CIA AGENT SALARY: How Much Do CIA Agents Make in 2023?

CIA Agent Salary
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The acronym CIA stands for Central Intelligence Agency. Its mission is to gather, analyze, and disseminate foreign intelligence in order to aid the government and the president in dealing with foreign matters. In other words, they act as spies in the United States’ security apparatus. They can carry out clandestine operations at the president’s request, but they cannot decide policy. In this guide, we take a look at an undercover CIA agent salary, the highest paid, and how to become one either in California or any other country.

What Does a CIA Agent Do?

A CIA agent is a federal employee who collects and analyzes intelligence data related to national security. Some CIA agents work abroad to obtain foreign intelligence, but the vast majority work in the United States. Your responsibilities as a CIA agent will vary depending on your role, however, they may include:

  • Data collection and analysis that may be relevant to national security
  • Examining foreign newspapers, periodicals, and other media sources for information on prospective intelligence sources
  • Examining satellite pictures to detect possibly dangerous activity
  • Deciphering coded messages sent by foreign governments in search of sensitive information
  • assessing the trustworthiness of information gained from a foreign source
  • Creating reports for appropriate government agencies based on data collected
  • researching and creating information-gathering technologies
  • Collaboration with other authorities to aid in the investigation of international crime and terrorism

CIA Agent Salary

The average monthly salary for CIA agent jobs in the United States is $7,337 as of May 11, 2023.

While we have seen monthly salary as high as $11,792 and as low as $2,625, the bulk of CIA agent jobs pays between $6,125 (25th percentile) and $8,250 (75th percentile) across the United States. The average salary range for a CIA agent employment varies significantly (by up to $2,125), implying that there may be several prospects for growth and greater income based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

The CIA agent job market in Atlanta, California, GA, and the surrounding area is quite busy, with persons working in the Cia category earning an average monthly pay of $7,648 in your area, which is $311 (4%) higher than the national average monthly salary of $7,337. Georgia ranks 48th out of 50 states in terms of CIA agent salaries.

We regularly monitor its database of millions of active jobs advertised locally throughout states including California and all over America to determine the most accurate monthly salary range for CIA agent positions.

What are the Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Cia Jobs?

We’ve identified ten cities where the average CIA agent salary is higher than the national average. Green River, WY tops the list, with Santa Clara, CA, and San Francisco, CA close behind in second and third place. San Francisco, CA outperforms the national average by $13,895 (15.8%), and Green River, WY outperforms the national average by another $25,840 (29.3%).

With average incomes higher than the national average in these ten cities, the chances for economic progress by shifting locales in the CIA jobs category appear to be extremely profitable.

Finally, the average pay for these top 10 cities differs relatively little at 15% between Green River, WY, and Germantown, MD, emphasizing the limited opportunity for wage advancement. When comparing location and compensation for a CIA post, the likelihood of a cheaper cost of living may be the most important thing to consider.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Green River, WY$113,894$9,491$2,190$54.76
Santa Clara, CA$104,911$8,742$2,017$50.44
San Francisco, CA$101,949$8,495$1,960$49.01
Washington, DC$101,367$8,447$1,949$48.73
Los Angeles, CA$99,986$8,332$1,922$48.07
Jersey City, NJ$99,868$8,322$1,920$48.01
Fremont, CA$99,678$8,306$1,916$47.92
Marysville, WA$98,671$8,222$1,897$47.44
Bridgeport, CT$97,542$8,128$1,875$46.90
Germantown, MD$97,492$8,124$1,874$46.87

We discovered at least five positions in the CIA job category that pay more per year than the average CIA income. These positions include CIA Cyber Security, CIA Logistics, and CIA Lawyer.

These example jobs pay between $4,054 (4.6%) and $40,816 (46.4%) more than the average CIA agent salary of $88,054. If you are qualified, being hired for one of these linked CIA jobs may allow you to earn more money than the average CIA post.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Cia Cyber Security$128,870$10,739$2,478$61.96
Cia Logistics$119,559$9,963$2,299$57.48
Cia Lawyer$97,846$8,153$1,881$47.04
Cia Rn$93,230$7,769$1,792$44.82
Cia Engineering$92,108$7,675$1,771$44.28

The pay and tasks of CIA operatives vary depending on their job title. Minimum requirements include U.S. citizenship, a high school diploma, and the age of 18. A background investigation, polygraph test, and medical exam are also required of applicants.

#1. Special Agents

According to the CIA website, a Special undercover CIA agent earned a salary between $74,872 and $155,500 per year while working under the agency’s inspector general. They perform sensitive investigations within the CIA investigating law infractions, abuse of authority, mismanagement, waste, and public risk. They might work as individuals or as members of investigative teams. A bachelor’s degree and at least five years of expertise in difficult investigations are required. Agents must be able to organize and analyze data, as well as form-critical findings for an investigation, often under time constraints. They must also display diplomacy and caution in their negotiation skills.

#2. Protective Agents

A protective and undercover CIA agent earned a salary between $50,408 and $95,206 per year. They assist in protective activities that can last 45 to 60 days or more and can travel widely both domestically and abroad as members of the Directorate of Assist. Candidates must be at least 21 years old, physically healthy, and have a driver’s license as well as a high school diploma or equivalent. A minimum of seven years of experience in military, security, or law enforcement jobs, especially in special operations or protective operations branches, is necessary. It is preferable to have a bachelor’s degree. Previous deployment in a conflict zone, report writing, professional medical experience, and managerial background are all advantages.

