How Much Do FBI Agents Make?

fbi agent job descriptionFBI agents work under the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. The Bureau is the national security organization of the US with law enforcement and intelligence responsibilities.

Agents gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes and enforce many different federal laws. Among their duties include executing a search warrant, gathering intelligence on illegal activities, testifying in court, making an arrest, and doing paperwork. Some of the their specialized areas include training, lab services, and fingerprinting.

FBI agents work full time and in shifts, and often have an average of 50-hour workweeks. They must be available to the Bureau 24/7 and report to duty when needed.

FBI Agent Salary

How much do FBI agents make? The average FBI agents salary is $81,920 or an equivalent of $39.38 per hour.

An FBI agent starting salary depends on a number of factors such as tenure, experience, and the state of employment. Certain states like New York pay an average starting salary that is higher than the national average for FBI agents.

fbi agent salaryAgents who work beyond the normal 50-hour workweek also earn higher than the average agent. Those who have been working in the Bureau for more than 10 years also earn higher than the average.

Certain levels and the hierarchy of positions also have different annual average salaries, and those how have supervisory and managerial positions earn more than the average FBI agent.

Agents who are reassigned to a different city, state, or location, are also entitled to relocation bonuses, which can increase the agent’s annual average salary.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
California FlagCalifornia0.25$59.93$124,650
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey0.71$59.79$124,360
New York FlagNew York1.40$50.83$105,730
Oregon FlagIllinois0.90$47.90$99,630
Nevada FlagNevada0.67
$47.57
$98,950

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Federal Executive Branch0.31$56.02$116,530
State Government0.59$40.75$84,750
Postal Service0.03$40.73$84,720
Local Government1.49$39.45$82,050
Colleges – Universities – and Professional Schools0.08$34.99$72,780

FBI Agent Job Description

what does an fbi agent doWhat does an FBI agent do? FBI agents work under the principal investigative arm of the US Department of Justice and it is their mission to protect and defend the US versus terrorist and foreign threats. They also uphold and implement criminal laws of the United States.

A total of 13,598 FBI agents are employed in the Bureau.

Agents gather facts and collect evidence of possible cases assigned to them, and amongst their duties are: making an arrest, gathering intelligence, provide other law enforcement agencies with cooperative services, gather, share, and analyze intelligence, support investigations, and perform specific duties such as fingerprint identification, lab exams, and training.

Agents may make arrests when crimes are committed in their presence, or when they have reasonable grounds to confirm that a person has committed a felony violation. They can only make arrests in the US and its territories.

FBI agents must have good physical stamina and strength to meet the daily demands of the job. They must be physically and mentally alert at all times, and strong enough to apprehend offenders.

Agents are also provided with Bureau-issued or approved handguns, and may be issued additional equipment. They are required to be armed at all times, since they are often at risk for encountering physical injuries on the job. In fact, FBI agents have one of the highest rates of injuries across all occupations.

Their job is often stressful but most FBI agents find their occupation fulfilling and rewarding when they help keep members of the community safe from threat and danger. Agents typically have 50-hour workweeks and even when their shift is done, they must be on-call 24/7 in cases of emergencies and breakthroughs in the cases they’re working on.

An agent’s work environment involves working inside an office for processing paperwork and documentation, as well as in the field when gathering intelligence and making arrests. They can also be assigned to do undercover work wherein they have to stay at a specific location for long amounts of time and at several cases for over few days or weeks.

FBI Agent Job Outlook

The projected increase in FBI agent employment from 2016 to 2026 is 7%, which is the same as the national average.

There is a projected increase in the demand for public safety but this varies depending on location, state, and local and national budgets.

Since the projected increase of jobs is lower than the national average, employment for those seeking to be FBI agents is seen to be highly competitive in the coming years. Those who have law degrees, accounting, or engineering degrees are more desirable in terms of employment.

FBI Agent Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama0.665$30.08$62,560
Alaska FlagAlaska0.945$46.81$97,370
Arizona FlagArizona1.107$41.49$86,300
Arkansas FlagArkansas0.962$25.13$52,270
California FlagCalifornia0.248$59.93$124,650
Colorado flagColorado0.598$44.37$92,300
Connecticut FlagConnecticut1.079$41.74$86,810
Delaware flagDelaware0.744$45.78$95,220
Florida FlagFlorida0.536$43.06$89,570
Georgia FlagGeorgia1.049$28.99$60,290
Hawaii FlagHawaii1.198$43.65$90,780
Idaho FlagIdaho1.08$33.74$70,180
Illinois FlagIllinois0.898$47.90$99,630
Indiana FlagIndiana0.513$31.49$65,500
Iowa FlagIowa0.525$33.43$69,540
Kansas FlagKansas1.06$30.81$64,080
Kentucky FlagKentucky0.784$30.69$63,840
Louisiana FlagLouisiana1.036$29.54$61,440
Maine FlagMaine0.567$29.98$62,360
Maryland FlagMaryland1.379$42.09$87,540
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts1.263$42.11$87,590
Michigan FlagMichigan0.715$36.27$75,440
Minnesota FlagMinnesota0.857$39.64$82,450
Mississippi FlagMississippi0.756$25.92$53,910
Missouri FlagMissouri0.917$33.38$69,430
Montana FlagMontana0.569$32.29$67,170
Nebraska FlagNebraska0.725$35.42$73,680
Nevada FlagNevada0.673$47.57$98,950
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire0.769$36.03$74,950
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey0.706$59.79$124,360
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico0.859$31.83$66,210
New York FlagNew York1.401$50.83$105,730
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina0.978$30.05$62,490
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota0.42$34.20$71,130
Ohio FlagOhio0.507$35.74$74,340
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma0.696$32.88$68,400
Oregon FlagOregon0.69$43.12$89,700
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania0.518$39.90$82,990
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island1.1$37.03$77,030
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina0.838$26.26$54,620
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota0.37$32.25$67,080
Tennessee FlagTennessee1.24$27.56$57,320
Texas FlagTexas0.461$40.48$84,190
Utah FlagUtah0.92$33.26$69,170
Vermont FlagVermont0.445$38.56$80,210
Virginia FlagVirginia0.699$42.27$87,930
Washington FlagWashington0.724$45.71$95,080
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia0.487$26.76$55,660
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin0.598$35.66$74,170
Wyomin FlagWyoming1.185$33.83$70,360

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Oakland/Fremont/Hayward – CA, Metropolitan Division0.17$68.55$142,590
Santa Barbara/Santa Maria/Goleta – CA0.20$66.74$138,810
Nassau/Suffolk – NY, Metropolitan Division0.85$66.40$138,120
Santa Ana / Anaheim / Irvine, – CA – Metropolitan Division 0.10$65.13$135,470
Oxnard / Thousand Oaks / Ventura, – CA 0.21$64.32$133,780

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Northern Mountains – Region of California, nonmetropolitan area1.13$57.72$120,060
Mother Lode – Region of California, nonmetropolitan area0.93$57.57$119,730
North Coast – Region of California, nonmetropolitan area0.62$49.50$102,960
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska – nonmetropolitan area 1.13$45.43$94,500
Southern Texas, nonmetropolitan area0.68$42.48$88,350

FBI Agent Career Video

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Noel Griffith