Job description

Intelligence analysts collect, isolate, analyse and evaluate vital information obtained through surveillance, investigation, intelligence networks and geographic information systems reports. They report, anticipate or prevent organised crime efforts, such as drug trafficking, car theft rings and terrorism.


    • Gather intelligence data – internally or externally – to study terrorist activities or gang violence
    • Compose criminal profiles for present or future investigations
    • Use analytical tools to help predict future organised crime or terrorist efforts
    • Gather, isolate and evaluate communications records to advance an investigation
    • Work with team members to share data, monitor persons of interest or come up with plans
    • Prepare and present reports, charts and maps to high-level officers regarding criminal activity
    • Operate surveillance equipment to intercept and document movements and communications
    • Verify data by cross-checking with other law enforcement sources
    • Decode hidden messages or translate foreign languages into English
    • Utilise intelligence to establish defence plans and tactics to nab and detain suspects
    • Interview witnesses, interrogate suspects and interact with victims for information gathering
    • Design, establish, use or repair computer databases, GPS systems and surveillance technology

Skills and qualities

Critical thinking
Deductive reasoning
Foreign languages

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.


Career progression

An intelligence analyst will start in several entry-level job. With experience, you can eventually climb the intelligence ladder, get transferred to other geographical-specific areas that are tailored to your success or acumen, lead intelligence units or receive a promotion to management.

Working conditions

Average hours

37h/ week

Typical schedule

Shift Work

On a rota

An intelligence analyst works on average 37 hours per week, but there will be many occasions when you will need to put in additional hours, such as during high-pressure situations or crises. Your work schedule may vary based on the specific law enforcement agency or organisation you work for, so you could maintain a flexible schedule, part-time hours or job-sharing.

The working environment of an intelligence analyst will, again, depend on where you work. For the most part, this position will be in an office environment surrounded by computers to access data, communicate with personnel or locate people almost immediately.

With more experience under your belt, you may also enjoy extensive travelling – locally and internationally – if you are investigating crime scenes or interviewing important individuals or entities.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level


Bachelor’s degree in intelligence studies

Study time

4 years

To become an intelligence analyst, you will need to complete a four-year undergraduate programme. Ideally, the bachelor’s degree should specialise in intelligence studies, national security or political science.

Meanwhile, because the industry and world are evolving, many employers are seeking candidates who will continue to expand on their education, such as in cryptography, international studies or virtual currency.

Also, agencies will give preference to applicants who possess foreign or military service.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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