How Do I Become An Intelligence Analyst?

Intelligence analysts are critical to the functioning of the government. An intelligence analyst may work in the army, homeland security, FBI or other branch of the government. Politicians in high-powered positions will usually work directly with intelligence analysts in order to make very important decisions for the country. If you like the idea of being able to influence policy and protect the country at the same time, then a career as an intelligence analyst may be right for you.

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What’s it like to be an intelligence analyst?

Being an intelligence analyst is like being a spy. One should be prepared to be called upon in any moment to analyze new data. Intelligence analysts frequently have the mission of keeping an eye on international terrorism and ensuring the protection of the country. Since the stakes are so high in this career, there is often a lot of pressure that intelligence analysts deal with on a daily basis. They may have to report to supervisors who hold them to very high levels of professional conduct. One may not discuss his or her job with the outside world, and this can frequently cause conflicts for intelligence analysts. Intelligence analysts will frequently draft reports and recommendations based upon the information that they receive. They may also be required to attend additional training and courses taught by other intelligence analysts in the field. If you want to become an intelligence analyst, you should be prepared to maintain a high level of secrecy about your profession.

Education Requirements

To become an intelligence analyst, you should possess an undergraduate degree from college. The typical job candidate will have pursued a degree in forensics, psychology or social sciences. You should be adept at understanding human nature, as well as synthesizing a large volume of information. You should also have strong writing skills in being part of this field. You will be required to draft memos and present them to a supervisor. Because there is difficult competition for these types of careers, the typical applicant usually has another degree, whether it is a Master’s degree, law degree or doctoral degree. Even in having these educational qualifications, the FBI and other governmental units have their own programs that you will complete before you can do assignments.

Salary & Job Opportunities

The starting salary for an intelligence analyst is about $86,000 a year. If you work in the FBI, then your salary will be higher than if you had worked for the army. An intelligence analyst may also be promoted to oversight positions depending on the quality of his or her work. There are currently plenty of opportunities to enter this field in the government. With the spread of cyberterrorism, there is a growing demand of intelligence agents who know how to use the Internet in order to find criminals. Those who have strong social media skills will also be able to find jobs in this field. If you are open to traveling, then you may find that you have additional career opportunities. Intelligence analysts frequently have to travel to other countries in order to gather and transmit data.


Becoming an intelligence analyst can be a very fulfilling career. It is exciting to know that your work has an impact on the policy decisions that politicians make at all levels. You can also experience the thrill of gathering data through a wiretap or in being sent on a secret mission from the government. People who want to become an intelligence analyst frequently have a strong sense of commitment to their country and want to help in the protection of their country.