Meta: Learn all you can about intelligence analyst salary, job duties, and qualifications before applying for this job. Intelligence analyst openings are often available with the CIA, FBI, US military and other government organizations. Corporations also hire intelligence analysts to protect their brand and assets.
The job title “intelligence analyst” conjures up visions of spy films featuring the FBI, CIA and other government agencies. Most intelligence analysts work for government agencies, but private companies and the military may also hire people in this field.
Here’s a look at the background you need to become an analyst, plus other things you should know, include the intelligence analyst salary.
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DAILY JOB DUTIES
An intelligence analyst receives information from agents and interprets it to determine what the enemy is doing, what resources they have available, and their objective. Analysts must handle sensitive data and recommend ways to proceed with undercover or combat missions.
An intelligence analyst gathers and evaluates data from surveillance systems. Law enforcement databases, intelligence networks, and geographic information systems. The analyst then uses this information to help prevent terrorism and other organized crime.
Intelligence analysts’ duties include the following:
Intelligence analysts working in the government and with law enforcement help investigate money laundering, gang activity, auto thefts, terrorism, and national security threats.
Analysts use artificial intelligence tools and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping. An intelligence analyst may use existing databases or software applications or design her own for a special project. Analysts gather data from public records, police databases, field observation, or confidential sources.
Analysts prepare reports, maps, presentations, and charts based on the data they've collected.
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Analysts prepare reports, maps, presentations, and charts based on the data they've collected. You'll use email and have phone conversations for much of the workday. Group discussions are also a part of the daily workflow.
The FBI website states that intelligence analysts must have critical thinking skills and analytical abilities. An analyst develops relationships with local, state, national, and international law enforcement communities to gather and validate information.
FBI analysts work closely with special agents, other FBI employees, and the intelligence community at large. The organizations work together to gather, organize, and interpret data regarding threats to national security and other dangerous activity.
Military intelligence analysts write battlefield reports to determine changes in the enemy’s positions and strategies. An intelligence analyst with the Armed Forces may look at missing information that could improve the military's chances of success.
The analyst might also write reports on material captured from the enemy or Order of Battle records.
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Analysts predict future terrorist, organized crime, or gang activity using the information they’ve gathered. They might write criminal profiles to help law enforcement locate criminals.
Once a week or once a month, an intelligence analyst evaluates phone calls and emails to determine the activity, size, and location of criminal or terrorist groups. She may then chart or link suspects to specific organizations. The analyst will also establish relationships between certain criminals and possible activities.
Intelligence analysts usually work in an office on a set schedule. These analysts may occasionally work out in the field or in a warehouse to locate particular documents or other data. They may operate cameras, audio equipment, or other surveillance equipment to record criminal activities.
An intelligence analyst salary may range from a low of around $35,000 for non- government jobs to a high of about $97,000 for positions at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The top ten percent of employees at the Central Intelligence Agency make an annual salary of $99,296 a year, or $47.47 per hour.
In 2016, the median intelligence analyst salary was $65,332.
SKILLS YOU’LL NEED
You need to know how to communicate articulately and get your message across at critical times. You must have excellent written as well as verbal skills.
You should know a few languages. Korean, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Hebrew and Spanish are the most desirable foreign languages for intelligence analysts.
Understand the customs of different countries and regions. Knowing about other cultures can help analysts determine why people act the way they do. Knowledge of a country's traditions can also help you understand the motives behind a foreign organization's actions.
There aren’t any civilian equivalents to this job, except for private analysts at large companies. Prior employment as a police officer or detective (around $63,000 yearly) or operations research analyst (around $81,000) may give you an edge when applying for an intelligence analyst position.
Some experts believe that joining the military or law enforcement will give you the necessary skills you need to then transition into an intelligence analyst job. There are some courses in law enforcement analyst training that can prepare you for a position in military or government intelligence analysis.
Some of the subjects in law enforcement analysis training include critical thinking, sources of information, crime analysis, and legal issues/ethics. These subjects help prepare for a job as a military or government intelligence analyst.
The CIA and Department and Department of Defense (DOD) also have courses in intelligence analysis. FEMA offers courses in Basic Intelligence and Threat Analysis, Critical Thinking and Analytic Methods, and Principles of Intelligence Writing and Briefing, among other classes.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE ANALYST JOBS
People interested in intelligence analysis for corporations need at least a bachelor’s degree in any subject. You should also be experienced in problem-solving and advising decision-makers.
You'll need to access risks to the company's people, brand, strategy, and operation. A business analyst interprets and handles sensitive information. The analyst must be able to share sensitive data in and outside the company discreetly.
An intelligence analyst for the Armed Forces is considered a Military Occupational Specialist (MOS).
You should have at least a bachelor’s degree and preferably a graduate degree. It is unusual for an intelligence analyst to have only a high school diploma. Suggested bachelor's degrees include economics, computer science, or political science. Graduate degrees may concentrate on psychology, international relations, national security, or terrorism.
Past military or Foreign Service adds qualifications for the job. You must be a US citizen and be proficient with the software used for classified data.
Potential analysts need to pass Phase I and Phase II testing. An applicant who passes Phase I tests then completes written simulations of some situations he might encounter.
Phase III testing is the interviewing stage. Applicants who pass Phase II undergo a thorough background check. You'll need to pass a polygraph exam, credit check, and other background checks if you apply for a job with the CIA, FBI or NSA.
Government or military personnel will question your neighbors, past and present employers, and relatives. The background check process takes a few months.
You’ll need to pass a security clearance after your background check. The Department of Defense will look at your finances and check for criminal records. Drug or alcohol abuse may disqualify you. Successful applicants won’t have court-martials or any convictions in civil court, except for minor traffic violations.
Applicants who are welcomed into the program complete a 13-week field training course and take a New Intelligence Analysts Trainees Course in Quantico, Virginia. Trainees are paid for their time at Quantico, but must successfully complete the course to become an intelligence analyst.
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BECOMING A MILITARY INTELLIGENCE ANALYST
You can’t become an intelligence analyst with the Armed Forces if you or members of your immediate family have lived in a country that practices mental or physical coercion.
The US government protects the integrity of the Peace Corps and the military by forbidding former members of the Corp to become intelligence agents. A foreign government might endanger the Corps if it suspected the organization's members could later become intelligence agents.
You can’t enlist in this MOS if you or your spouse has a commercial interest in a foreign country you may encounter in your intelligence work.
You'll learn how to collect and analyze sensitive data, and learn how to decode classified documents. You may learn how to operate technical equipment and analyze radar, satellite, and aerial imagery.
Applicants may work as intelligence analysts with the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy.
HOW TO APPLY
Apply for positions with the FBI online. Determine the address for the closest field office, because you’ll visit there many times during the application process. Visit the CIA website to learn about their application requirements.
The CIA and FBI have information packets on their websites for people interested in applying for jobs as intelligence analysts.
Businesses and governments need to defend their interests now more than ever. Intelligence analyst jobs will continue to flourish in the Armed Forces, FBI, NSA, and CIA. Private, multinational companies that do worldwide business also need analysts and other intelligence personnel.
Expect highly-structured work schedules if you are hired as an intelligence analyst by the military or government. Your schedule may become unpredictable during a crisis or uncertain times.
There’s no sign that intelligence analyst jobs will diminish in the near future. Given the state of the world, these jobs may even increase. People with excellent critical thinking skills and a military or law enforcement background should consider a job as an intelligence analyst.
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