Have you ever wondered how much FBI special agents make? The answer may surprise you. FBI agent salaries can vary depending on a number of factors, including years of experience and the state in which they work.
The Average and Median FBI Agent Salary – the Latest Estimates
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are some of the most highly trained and skilled law enforcement officers in the country. As a result, they’re also some of the highest paid. The available data on FBI agent salaries may not be exact, but we’ve looked at a few sources and found that:
- According to Payscale, the median FBI agent salary is $66,359 per year, or $27.19 per hour. The top 10% make about $116,000 per year, while the bottom 10% make $42,000.
- According to Indeed, the average salary for special agents working at FBI is $72,440 per year. The lowest end of the spectrum is $36,000, while the highest is $110,000.
- The official OPM pay table states that the starting base salary for an FBI special agent falls somewhere between $51,921 and $66,996, depending on their background in law enforcement and history of work with the federal government.
However, salaries can vary depending on experience and location. Agents with more experience and those who work in high-cost-of-living areas, or areas with high crime rates, may earn significantly more than the starting pay. In addition, FBI agents may receive additional pay for hazardous duty or for working overtime. As a result, they can earn a very good salary.
How Do Different Factors Influence FBI Agent Salaries?
There are a number of factors that play into how much an FBI agent can expect to earn. Their experience is what decides their starting base salary in the range we’ve mentioned above. For example, a new special agent with no prior government service will typically make $51,921 annually. The other factors are:
- Locality pay. In certain states and metro areas, agents receive a locality pay adjustment above and beyond their basic salary to account for the highest cost of living. This raises the starting wage to $67,747 – $87,416 in Washington D.C., for instance.
- Availability. Criminal investigators and a few other roles in the FBI that require unscheduled duty receive an additional 25% of the base salary as compensation for the unpredictable hours.
Taking the above into account, all new agent trainees – attending the Basic Field Training Course in Quantico, Virginia – will earn between $84,683 and $109,270 per year in total. Not bad!
As they advance in their jobs, their pay is determined by the General Schedule pay table. Once they’ve completed their training, they’ll make $78,681 – $102,288 annually, or $98,351 – $127,860 with availability pay. With further promotions, the FBI agent salary rises steadily. The FBI Senior Executive Service level has a base salary of $160,100 – $219,200 (with availability pay: $200,125 – $274,000).
What Does an FBI Agent Do?
FBI agents are responsible for investigating a variety of federal crimes. Common examples include terrorism, espionage, and bank robbery. In addition to conducting investigations, special agents also provide support to other law enforcement agencies and offer training on a variety of topics related to federal crime.
Is a Special Agent Job the Right Career for You?
The FBI is always looking for talented and qualified individuals to join its ranks as special agents. If you’re interested in a career that’s both challenging and exciting, and you meet the basic requirements, then a job as an FBI agent may be right for you.
The FBI agent salary is quite good, and with additional pay available for overtime and hazardous duty, agents can earn a very comfortable living. In addition, the job is interesting and varied, and offers opportunities for advancement.
However, it’s important to note that the job is not without its challenges. Special agents often work long hours and are required to travel frequently. They must also be able to handle stress and deal with difficult situations. If you’re up for the challenge, this career may be just what you’re looking for.
How to Become an FBI Agent?
In order to become a special agent at the FBI, you must be a U.S. citizen and meet a number of other eligibility requirements, some of which are:
- being between 23 and 36 years of age;
- having a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree;
- having at least two years’ experience of full-time professional work;
- having a valid driver’s license and six years of experience driving.
You must also complete the rigorous FBI training academy, which is among the most challenging law enforcement academies in the country. Once you’ve completed your training and been assigned to a field office, you’ll work closely with other law enforcement agencies to investigate federal crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Have We Satisfied Your Curiosity about FBI Agent Salaries?
We hope so! If you have any additional questions or would like to know more about a specific aspect of the FBI agent salary, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Do you think this is the right career for you?