#3. Paramilitary Officers

Paramilitary officers were paid their salary between $58,511 and $81,204 per year. They work for the Clandestine Service in Washington, D.C., and around the world. They manage intelligence operations and activities in potentially hazardous situations for government authorities. As a result, they employ media, technical, and military abilities such as aviation and psychological warfare. A bachelor’s degree is required, as well as experience in military special operations or combat weaponry and combat command. Foreign travel and language skills are valuable qualities. The applicant’s maximum age is 35, however, this might be waived.

#4. Clandestine Service Officers

An undercover agent in the Clandestine CIA Service had a salary of $52,976 and $81,204. They must join the military as a trainee. Those with a bachelor’s degree and business or military experience can apply to the Clandestine Service Program, while those with a degree but no experience can apply to the Professional Trainee Program. A GPA of 3.0 or better is preferred, as is language fluency in Arabic, Chinese, Persian, Russian, or Turkish. Agents discreetly analyze, develop, recruit, and manage foreign nationals with access to critical foreign intelligence on national security matters after graduation.

How to Become a CIA Agent

To gain employment, these professions are frequently expected to have specific levels of education, complete specialized training, and pass numerous tests. If you want to work as a CIA agent, here are some measures you should take:

#1. Earn a bachelor’s degree

A degree in law enforcement, criminal justice, or a comparable discipline is beneficial for a career as a CIA operative. However, depending on where you wish to work within the CIA, a degree in computer science or another discipline may be advantageous. Applicants for CIA agent positions must typically have a GPA of 3.0 or better from a recognized college.

#2. Consider earning a master’s degree

The CIA does not require a master’s degree, but the higher your education, the better your chances of employment. Your earnings and possibilities may also grow as your education level increases. A master’s degree in a specific sector such as security, technology, or international affairs can also provide you with a better foundation and improved abilities for your work.

#3. Become fluent in one or two foreign languages

Positions as a CIA operative in a foreign country may need you to be fluent in more than one language. Because of the intelligence work being done in these locations, Middle Eastern and Asian languages such as Arabic, Korean, Russian, and Japanese are very important. Agents who are fluent in one or more foreign languages can also assist in translating foreign documents, periodicals, and other forms of communication and media that may be important to an investigation. Foreign language proficiency is also required if you operate in clandestine services as a foreign national.

#4. Gain relevant experience

While not essential, prior experience in the military, security, or law enforcement is advantageous. Because the CIA is concerned with national security, any background in security or national service is advantageous. Any prior experience living and working in a foreign nation is also beneficial. A number of CIA operatives work abroad, thus experience adapting to a new culture is advantageous.

#5. Complete the required testing and medical examinations

Every potential agent is subjected to a rigorous background check as well as a drug test. You may also be required to undergo a polygraph exam and consent to a credit check. It is critical that your criminal record is clean and that you are clear of anything that could pose a risk to the agency.

#6. Finish an internal training program

If your application is accepted, you will be subjected to an internal training program. In addition to basic policy and procedural training, you will receive service-specific training. The Clandestine Service Trainee Program, which lasts 18 months, will prepare you for clandestine service (or the directorate of operations (DO). You will complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program if you work in investigations.

What is the Highest CIA Salary?

The highest reported salary offered to someone who knows the CIA is $225k. Employees in the top 10% earn more than $185k per year. The richest 1% make more than $219,000 per year.

Is it Hard to Get into the CIA?

If you read the prerequisites, you’ll notice that getting into the CIA is quite difficult, especially if you want to be one of the 10% of CIA officers who are field agents. Your prospects will improve significantly if you are honest with yourself about who you are and what you are capable of.

How Do CIA Agents Get Hired?

Receiving an invitation to apply for a specific position is part of the hiring process. Screening, testing, and interviews were done successfully. You will be given a Conditional Offer of Employment (COE). Complete and submit COE documentation (SF-86, etc.) successfully.

Can CIA Agents Drink Alcohol?

Yes, and depending on the assignment, they are particularly trained and can drink most other individuals under the table even when on assignment. Of course, this is only true for specific field agents.

What can Disqualify You From the CIA?

Recent criminal or immoral actions may preclude you from receiving a clearance. Pending criminal charges, felony convictions, and a dishonorable discharge are all examples. In addition, illicit downloading of copyrighted material may be an issue.

What Agency is Higher than the CIA?

The Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA) is the highest-ranking military official of these agencies and also acts as Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and Commander of the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).

What is the Age Limit for the CIA?

To apply, you must be at least 18 years old. With the exception of operations, there is no upper age limit for any position at the CIA.


A career as a CIA agent is an extremely exciting and rewarding profession that is best suited for persons with a strong sense of patriotism, dedication, and commitment to national security. The position provides a rare chance to be directly involved in preserving US interests both at home and overseas.

While the wage range for CIA Agents varies, it is crucial to note that the true worth of such a vocation resides in the captivating work and the significant influence their contribution has on the nation’s safety and prosperity.


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