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Intelligence Analyst Careers

An intelligence analyst is a government employee who pieces together information from a variety of sources in order to assess threats and prevent attacks from interior and exterior enemies. They evaluate information and data to identify and mitigate security threats.

Their responsibilities may include monitoring technology and other forms of communication for security and data breaches, creating filtering programs that identify risky communication and threats, and creating and distributing reports that offer recommendations for improving security. They are also often responsible for analyzing technology and data in order to solve a case and for following up on information in order to prevent a breach or crime.

Intelligence analysts receive entry-level training and might receive certifications such as Criminal Intelligence Certified Analyst (CICA), Certified System Security Professional (CSSP), Intelligence Fundamentals Professional Certification (IFPC), or Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP). They might also need a bachelor's or master's degree in a field such as computer science, programming, or intelligence studies.

Their salaries range anywhere between $14,000 to $158,000 per year, depending on experience. On average, though, they earn $57,670 per year.

What Does an Intelligence Analyst Do

Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes.

Duties

Police officers, detectives, and criminal investigators typically do the following:

  • Enforce laws
  • Respond to emergency and nonemergency calls
  • Patrol assigned areas
  • Conduct traffic stops and issue citations
  • Search for vehicle records and warrants using computers in the field
  • Obtain warrants and arrest suspects
  • Collect and secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Observe the activities of suspects
  • Write detailed reports and fill out forms
  • Prepare cases and testify in court

Police officers pursue and apprehend people who break the law. They then warn, cite, or arrest them. Most police officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate suspicious activity. They also respond to calls, issue traffic tickets, and give first aid to accident victims.

Detectives perform investigative duties, such as gathering facts and collecting evidence.

The daily activities of police and detectives vary with their occupational specialty, such as canine units and special weapons and tactics (SWAT). Job duties differ at the local, state, or federal level. Duties differ among federal agencies because they enforce different aspects of the law. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and detectives at all levels must write reports and keep detailed records that will be needed if they testify in court. Most carry law enforcement tools, such as radios, handcuffs, and guns.

State and Local Law Enforcement

Uniformed police officers have general law enforcement duties. They wear uniforms that allow the public to easily recognize them as police officers. They have regular patrols and also respond to emergency and nonemergency calls. During patrols, officers look for any signs of criminal activity and may conduct searches and arrest suspected criminals.

Some police officers work only on a specific type of crime, such as narcotics. Officers, especially those working in large departments, may work in special units, such as horseback, motorcycle, canine corps, and special weapons and tactics (SWAT). Typically, officers must work as patrol officers for a certain number of years before they may be appointed to a special unit.

Some agencies, such as public college and university police forces, public school police, and transit police, have special geographic and enforcement responsibilities.

State police officers, sometimes called state troopers or highway patrol officers, have many of the same duties as other police officers, but they may spend more time enforcing traffic laws and issuing traffic citations. State police officers have authority to work anywhere in the state and are frequently called on to help other law enforcement agencies, especially those in rural areas or small towns.

Transit and railroad police patrol railroad yards and transit stations. They protect property, employees, and passengers from crimes such as thefts and robberies. They remove trespassers from railroad and transit properties and check IDs of people who try to enter secure areas. 

Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs enforce the law on the county level. Sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small. Sheriffs are usually elected by the public and do the same work as a local or county police chief. Some sheriffs’ departments do the same work as officers in urban police departments. Others mainly operate the county jails and provide services in local courts. Police and sheriffs’ deputies who provide security in city and county courts are sometimes called bailiffs.

Detectives and criminal investigators are uniformed or plainclothes investigators who gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. They conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids and arrests. Detectives usually specialize in investigating one type of crime, such as homicide or fraud. Detectives are typically assigned cases on a rotating basis and work on them until an arrest and trial are completed or until the case is dropped.

Fish and game wardens enforce fishing, hunting, and boating laws. They patrol fishing and hunting areas, conduct search and rescue operations, investigate complaints and accidents, and educate the public about laws pertaining to the outdoors. Federal fish and game wardens are often referred to as Federal Wildlife Officers.

Federal Law Enforcement

Federal law enforcement officials carry out many of the same duties that other police officers do, and they also have jurisdiction over the entire country. Many federal agents are highly specialized. The following are examples of federal agencies in which officers and agents enforce particular types of laws.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are the federal government's principal investigators, responsible for enforcing more than 200 categories of federal statutes and conducting sensitive national security investigations.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents enforce laws and regulations relating to illegal drugs.
  • United States Secret Service uniformed officers protect the President, the Vice President, their immediate families, and other public officials. Other Secret Service agents investigate financial crimes.
  • Federal Air Marshals provide air security by guarding against attacks targeting U.S. aircraft, passengers, and crews.
  • U.S. Border Patrol agents protect the U.S. land and sea boundaries.

See the Contacts for More Info section for additional information about federal law enforcement agencies.

How To Become an Intelligence Analyst

Education requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree. Most police and detectives must graduate from their agency’s training academy before completing a period of on-the-job training. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, usually at least 21 years old, and able to meet rigorous physical and personal qualification standards. A felony conviction or drug use may disqualify a candidate.

Education

Police and detective applicants must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although many federal agencies and some police departments require some college coursework or a college degree. Many community colleges, 4-year colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement and criminal justice, and agencies may offer financial assistance to officers who pursue these, or related, degrees. Knowledge of a foreign language is an asset in many federal agencies and geographical regions.

Fish and game wardens applying for federal jobs with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service typically need a college degree; and those applying to work for a state’s natural resources department often need a high school diploma or some college study in a related field, such as biology or natural resources management.

Federal agencies typically require a bachelor's degree. For example, FBI and DEA special agent applicants are often college graduates.

State and local agencies encourage applicants to continue their education after high school, by taking courses and training related to law enforcement. Many applicants for entry-level police jobs have taken some college classes, and a significant number are college graduates. Many community colleges, 4-year colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement and criminal justice. Many agencies offer financial assistance to officers who pursue these or related degrees.

Training

Candidates for appointment usually attend a training academy before becoming an officer. Training includes classroom instruction in state and local laws and constitutional law, civil rights, and police ethics. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in areas such as patrol, traffic control, firearm use, self-defense, first aid, and emergency response.

Federal law enforcement agents undergo extensive training, usually at the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, or at a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Detectives normally begin their careers as police officers before being promoted to detective.

FBI special agent applicants typically must have at least 3 years of professional work experience in areas ranging from computer science to accounting.

Other Experience

Some police departments have cadet programs for people interested in a career in law enforcement who do not yet meet age requirements for becoming an officer. These cadets do clerical work and attend classes until they reach the minimum age requirement and can apply for a position with the regular force. Military or police experience may be considered beneficial for potential cadets.

Cadet candidates must be U.S. citizens, usually be at least 21 years old, have a driver’s license, and meet specific physical qualifications. Applicants may have to pass physical exams of vision, hearing, strength, and agility, as well as written exams. Previous work or military experience is often seen as a plus. Candidates typically go through a series of interviews and may be asked to take lie detector and drug tests. A felony conviction may disqualify a candidate.

Advancement

Police officers usually become eligible for promotion after a probationary period. Promotions to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain usually are made according to a candidate's position on a promotion list, as determined by scores on a written examination and on-the-job performance. In large departments, promotion may enable an officer to become a detective or to specialize in one type of police work, such as working with juveniles.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Police, detectives, and fish and game wardens must be able to speak with people when gathering facts about a crime and to express details about a given incident in writing.

Empathy. Police officers need to understand the perspectives of a wide variety of people in their jurisdiction and have a willingness to help the public.

Good judgment. Police and detectives must be able to determine the best way to solve a wide array of problems quickly.

Leadership skills. Police officers must be comfortable with being a highly visible member of their community, as the public looks to them for assistance in emergency situations.

Perceptiveness. Officers, detectives, and fish and game wardens must be able to anticipate a person’s reactions and understand why people act a certain way.

Physical stamina. Officers and detectives must be in good physical shape, both to pass required tests for entry into the field, and to keep up with the daily rigors of the job.

Physical strength. Police officers must be strong enough to physically apprehend offenders.

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$74,835
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
7,274
Job Openings

Intelligence Analyst Career Paths

Top Careers Before Intelligence Analyst

Analyst
12.3 %

Top Careers After Intelligence Analyst

Analyst
11.9 %

Intelligence Analyst Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence Analysts in America make an average salary of $74,835 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $119,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $46,000 per year.
Average Salary
$74,835
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range72k - 130k$97k$97,199
Bellevue, WA
Salary Range63k - 110k$84k$83,781
Colorado Springs, CO
Salary Range62k - 109k$83k$82,824
Jackson, MS
Salary Range61k - 109k$82k$81,733
Washington, DC
Salary Range59k - 109k$80k$80,459
Springfield, MA
Salary Range57k - 111k$80k$80,357
$38k
$130k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Missile Warning Intelligence Analyst
Missile Warning Intelligence Analyst
Leidos Holdings Inc.
Leidos Holdings Inc.
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$91,00006/29/2021
$91,000
Correctional Intelligence Analyst
Correctional Intelligence Analyst
State of Indiana
State of Indiana
06/28/2021
06/28/2021
$28,65206/28/2021
$28,652
Principal Cyber Intelligence Analyst
Principal Cyber Intelligence Analyst
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
06/23/2021
06/23/2021
$83,60006/23/2021
$83,600
Cyber-Intelligence Analyst
Cyber-Intelligence Analyst
XXX
XXX
06/19/2021
06/19/2021
$56,05606/19/2021
$56,056
Threat Intelligence Analyst II
Threat Intelligence Analyst II
Ball Corporation/Ball Aerospace
Ball Corporation/Ball Aerospace
06/11/2021
06/11/2021
$95,00006/11/2021
$95,000
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Intelligence Analyst Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Intelligence Analyst. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Intelligence Analyst Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Intelligence Analyst resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Intelligence Analyst Demographics

Gender

male

68.4 %

female

27.8 %

unknown

3.9 %

Ethnicity

White

64.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.1 %

Black or African American

13.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.6 %

Arabic

9.2 %

French

8.9 %
See More Demographics

Intelligence Analyst Education

Majors

Business
13.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

50.5 %

Associate

19.2 %

Certificate

12.9 %

Top Colleges for Intelligence Analysts

1. York College of Pennsylvania

York, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$20,100
Enrollment
3,960

2. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

6. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Mercyhurst University

Erie, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$37,170
Enrollment
2,374

9. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

10. Point Park University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$31,450
Enrollment
3,170
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Intelligence Analyst That You May Like

Emotional Intelligence Certification: Self Awareness Level 1
udemy
4.3
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Certification Course. Understand your personality with more Emotional Intelligence...

Understanding and developing Emotional Intelligence
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4.2
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What Emotional Intelligence is, why It matters, and how to develop it...

An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
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4.4
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Learn how your emotional intelligence influences how you perform, build relationships and make good quality decisions...

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Top Skills For an Intelligence Analyst

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.9% of intelligence analysts listed intelligence analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and empathy are important as well.

Best States For an Intelligence Analyst

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an intelligence analyst. The best states for people in this position are California, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. Intelligence analysts make the most in California with an average salary of $87,449. Whereas in Nevada and Utah, they would average $87,224 and $86,744, respectively. While intelligence analysts would only make an average of $83,917 in Idaho, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Intelligence Analyst Jobs:
128
Highest 10% Earn:
$151,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Idaho

Total Intelligence Analyst Jobs:
111
Highest 10% Earn:
$140,000
Location Quotient:
1.32
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Utah

Total Intelligence Analyst Jobs:
143
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
0.87
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Intelligence Analyst Employers

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$64,423
Intelligence Analysts Hired: 
3,688+
2. United States Navy
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$62,922
Intelligence Analysts Hired: 
599+
3. United States Marine
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$63,324
Intelligence Analysts Hired: 
519+
4. Science Applications International ...
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$83,866
Intelligence Analysts Hired: 
206+
5. BAE Systems
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$81,700
Intelligence Analysts Hired: 
173+
6. CACI International
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$82,715
Intelligence Analysts Hired: 
171+

Intelligence Analyst Videos

Updated October 2, 2020