Field Intelligence Group Careers

Within the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence are units designated as Field Intelligence Groups (FIG), which conduct and manage many of the Bureau’s intelligence operations. These FIGs are usually comprised of Intelligence Analysts, Linguists, Special Agents, and Physical Surveillance Specialists.  These units are often highly qualified teams that can design and implement an intelligence operation while working in concert with other FIGs or intelligence agencies, as well as wholly independent units.

Field Intelligence Groups are among the nation’s most elite and valuable intelligence teams.  They perform the missions that provide current information about the terrorists and foreign threats that are attempting to damage national security and take American lives.  Using the immense resources of the FBI and federal government including electronic surveillance, coordinated intelligence gathering from FBI personnel and the apprehension and questioning of suspected terrorists to maintain constant situational awareness of threats originating inside the country as well as in foreign nations.

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These units often manage raw intelligence so that is translated, evaluated and repackaged into clear, actionable recommendations.  Key members of these units may present this urgent information to FBI officials, Congressional leaders or, even, the President. As the FBI has made national security its highest priority, the Field Intelligence Groups within the DOI have taken lead positions in intelligence gathering and dissemination.

FIG jobs also involve providing critical support functions for major law enforcement operations.  By providing intelligence about the disposition of armed criminals, key points of vulnerability and plans to harm the public, FIGs give field agents the information necessary to develop tactical responses.

Field Intelligence Group Job Description

FIG personnel are expected to master the following skills as part of Field Intelligence jobs:

  • Translate and decrypt communications to and from intelligence targets
  • Question and extract information from criminal suspects, foreign agents and terrorists
  • Develop and conduct intelligence operations that gather critical data about emerging or potential threats to national security
  • Plant or develop intelligence assets within criminal and terrorist networks
  • Present reports with recommendations for strategic, defense or organizational initiatives
  • Evaluate the accuracy and importance of intelligence assets in an ongoing manner
  • Assess and modify the intelligence apparatus of the FBI  in order to ensure nimbleness and efficacy

Field Intelligence Group Salary Data

Field Intelligence Groups support jobs that involve performing specialized functions. The majority of these professionals are Special Agents who have specialized into an intelligence area like analysis or surveillance. Like other Special Agents, they begin their careers in the Bureau at the GS-10 level and may progress up to GS-13 if they remain active in the field.  If they take a supervisor or executive job, they may obtain a GS-14 or GS-15 rating.  The salaries associated with these pay grades in 2012 were:

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

There are also language analysts who work within these units. These interpreters and translators may be Special Agents or they may be contractors who are paid hourly wages.  These wages vary from $27 to $41 per hour, which can translate into annual salaries between $49,571 and $119,935.

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