The FBI is a highly respected organization that employs some of the country’s top minds.
If you are interested in becoming an FBI agent, you may be wondering how much money you can expect to make.
According to payscale.com, the average salary for an agent currently stands at $66,524.
However, this number can vary greatly depending on your experience and position within the bureau.
Keep reading to learn more about FBI agent salaries and what you can do to increase your earning potential!
Table of Contents
What is an FBI Agent?
Before we dive into salaries, let’s first take a look at what an FBI agent actually is.
FBI agents are federal law enforcement officers who investigate crimes and gather intelligence for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
They may specialize in areas such as counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cybercrime, or white-collar crime.
FBI agents typically have a college degree in a related field, such as criminal justice or criminology.
They must also undergo extensive training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Once they have completed their training, FBI agents are required to maintain their skills through regular physical fitness and firearms training.
In addition, they must adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct. FBI agents are expected to be honest, reliable, and dedicated to the mission of protecting the American people.
What Is The Average Salary of an FBI Agent?
As we mentioned earlier, the average salary for an FBI agent is $66,524.
However, this number can vary depending on your experience and position within the bureau.
For example, a special agent with several years of experience may earn a significantly higher salary than a new agent just out of the Academy.
In addition, agents who work in high-risk positions or on sensitive cases may receive a higher salary than those who do not.
Watch The Video On How to Become an FBI Agent in 2022
How Can I Increase My Earning Potential as an FBI Agent?
There are a few things you can do to increase your earning potential as an FBI agent.
First, take on a supervisory or management position. Agents who supervise other agents or manage investigations earn a higher salary than those who do not.
In addition, you can increase your salary by taking on additional responsibilities, such as learning a foreign language or becoming an expert in a particular area of criminal investigation.
You can also earn a higher salary by transferring to a larger bureau or field office.
For example, agents who work in New York City or Los Angeles typically earn more than those working in smaller cities.
Finally, you can increase your salary by working overtime or taking on hazardous duty assignments.
While these assignments may be dangerous, they typically come with a pay increase.
What Do FBI Agents Do?
FBI agents are responsible for investigating federal crimes and gathering evidence to support the prosecution of suspects.
In order to carry out these duties, agents must complete a wide range of tasks, including:
- Interviewing witnesses and victims
- Collecting and preserving evidence
- Conducting surveillance
- Executing search warrants
- Making arrests
In addition to their investigative duties, FBI agents also provide support to other law enforcement agencies and take on special assignments as needed.
As a result, FBI agents must be highly skilled in a variety of areas in order to be successful in their jobs.
The FBI officially serves as the investigative arm of the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
The organization is tasked with enforcing the law and protecting the US from domestic and international threats.
In order to carry out its mission, the FBI employs over 35,000+ people, including agents, analysts, linguists, and support staff.
What are the roles of an FBI agent?
The specific duties of an FBI agent depend on their position within the bureau. An FBI agent’s most important function is usually to be an investigator.
The majority of FBI agents are assigned to local offices throughout the United States, although they may also work at major regional headquarters like the FBI headquarters in Washington DC.
Agents can be assigned to general investigatory tasks depending on their field office location.
They may also be assigned to collaborate on specific criminal investigations based on their experiences and interests.
What Advance Degrees or Qualifications are Needed to Become an FBI Agent?
Almost all FBI special agents hold a bachelor’s degree in a criminology-related discipline.
Agents must complete and pass rigorous physical training requirements.
The typical workday for an FBI agent includes fieldwork, travel, and long hours at the office.
What are some More Job Duties of an FBI Agent?
FBI agents have a wide range of responsibilities, from investigating federal crimes to providing support to other law enforcement agencies.
One of their most important duties is to identify case issues and evidence-based on complaints, charges, or allegations of violations.
This involves reviewing reports and documentation, as well as conducting interviews with potential witnesses or suspects.
Once they have gathered all the relevant information, they prepare detailed reports of their findings.
Another key responsibility of FBI agents is to search for and collect evidence, such as fingerprints, DNA samples, and computer records.
This evidence is then used to help build a case against the suspects. In addition, FBI agents also interview suspects and witnesses to obtain and verify the information.
This information is then used to determine what charges should be filed against the suspect.
Common Health Benefits for an FBI Agent
Below is a list of typical benefits an FBI agent may receive:
Medical insurance is a key benefit that FBI agents receive. This coverage typically includes hospitalization, prescription drugs, and preventive care.
Dental insurance is another common benefit that FBI agents receive. This coverage typically includes routine dental care, such as cleanings and X-rays, as well as more extensive procedures, such as fillings and crowns.
