Intelligence Officers

Marines Intelligence Officer Coordinates Exercise

Intelligence officers are employed by the federal government to gather, analyze, and report information about the activities of domestic groups and the governments of foreign countries in order to protect the interests and security of the United States. Federal policymakers seek specific information, or strategic intelligence, on a variety of factors concerning foreign nations. These factors include political, economic, military, scientific and technical, geographic, and biographical data. The U.S. government then uses this intelligence, much of which is classified (secret), to help make decisions about its own military, economic, and political policies.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Case Officers, Counterintelligence Agents, Cryptographic Technicians, Strategic Intelligence Agents, Tactical Intelligence Agents, Technical Analysts
Duties Gather and report information on domestic groups, terrorist organizations, and foreign governments to protect the interests and security of the United States; protect U.S. secrets and activities from enemies
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Most opportunities found in the Washington, D.C. area
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Foreign Language
  • Government
  • History
Experience Internship; on-the-job training; previous law enforcement, military, or intelligence experience
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Problem-Solving
  • Realistic
  • Foreign Language
  • Information Management
  • Research
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements Must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen; must pass a background check and medical examination
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Excellent
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Managing Officer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Entry-Level Intelligence Officer