Intelligence Analyst

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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$39,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Intelligence Analysts do?

An Intelligence Analyst receives, interprets, and passes along information collected by field personnel. This is an intense, rewarding, and important position. You generally work for a government entity as an Intelligence Analyst, such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, or a branch of the military. There are also some positions within the public arena.

When Field Agents follow a lead to a drug manufacturing warehouse, or gather information from an informant, they send that information to you, the Intelligence Analyst. You also receive updates and data from equipment, such as satellite images of compounds or recorded conversations between known terrorists.

With a critical eye, you scrutinize the information. How reliable is it? Do you have other evidence that supports it? How quickly could the scene change? You analyze phone records, photographs, field reports, and satellite images to establish who the key players are, what actions they’ve taken, and what they plan to do next.

Following this analysis, you make the big decisions about which human and material resources are needed in response to the situation. This is the tricky part of your job. If you are wrong, someone could get hurt and Undercover Agents could blow their cover, all at the expense of the taxpayer. But if you are right, you could save a stadium full of fans from a terrorist attack, direct Agents into the center of a major drug bust, or mobilize military troops towards a victory on the battlefield.

Should I be an Intelligence Analyst?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Criminal Intelligence Specialist, Intelligence Officer

    How to become an Intelligence Analyst

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Intelligence Analyst-related education!
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