FBI agents also typically receive vision insurance, which covers the cost of vision exams and corrective lenses.
Life insurance is another benefit that FBI agents may receive. This coverage typically provides a death benefit to the agent’s beneficiaries in the event of their death.
FBI agents are also eligible for retirement benefits. These benefits typically include a pension, which is a fixed sum of money paid out each month, and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is a tax-deferred savings plan.
Some of the other benefits and perks that FBI agents receive include:
Paid Time Off (PTO)
FBI agents typically receive paid time off, which can be used for vacation, sick days, or personal days.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
FBI agents may also be able to participate in flexible spending accounts, which allow them to set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible medical and child care expenses.
FBI agents may also be eligible for tuition reimbursement, which can help cover the cost of taking courses related to their job or advancing their education.
What is the Job Outlook for FBI Agents?
The job outlook for FBI agents is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs for agents will grow by about five percent between 2019 and 2029.
This growth is due in part to the increasing focus on national security and counterterrorism. In addition, as the population continues to grow, there will be a need for more FBI agents to investigate crimes and provide support to other law enforcement agencies.
If you are interested in becoming an FBI agent, you can expect to earn a competitive salary and receive benefits that include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, as well as retirement benefits.
What is The Gender Breakdown for FBI Agents?
The FBI employs over 13,000+ Special Agents, who are tasked with conducting investigations and gathering evidence.
According to the most recent data, 71.1% of agents are male and 28.9% are female. In addition, the FBI employs a significant number of support staff, who play an important role in assisting agents with their work.
While the majority of FBI agents are still male, the agency has been working to increase gender diversity in recent years.
In 2015, the FBI launched a targeted recruitment effort to encourage more women to join the agency.
As a result of these efforts, the percentage of female agents has slowly but steadily increased in recent years.
What Are Popular Skills for FBI Agents?
Below is a list of popular skills for FBI agents:
Investigative Skills: FBI agents need to be able to conduct investigations, gather evidence, and solve crimes.
Communication Skills: FBI agents need to be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally.
Interpersonal Skills: FBI agents need to be able to interact with a wide range of people, including witnesses, suspects, and victims.
Critical Thinking Skills: FBI agents need to be able to think critically in order to solve crimes.
Observation Skills: FBI agents need to have keen observation skills in order to notice details that others may miss.
Intelligence Analysis: FBI agents need to be able to analyze intelligence in order to identify trends and patterns.
Security Risk Management: FBI agents need to be able to identify and assess security risks.
Leadership Skills: FBI agents need to be able to lead other agents and support staff.
What are Skills That Affect FBI Agent Salaries?
Your earnings are influenced by a number of factors. The following are the most common skills and how much they affect your salary.
- Web Security & Encryption: 14%
- Intelligence Analysis: 4%
- Criminal Investigation: 5%
- Foreign Languages (Latin based): 1%
- Leadership: 14%
What are the Popular Career Paths for FBI Agents?
The FBI offers a variety of career paths for individuals with a passion for justice and a desire to serve their country.
Some of the most popular career paths for FBI agents include Private Detective or Investigator, Background Investigator, Fraud Investigator, and Detective or Criminal Investigator.
Each of these career paths offers its own unique set of challenges and rewards. For example, Private Detectives or Investigators often work closely with clients to solve crimes or locate missing persons.
Background Investigators are responsible for conducting extensive research into the backgrounds of potential FBI employees.
Fraud Investigators use their skills to uncover fraudulent activities and bring those responsible to justice.
And finally, Detective or Criminal Investigators use their knowledge of forensic science and criminal procedure to solve crimes.
No matter which career path you choose, working as an FBI agent is a rewarding way to serve your community and your country.
FBI Agent Salaries By Location
Below is a list of FBI Agent salaries for various cities across the United States:
FBI Agent employees in San Francisco, California earn an average of 21.7% more than the national average.
These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Atlanta, Georgia (11.2% more) and Seattle, Washington (9.0% more).
The lowest salaries can be found in Dallas, Texas (22.6% less), New York, New York (3.4% less) and Los Angeles, California (1.5% less).
