The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is responsible for collecting and disseminating foreign intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers and government officials. This massive, independent federal agency, in addition to serving the government and the American people through intelligence gathering, has thousands of employees who are responsible for everything from information management and congressional affairs to public affairs and internal oversight.
Although much about the CIA is shrouded in secrecy, including its annual budget and its number of employees, it does provide a wealth of information regarding CIA jobs, duties and salaries.
Salary ranges/expectations for CIA agents and professionals are often dependent upon education and experience. Although formal educational programs are often a requirement for employment for many CIA jobs, those positions that don’t require the completion of a formal degree often regard them as preferred requirements. Likewise, extensive experience in law enforcement, investigation, military, and security/police services is often required and usually preferred for CIA agent jobs.
Further, like most federal law enforcement jobs, CIA jobs typically require the completion of a formal training program through the Federal Law Enforcement Agency (FLETC), as well as specialized training, including field training, through the CIA. Ongoing training is also a typical component of CIA jobs.
Salaries Associated with the Various Jobs within the CIA
Career paths in the CIA’s intelligence operations are numerous:
Special Agent/Investigator – CIA Salary Range: $74,872-$136,771
Special agents/investigators, who work out of the CIA’s Office of Inspector General, Investigations Staff, are responsible for conducting inquiries regarding possible violations of laws, rules and regulations; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; and danger to the public health and safety within the CIA.
Individuals who want to become CIA special agents/investigators must meet the minimum requirements for this profession, which include possessing a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of investigative experience. All candidates for this position must successfully complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Program.
Candidates for CIA agent jobs must have considerable knowledge of criminal and administrative investigative techniques and procedures, and they must be able to assemble large quantities of data and draw appropriate conclusions.
Police Officer – Security Protective Services (SPS) – CIA Salary Range: $51,601-$60,008 ($73,922 at full performance)
CIA police officers within its Security Protective Services (SPS) Division work as uniformed federal police officers. Their work involves providing a full range of security/police services throughout a number of specialty units and fixed posts. Advanced positions within this career path are often found in the areas of Threat Management, HAZMAT, Security Operations, Explosive Ordnance Detection, and Court Liaison.
Individuals interested in pursuing a position as a CIA police officer must have a high school diploma, although individuals with prior military, police or security experience or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field are considered preferred candidates. Further, all candidates must be physically and psychologically fit, and they must successfully complete the Uniformed Police Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Protective Agent – CIA Salary Range: $50,408-$95,026
Protective agents, under the Directorate of Support, are responsible for providing support to a number of protective operations, as directed by the Director of the CIA. These CIA agents are often deployed across the globe to perform sensitive operations that support the agency’s protective requirements. They are also often responsible for participating in training and operational assignments.
Individuals interested in obtaining CIA protective agent jobs must be at least 21 years old and they must have a high school diploma. Preferred experience for this position includes at least 7 years of extensive experience in military, security, or law enforcement. Preferred education includes a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Security Professional – CIA Salary Range: $46,745-$73,917
CIA security professionals work as part of the CIA’s national security intelligence. These professionals provide a worldwide security program designed to protect CIA personnel, information, programs, activities and facilities. Security disciplines for security professionals may include personnel security, physical and technical security, program security, cyber security, and acquisitions security.
Candidates for security professional jobs must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, along with excellent written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and analytical skills. Preferred areas of study include: business, computer science, economics, criminal justice, computer security, journalism, systems analysis, and sociology, among others.
In addition to competitive salaries, CIA jobs come with a number of benefits, including:
- Sick leave
- Medical leave
- Annual leave
- Family friendly leave
- Home leave
- Alternative work schedules and hours
- Moving expenses
- Personal and family support
- Family advisory board
- Credit union
- Dependent scholarships