Intelligence Analysts fall into the Investigative Theme Code Category of The Strong Interest Inventory® Assessment. Since it was first released in 1927, this Assessment has been used to match individuals to careers that align with their personal and occupational preferences and interests. The Strong Interest Inventory® analyzes and evaluates individuals’ preferences in a broad range of areas and uses this information to recommend occupational areas that would best suit them. Results are also used to categorize individuals into one to three inventory specific Career Theme Codes. There are Six Strong Interest Inventory® Theme Codes. These are Realistic, Artistic, Investigative, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (RAISEC). The Investigative Theme Code Category tends to favor individuals with strengths in mathematics and the natural sciences, and generally centers around analyzing or interpreting data in the real world.

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Discover the Strong Interest Inventory® career as an Intelligence Analyst. Learn about this career in this data rich write-up including information such as income, daily tasks, required education and more.

Intelligence Analysts are responsible for gathering, analyzing, and evaluating information from many different sources and in many different sectors (e.g., law, surveillance, etc.). They use this data to predict and prevent possible incidences of crime. To do this, they have to “triangulate”—or compare known intelligence to data from other sources. Based on these comparisons, as well as studies of activities related to illegal activities, such as narcotics, gangs, terrorism and money laundering, they have to prepare written reports and presentations. They may also include communications records (e.g., phone and text records, emails, etc.) in their evaluations to determine the size and locations of criminal networks. In such reports, they can communicate their findings to other members of the law enforcement and legal communities. In addition, they may also collaborate with representatives from a variety of different intelligence or government organizations. Some Intelligence Analysts maintain databases to record and track illegal activity over time. This may include charting suspects and events to unearth their interrelationships, as well as to track the flow of money from and among targeted groups. This same data can even be used in a predictive sense—to predict future behavior or illegal activity. Many different kinds of data go into these comparisons, including interviews, aerial photographs, radar data, and witness interrogations.

Many different kinds of tools and technology are used by Intelligence Analysts. Not only do they use a wide range of computers and office equipment (e.g., desktop and laptop computers, video cameras and digital cameras, laser fax machines and printers, mobile phones, photocopiers, printers, scanners, and calculators), but they also use many forms of software. Among these are analytical software (e.g., SAS, link analysis software), charting software (e.g., timeline/flowcharting software), database user interface and query software (e.g., Microsoft Access, Structured query language SQL, Oracle, etc.), enterprise resource planning ERP software, graphics software, map creation software (e.g., ESRI ArcGIS, GoogleEarth Pro), and transaction security and virus protection software (e.g., encryption software), as well as Microsoft Office Suite.
In addition to this technical knowledge, Intelligence Analysts should have a foundation in a wide range of academic fields and subfields, including the English language, law, communications, and anthropology. They also require a foundational understanding of computers, technology, and electronics, as well as the ability to communicate fluently in written and oral English. They need to be able to make quick judgments in high-stress situations and solve complex problems while still monitoring changes in circumstances. Having strong far vision and perceptual speed is also important, especially for those Intelligence Analysts who may be spending significant amounts of time “in the field” collecting new intelligence.

Most Intelligence Analysts (some 75%) hold a Bachelor’s Degree. However, the remaining percentage hold other certifications, with 9% holding an Associate’s Degree and 6% holding a High School diploma or equivalent.

An Intelligence analyst’s salary is the highest in Alaska, where the mean income is nearly $120,000. While a salary in this range is possible in other places, for instance in the bay area of San Francisco, California, where the highest-paid intelligence analyst’s salary Is over $135,000, the national average salary is closer to $77,000 annually. The employment rate of Intelligence Analysts is stable but slowly increasing nation-wide. Idaho and Kentucky lead the way in terms of percentage growth (17% and 15% projected before 2024 respectively), though they each also have under 600 jobs currently available. On the other hand, Colorado, Maryland, and Texas are all projected to add at least 1,000 Intelligence Analyst jobs as in the next decade.

Below are some employment trends for Intelligence Analysts:
• Median Salary: $39.99 hourly, $83,170 annually
• Employment: 110,700 employees
• Projected growth (2018-2028): Slower than average (2% to 3%)
• Projected job openings (2018-2028): 7,500

[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections