Careers in the FBI’s National Counterterrorism Center

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is the U.S. government’s primary operational nexus for intelligence processes related to terrorism.  Although NCTC is established under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, it draws on personnel and resources from the FBI, CIA, Pentagon and 13 other agencies.  The NCTC was established in 2003 by President George W. Bush to integrate all of the intelligence operations conducted by federal agencies.

Breadth and Scope of the FBI’s National Counterterrorism Center

The primary task of the NCTC is to analyze the vast amounts of intelligence gathered by contributing agencies.  These analysts evaluate the intelligence, seeking out tell-tale signs of an impending threat, from the major monitored terrorist organizations.  Using the combined resources of the entire U.S. intelligence community, the NCTC seeks to identify any and all threats as they materialize.

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The intelligence reports and recommendations that are produced are then distributed to the highest levels of government including the Director of National Intelligence, Congressional leaders, and the President.  This agency has been instrumental in many of the most high-profile counterterrorism operations including the pursuit and termination of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks.  The NCTC managed the resources of the Joint Special Operations Command and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency as they prepared for and executed the mission that resulted in the killing of Bin Laden.

National Counterterrorism Center Job Description

The professionals at the NCTC are tasked with the following job duties:

  • Collecting raw and finalized intelligence from all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies
  • Monitor the status of U.S. defense resources and identify vulnerabilities
  • Formulate immediate response strategies and long term plans for ensuring national security
  • Identify emerging threats as they develop internationally or domestically
  • Monitor the communications and activities of potential domestic terrorists
  • Develop tactical mission plans and allocate appropriate resources to their successful completion
  • Make recommendations to government leaders and decision makers
  • Meet with personnel from other intelligence agencies to facilitate intelligence sharing and cooperation

National Counterterrorism Center Salary

The FBI contributes a variety of personnel to the NCTC who are primarily intelligence analysts.  These professionals may possess Special Agent credentials or be support analysts.  Special Agents receive pay grades ranging from GS-10 up to GS-15, while non-agents may receive pay grades from GS-7 up to GS-14.  Because promotion intervals may be extended, it is highly advisable to obtain as many advanced degrees or professional intelligence experience as possible, in order to obtain the highest initial pay grade.  The salaries associated with these pay grades in 2012 were:

General Schedule Grade
Pay Range
General Schedule 7
General Schedule 10
General Schedule 14
General Schedule 15

These salaries are often adjusted for cost of living, availability and overtime.

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