Careers for FBI Special Agents in the Counterintelligence Division

Despite the FBI’s realignment from criminal investigations to counterterrorism, the number and intensity of intelligence operations originating from foreign governments have not diminished.  The FBI’s Counterintelligence Division remains dedicated to ensuring the integrity and security of the country’s intelligence and defense operations.  In order to perform this highly complicated but critical function, the FBI allocates some of its best and brightest Special Agents to identify and apprehend individuals attempting to subvert vital government operations.

The Role of Special Agents in the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division

Whether the threats originate from within the governments of other countries, or they are merely self-interested individuals or organizations attempting to compromise national security, the Special Agents of the Counterintelligence Division work tirelessly to neutralize their espionage efforts. While these operations may focus on activities related to government agencies and personnel, the Counterintelligence Division may also investigate a wide variety of activities related to corporate espionage. The FBI is dedicated to preventing the proliferation of materials and technology that could be used by the country’s enemies.

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The role of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division is constantly evolving.  Not only are the efforts of foreign powers adapting to U.S. countermeasures, but the technological landscape is also rapidly changing.  Widespread access to the internet, telecommunications and satellite surveillance are presenting new and unpredictable challenges to Special Agents charged with guarding America’s secrets and assets.  As these threats mature, the FBI’s Counterintelligence Special Agents acquire new skills, insights and tools necessary to combat and eliminate them.

Special Agent—Counterintelligence Division Job Description

FBI Special Agent jobs within the Counterintelligence Division involve the following duties:

  • Identify, monitor and neutralize activities that undermine U.S. intelligence and defense operations
  • Apprehend and question suspected foreign agents, spies or treasonous individuals
  • Monitor the programs of foreign governments who may attempt to compromise U.S. operations
  • Ensure the safety and security of weapons, technology and equipment that may be used by the nation’s enemies
  • Subvert agents of foreign powers in order to gain access to their intelligence networks
  • Monitor the activities of key intelligence personnel, including those within the FBI
  • Develop partnerships with academic and private enterprises in order to add to the FBI’s counterintelligence capabilities

Special Agent—Counterintelligence Division Salary and Job Benefits

Special Agents in Counterintelligence may receive salaries commensurate with pay grades from GS-10 up to the maximum GS-15.  In 2012, the salary ranges for these pay grades were as follows

General Schedule Grade
Pay Range
General Schedule 10
General Schedule 11
General Schedule 12
General Schedule 13
General Schedule 14
General Schedule 15

Within each pay level, there are ten steps, which must be attained before promotion to the next level.  These salaries are also often adjusted to the cost of living associated with a job posting, as well as Law Enforcement Availability Pay, which is usually a 25 percent bonus on top of salary.  Special Agents also receive a generous benefits package that includes health insurance, Thrift Savings Plans, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, paid holidays, accrued personal days, and full retirement after 25 to 30 years of service.

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