CIA Salary Guide & Career Outlook

All countries have a central intelligence force. The primary CIA career goal is to collect foreign intelligence and report it to the government, policymakers, and upper-level military personnel for those professionals to make decisions. In the United States, the CIA salary is $65,386, and in the United Kingdom, it is E28,927 (E30,727). The pay in Australia is AU$74,216 ($56,367), and in New Zealand, it is NZ$70,691 ($49,752).

This CIA salary guide covers salary ranges in 7 countries and how experience and industry impact that pay. At the conclusion of this article, you should be able to compare different salaries and identify similarities and differences of this job.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make per Year by Country?

CIA Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $24.05 C$29.33* ($21.93) E13.90* ($14.77) AU$35.68 ($27.10) NZ$34.11* ($24.01) Rs 398.87* ($5.98) R95.19* ($7.31)
Annual Pay $65,386 C$61,019 ($45,687) E28,927 ($30,727) AU$74,216 ($56,367) NZ$70,691 ($49,752) Rs 829,652 ($12,431) R198,000 ($15,195)

*These figures are estimated based on the other pay information given. This assumes a 40 hour work week.

make a cia salary

CIA Salary Influencing Factors

The CIA salary for personnel differs significantly based on the value that different countries place on foreign intelligence. While not explicitly labeled as central, there was data about intelligence analysts for all countries except New Zealand. New Zealand had a broader category of intelligence analysts. All of the salary data comes from Payscale.

1. Location

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in the US?

The salary range for CIA agents in the United States ranges from $38,953 to $100,447 with a bonus from $1,006 to $10,748 and profit sharing of $5,000. In addition, those who get paid hourly will make anywhere from $12.30 to $48.62. In total, they can expect a salary of $38,086 to $100,896.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in Canada?

In Canada, these professionals can expect a salary from C$47,344 to C$87,726 and a bonus of C$7,350. The estimated hourly rate based on the annual salary is C$22.76 to C$42.17. Therefore the full CIA agent salary is C$45,719 to C$88,817 dollars.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in the UK?

CIA agents in the United Kingdom can expect a salary of E18,750 to E38,838 and a marginal bonus of E1,500. The converted CIA salary per hour is E9.00 to E18.67. Their overall pay is slightly higher than the base salary at E19,074 to E39,220.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in Australia?

Those who work as CIA agents in Australia earn anywhere from AU$50,684 to AU$96,921. However, there are no reported bonuses or other sources of income. If one looks at the hourly rate, it is estimated to be AU$24.36 to AU$46.59.Their total salary is AU$51,064 to AU$96,424.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in New Zealand?

The general salary for intelligence analysts in New Zealand is NZ$51,467 to NZ$100,591. A bonus of NZ$3,900 has the potential to increase their salary. In fact, the sum of all factors leads to a final salary of NZ$51,647 to NZ$100,591.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in India?

The 10th percentile of earners in India see a salary of Rs 394,530 and the 90th percentile of earners will earn Rs 1,781,750. If they get paid hourly, they earn Rs 189.67 to Rs 856.51. Their total pay is Rs 394,530 to Rs 1,781,750.

How Much Does a CIA Agent Make in South Africa?

CIA agents in South Africa will make from R15,669 to R367,663. A nice bonus of R20,000 could increase the salary. The hourly rate equals R7.53 to R176.76. When you include all sources of income, they earn anywhere from R15,669 to R374,569.

2. Experience

In New Zealand, the entry-level CIA analyst salary is 10 percent below the median. Meanwhile, experienced analysts see income 42 percent above it. Analysts in the United States earn 15 percent below the median at the beginning of their career and 37 percent above the median towards the end of their career. Those who work in the United Kingdom only see a modest increase between those with 5 years of experience and those with at least 10. This increase takes them from 13 percent to 18 percent above the median. In Canada, experience CIA agents see an income 21 percent above the median.

The most common experience level for individuals who submitted their pay information to Payscale is 1-4 years in South Africa, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In India, the most common category was those with 5 to 9 years of experience. 10 to 19 years of experience was the most frequent group in Canada.

3. Industry

In the United States, CIA agents will work for the federal government. However, many intelligence officers are employed by private companies that do intelligence work on behalf of the government.

One of the unique aspects of the industry is the level of secrecy expected. In fact, on the CIA agent job description, there is a notice that says you can discuss nothing about the job or the interview with your family or friends.

All CIA agents should expect to travel and relocate at a moment’s notice. They can work in potentially hazardous situations and need to undergo extensive training to prepare. There is a trend in the United States to privatize intelligence work. In fact, over 70 percent of the intelligence budget went to consulting companies in 2013. These companies may not have the same background standards as the CIA, and the companies need to be concerned with performance in the stock market. Conflicts of interest are always a concern with consulting contracts.

Schedule & Working Hours

The vast majority of CIA agents work full-time. In addition, overtime work is extremely common. They will see additional pay by working nights or evenings, as well as weekends. When looking into working as a CIA agent, it is important to note that the job search can take longer than a year depending on security clearances needed and the nature of the position.

Bonuses & Benefits

There are many benefits to working as a CIA agent. Some of these are that the government will cover moving expenses and pay for dry cleaning. In addition, many of the offices have a fitness center located close by.

Student loans are a significant problem for many students in the United States. The CIA participates in the Education Loan Repayment Aid Plan and provides several additional benefits. That includes vacation, holiday, credit unions, and retirement programs.

In addition to the benefits, there are possible significant bonuses depending on performance and the government budget. The table below shows the healthcare benefits received in various countries.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 86 86 53 13 40 80 63
Dental 77 86 35 13 5 20
Vision 69 81 26 5 20
None 11 5 40 88 55 20 38

Career Outlook

The career outlook for CIA agents in all countries is heavily dependent on the national budget, and the contracts go through negotiation. The overall job growth for police careers in the United States is 4 percent through the year 2024. Frequent job rotation is one of the things expected in the United States. All of these assignments are different from the last and provide engagement with the job.

This is a male dominated profession in all countries except South Africa. In South Africa, the gender ratio is 50 percent male to female. In New Zealand, 64 percent of analysts are male while in the United States that number is 70 percent and in the United Kingdom, it is 77 percent. Canada has the closest gender balance after South Africa at 57 percent male.


CIA agents often have lives of intrigue and danger in movies. In the real world, though, they frequently work behind a desk. However, there is definitely a need for these agents to work in potentially dangerous situations. The base CIA salary is fairly modest, but the only education needed is a bachelor’s degree. There are built in compensation structures to increase the pay. In addition, being able to say that you were employed by the CIA or a similar organization is a very good resume booster. Make sure to check out the police officer salary if you’re looking for exciting fields that aim to defend public safety.

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