- New York, New York ▼ 3%
- Washington, District of Columbia ▲ 4%
- Los Angeles, California ▼ 2%
- Dallas, Texas ▼ 23%
- Atlanta, Georgia ▲ 11%
- San Francisco, California ▲ 22%
- Seattle, Washington ▲ 9%
- Quantico, Virginia ▼ 15%
- Detroit, Michigan ▼ 2%
- Houston, Texas ▲ 47%
- Chicago, Illinois ▲ 29%
- Miami, Florida ▼ NaN%
- Tampa, Florida ▲ 16%
- San Diego, California ▼ 2%
- Austin, Texas ▼ 15%
- Boston, Massachusetts ▲ 43%
- Nashville, Tennessee ▼ 5%
- Florida, Florida ▼ NaN%
- Louisville, Kentucky ▼ 2%
- Columbia, South Carolina ▼ 25%
- El Paso, Texas ▼ 2%
- San Antonio, Texas ▲ 51%
- Salt Lake City, Utah ▼ 25%
- Richmond, Virginia ▼ 32%
- Arlington, Virginia ▼ 20%
- Greenville, South Carolina ▼ 6%
- Buffalo, New York ▼ 2%
- Newark, New Jersey ▲ 11%
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ▼ 9%
- Raleigh, North Carolina ▼ 12%
- Virginia, Minnesota ▲ 68%
- Jacksonville, Florida ▲ 9%
- Kansas City, Kansas ▲ 65%
- Illinois City, Illinois ▼ 17%
- Phoenix, Arizona ▲ 8%
- Fort Worth, Texas▲ 43%
FBI Agent Related Job Salaries
Below are salaries for other job titles that are related to FBI Agent:
- Intelligence Analyst: $75,487+
- Security Risk Manager: $85,276+
- Criminal Investigator: $79,184+
- Detective or Criminal Investigator: $81,920+
- Fraud Investigator: $63,697+
- Background Investigator: $59,335+
- Operations Manager Avg. Salary $44k+
- Retail Store Manager Avg. Salary $35k+
- Executive Director Avg. Salary $46k+
- Production Supervisor Avg. Salary $46k+
- Restaurant Manager Avg. Salary $35k+
- General Manager, Restaurant Avg. Salary $36k+
- Human Resources (HR) Director Avg. Salary $57k+
- Operations Supervisor Avg. Salary $44k+
- Retail Store Assistant Manager Avg. Salary $32k+
Frequently Asked Questions
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the most popular and well-known law enforcement agencies in the world.
Particular to its notoriety is how little information it releases about how much its agents make or what they do on a daily basis.
So, how much does an FBI agent make? What are some common questions people ask about how much an FBI agent makes? We’ll answer all these questions and more!
Do FBI agents get paid a salary?
Yes, they are on the federal government payroll.
How much do FBI agents make?
Agents typically start at GS-11 and move up from there depending on how long they’ve been working for the Bureau (although it is possible to be hired as an agent straight out of college).
The average salary starts around $66k+ per year with some earning substantially more depending on your level of experience, promotion, etc.
It’s difficult to calculate exactly how much someone might earn because pay rates depend on experience, education level, location in which he/she works, how many hours he/she puts in each day…etc.
What does an FBI special agent’s salary look like?
It varies depending on how long you’ve been an agent. Agents start as GS-11, and when they reach the top level of pay for their grade (GS-13) after 15 years on the job, he/she can make around $100k+ per year.
How much do FBI agents in Washington, DC make?
This is a difficult question to answer because it will depend based on how many hours each employee works each week, how experienced that individual may be with the Bureau…etc.
Do female FBI agents get paid less than men?
No! There are no gender biases or discrimination within this federal agency which has led to some amazing changes not only in how women are treated but also how society views them overall–and how women view themselves.
What is the salary range for FBI agents?
It varies how much an FBI agent makes, but it can be anywhere from $65k to over $100k+ per year based on how long they’ve been working and how experienced or qualified that individual may be with regard to their job position in particular.
How do you become an FBI special agent?
Applicants first have to go through a rigorous application process which includes background check and drug test among other things before being accepted into training at the Academy–where they will undergo extensive physical fitness tests, skills-based assessments, psychological testing…etc., all of which take about six months worth (full time) of work in order to graduate as a fully-fledged FBI agent.
How do you become an FBI special agent without a degree?
You cannot become an FBI agent with a degree. You need a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in order to become an FBI agent. You can be hired as an agent straight out of college if you have a college degree.
If I have military experience, will that benefit me when applying to the Bureau?
Yes! The extensive skillset learned through years of service will not only give you more credibility among your peers but could also help make up for some of the gaps in experience that you might have if you’re not currently employed as an agent.
Do FBI agents put themselves in danger?
Yes! Agents put their lives at risk every single day when they go out into the field because terrorism doesn’t just happen overseas–it also happens here domestically too so there’s no such thing as a ‘safe’ job.
Do FBI agents get paid more than local law enforcement officers?
