred for most positions, military experience or relevant work experience may be suitable in lieu of a degree for certain positions.
Recommended Min. Degree
Highest Education Among Criminal Intelligence Analyst
- 2.3% Doctorate
- 13.1% Masters
- 41.8% Bachelors
- 12.3% Associates
- 22.9% College
- 7.2% High School
- 0.4% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs116,700
2024 Est. Jobs115,300
Job Growth Rate-1.2%
Est. New Jobs-1,400
How does Criminal Intelligence Analyst job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -1,400 jobs for a total of 115,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -1.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#640 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally