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Become An Intelligence Specialist

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Working As An Intelligence Specialist

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $81,232

    Average Salary

What Does An Intelligence Specialist 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.

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How To Become An Intelligence Specialist

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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Intelligence Specialist Career Paths

Intelligence Specialist
Intelligence Officer Executive Officer Flight Commander
Assistant Director Of Operations
5 Yearsyrs
All Source Intelligence Analyst Security Officer Security Supervisor
Assistant Security Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Intelligence Officer Operations Officer
Branch Chief
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Safety Officer Operations Officer
Chief Deputy
8 Yearsyrs
Intelligence Analyst Operations Officer
Chief Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Security Analyst Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Instructor Assistant Professor Executive Officer
Deputy Director Of Operations
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Consultant Business Intelligence Manager
Director Of Intelligence
12 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Lieutenant Executive Officer
Division Chief
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Officer Assistant Professor Assistant Department Head
Division Head
6 Yearsyrs
All Source Intelligence Analyst Watch Officer Intelligence Officer
Foreign Service Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Officer Senior Training Specialist Senior Technical Writer
Knowledge Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operational Intelligence Analyst All Source Intelligence Analyst Imagery Analyst
Mission Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Analyst Recruiter Platoon Sergeant
Operations Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Intelligence Analyst Instructor Technical Writer
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Intelligence Analyst Senior Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst
Requirements Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Security Officer Security Supervisor
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Operations Director Chief Of Operations
Senior Officer
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Intelligence Chief 3.1 years
Intelligence 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Intelligence Specialist
Analyst 9.3%
Instructor 4.2%
Cashier 3.9%
Specialist 3.6%
Internship 3.2%
Top Careers After Intelligence Specialist
Analyst 12.0%
Instructor 3.8%
Manager 2.9%
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as an Intelligence Specialist?

Intelligence Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

72.5%

Female

25.5%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

13.0%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8%

Arabic

12.5%

French

8.3%

Russian

6.3%

Chinese

5.6%

German

5.6%

Korean

4.9%

Dari

4.2%

Italian

4.2%

Mandarin

2.8%

Portuguese

2.1%

Persian

1.4%

Swahili

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Indonesian

0.7%

Zulu

0.7%

Bosnian

0.7%

Malay

0.7%

Armenian

0.7%

Thai

0.7%
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Intelligence Specialist Education

Schools

American University

14.2%

University of Phoenix

12.9%

Cochise College

10.8%

University of Maryland - University College

8.9%

Community College of the Air Force

7.9%

Saint Leo University

4.7%

Liberty University

4.2%

George Washington University

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.4%

Central Texas College

3.2%

Ashford University

2.9%

American InterContinental University

2.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.6%

Wayland Baptist University

2.4%

George Mason University

2.4%

Excelsior College

2.4%

East Tennessee State University

2.1%

The Academy

2.1%
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Majors

Business

19.4%

Criminal Justice

14.3%

Intelligence Operations

11.6%

Management

5.1%

Political Science

4.7%

General Studies

4.4%

Psychology

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.1%

Information Technology

3.9%

Computer Science

3.8%

Homeland Security

3.4%

Communication

3.0%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

International Relations

2.7%

History

2.5%

Accounting

2.0%

Geography

2.0%

Project Management

1.9%

Finance

1.9%

Education

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.7%

Other

22.4%

Masters

19.6%

Associate

12.5%

Certificate

4.3%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.1%
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Intelligence Specialist Videos

Naval Intelligence Operations

Career Advice on becoming a Caterer by Jessica C (Full Version)

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Real Intelligence Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Consumer Health Intelligence Specialist McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States New York, NY Aug 15, 2015 $128,434
Market Intelligence Specialist IV Sap America, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Oct 01, 2011 $120,000
Market Intelligence Specialist BP America Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $90,000
Book Management Intelligence Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Sep 21, 2013 $85,000
Market Intelligence Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Oct 31, 2016 $83,949 -
$97,500
Market Intelligence Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Jan 11, 2016 $83,949 -
$97,500
Senior Digital Intelligence Specialist Marketing Associates, LLC Detroit, MI Aug 19, 2015 $78,190
Book Management Intelligence Specialist Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Sep 21, 2013 $75,000
Market Intelligence Specialist Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Aug 25, 2015 $63,540 -
$108,000
Market Intelligence Specialist ABB Enterprise Software Inc. Boulder, CO Dec 09, 2016 $60,112 -
$89,700
Market Intelligence Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Aug 26, 2014 $59,900 -
$81,300
Senior Market Intelligence Specialist Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Aug 28, 2014 $59,620 -
$80,600
Competitive Intelligence Specialist II Echostar Technologies LLC Englewood, CO Oct 01, 2011 $55,328 -
$70,907

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Top Skills for An Intelligence Specialist

  1. Personnel
  2. Commander
  3. Clearance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinated with military and civilian personnel to redesign and maintain radio frequency communications card maximizing combat effectiveness.
  • Planned, designed and developed geodetic and satellite imagery products for terrain analysis, geodetic survey and cartography to brief commanders.
  • Assisted in background investigations for clearance management and managed badge access across organizations.
  • Collected and analyzed real-time imagery data.
  • Developed integrated intelligence production procedures.

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Top 10 Best States for Intelligence Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Maryland
  4. Virginia
  5. West Virginia
  6. Hawaii
  7. Oregon
  8. New Jersey
  9. North Dakota
  10. Massachusetts
  • (182 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (327 jobs)
  • (843 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (275 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (299 jobs)

Top Intelligence Specialist Employers

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Jobs From Top Intelligence Specialist Employers

Intelligence Specialist Videos

Naval Intelligence Operations

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