Careers for FBI Special Agents in the Directorate
of Intelligence

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As one of the five possible career specializations for FBI Special Agent new-hires, the Directorate of Intelligence is highly desirable for its promotion potential as well as its strategic importance to national security. In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigations refocused its priority from criminal investigations to counterterrorism, with the Directorate of Intelligence taking the lead position in intelligence analysis. Since the World Trade Center attacks, the DOI has significantly increased its budget and the size of its workforce.

Primary Roles for Special Agents in the Directorate of Intelligence

The Special Agent jobs with the Directorate of Intelligence fall into three primary categories:

  • Intelligence Analysts: These specialists gather raw intelligence from a variety of human and electronic intelligence sources, evaluate them, and distribute them as actionable insights.
  • Language Analysts: With the broadened scope of the FBI’s mission, Special Agents need the capacity to understand conversations in a variety of languages including encryption both within the domestic population as well as in its international intelligence gathering operations.
  • Physical Surveillance Specialists: These specially trained Agents gather intelligence about criminal and terrorist activities through a variety of covert methods including visual and electronic surveillance.

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Special Agent Job Description

Special Agents jobs in the DOI involve the following responsibilities:

  • Interview and extract information from individuals suspected of engaging in or supporting terrorist or criminal activity
  • Intercept, translate and analyze communiqués from terrorists and criminals
  • Covertly enter the facilities housing terrorist operations and place eavesdropping and surveillance equipment
  • Develop or implant human intelligence assets within terrorist networks in order to gain information about emerging threats
  • Upgrade and maintain the information systems necessary to support intelligence operations
  • Produce reports and presentations for timely dissemination of intelligence to strategic decision makers in FBI field offices, partner agencies and key government officials
  • Make recommendations about the nation’s defense posture and allocation of intelligence and defense resources

Special Agent-Directorate of Intelligence Salary

Like all other Special Agents, a Special Agent assigned to the Directorate of Intelligence may receive a salary commensurate with a GS-10 up to a GS-15 pay rating, although the GS-14 and GS-15 pay grades are usually reserved for supervisors and executives. The salary ranges for these pay grades in 2012 were:

General Schedule Grade
Pay Range
General Schedule 10
$45771-$59505
General Schedule 11
$50287-$65371
General Schedule 12
$60274-$78355
General Schedule 13
$71674-$93175
General Schedule 14
$84697-$110104
General Schedule 15
$99628-$129517

The salary for an entering Special Agent-Directorate of Intelligence may is pegged to the GS-10 pay grade that all Special Agents are initially assigned.  These base salaries are usually adjusted by 12.5 to 28.7 percent to reflect a higher cost of living related to some job postings.  Special Agents also receive a 25 percent bonus of salary plus COLA to compensate them for the 50-hour weeks and around the clock availability.  All Special Agents receive a highly desirable benefits package that includes life insurance, health insurance, Thrift Savings Plan, and full retirement available after 25 to 30 years of service.

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