Yes! Most federal agencies pay their employees significantly higher salaries than what you would find at the state or local level.
Do female FBI agents get paid less than men?
No! There are no gender biases or discrimination within this federal agency.
How long does it take to become an FBI special agent?
The entire process from start to finish (including the time it takes to complete training) can take about two years. However, the average length
How much do FBI agents make in New York?
The average salary for an FBI Agent in New York is $80,000+. However, salaries will vary based on experience, qualifications, and more.
Do FBI agents get paid well?
Yes! FBI agent salaries are competitive with other federal agencies and they’re able to offer entry-level agents much more money than local law enforcement agencies.
What is the highest paid FBI agent?
Each FBI agent has a different salary and it can vary how much an employee in this position is paid, but if you know how long the person has been with the Bureau…you may be able to get a ballpark idea. However, $130k-$200k+ is normal for a top-level FBI agent.
How much do FBI agents make 2022?
This is a tough question to answer because of how much an FBI agent makes changes all the time.
But it typically starts around $66k+ per year, which can increase over time and with experience too.
Is it hard to become an FBI agent?
Yes! The FBI has the strictest and most demanding application process of all federal agencies.
You must pass a rigorous background check, drug test, physical fitness tests…etc., before being accepted into training at the Academy which takes about six months (full-time) worth of work in order to graduate as an official agent.
How much do CIA agents get paid?
CIA agents typically make between $50k-$100k+ per year.
Is the FBI test hard?
The FBI Special Agent written test is a difficult exam that requires applicants to be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the law, how to detect liars, and how to use advanced reasoning skills in order to solve problems.
How do you get promoted with the FBI?
When an agent has been working for five years, they can apply for a promotion to the next level.
Promotion is based on how well an agent has done in their position as well as how long they’ve been with the Bureau–plus if you’re already a special agent, then it’s a lot easier to get promoted than if you’re still working your way up from field or support positions.
Do FBI agents need any prior experience?
Yes! The majority of agents have some form of experience before they are able to apply for an FBI agent position.
This could be in law enforcement, the military, or as a federal officer, which typically requires at least five years on-the-job with good performance reviews and then you can consider applying for this type of work.
What GPA do you need to be an FBI agent?
Applicants must maintain a 3.0-grade point average throughout the application process (or, for collegiate hires, until graduation). Honors interns are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program.
What does an FBI agent do?
FBI agents are sworn federal officers who conduct investigations into any criminal activity that has violated U.S. Federal Laws (which includes terrorism investigations).
They also provide protection to government officials and VIPs, plus they are often involved in training new law enforcement officers too.
What are the benefits of being an FBI agent?
In addition to a competitive salary, FBI agents also receive great benefits including health and life insurance, a retirement plan, paid vacation and sick leave, and more.
Plus, agents get to experience a wide variety of work and they have the opportunity to travel both domestically and internationally.
How many FBI agents are there?
The FBI employs more than 35,000 people, including special agents and support professionals such as intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, and information technology specialists.
The FBI has field offices throughout the United States and in more than 50 foreign countries.
These employees are located in all 50 states as well as in Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Plus, the FBI has over 60 field offices located throughout the United States and in several international locations too.
What are some divisions within the FBI?
The Criminal, Cyber, Counterintelligence, and International Operations Divisions are just a few of the many divisions within the FBI.
Each one is responsible for investigating specific types of crimes or threats to national security.
Plus, there are also several administrative divisions that support the work of agents too.
What is the difference between the FBI and the CIA?
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has jurisdiction over federal crimes, while The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) focuses on international intelligence.
They are two different agencies with their own set of responsibilities–although they do sometimes overlap in how they operate because when you work for one agency, you are bound to have some contact with the other.
What was an FBI hair analysis?
Hair Analysis is how long and how often a person combs his or her hair, how much of their physical activity they engage in, what type of clothes they wear (which can change hairstyles), how dirty or clean their environment is…etc. These are all factors in how often certain hairs grow and how long they can be.
What is the work environment like for FBI agents?
FBI agents usually work as part of a team and oftentimes they’ll be working with other federal agencies to promote inter-agency cooperation.
They also have opportunities to travel abroad on assignments, which can be exciting but it’s important that you’re willing to relocate to wherever you’re assigned.
What do FBI agents have to go through in order to apply?
FBI recruits are required to complete a rigorous application process before they can be considered for employment with the Bureau–including personal interviews, passing a background check, and physical fitness tests (like how long it takes them to run or how high they can leap).
where do I go to apply to become an FBI agent?
You can find more information about how to apply on the FBI website here