If you've ever thought the FBI agent lifestyle would make a glamorous pursuit, you may be wondering what an FBI agent's salary is like. While the pay can be fairly high, it depends on a number of factors.
Estimated FBI Agent Salary Figures
As with any job, the amount of time you've spent as an FBI agent will affect your salary. You can make anywhere from around $40,000 to slightly over $100,000 based on longevity with the agency and where you live.
PayScale.com lists the salary for FBI agents between $51,408 and $102,404 as of 2011. Bonuses are roughly $1,023 to $7,789. Profit sharing can be anywhere from $500 to $5,000.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), FBI special agents and investigators receive "LEAP" pay, which is law enforcement availability pay. This pay can add an extra 25 percent to their grade and step. Agents receive this because they often work overtime.
FBIjobs.gov gives a more accurate breakdown of the pay for FBI agents. Trainees at the academy start out at $43,441 (GS-10, step one) with a VA locality adjustment of 17.50 percent, which equates to roughly $51,043. Once assigned, agents remain at the same grade and step, but receive a locality and availability rate, which is 12.5 to 28.7 percent of the salary.
With a combination of salary, locality and availability pay, a new FBI agent can expect to earn between $60,000 and $70,000. In some cases, there is a relocation bonus of about $22,000 as well, but this depends on where the agent is being moved to. For more information on how raises and promotions can affect the salaries of government employees, visit OPM.gov.
What You Need to Become an FBI Agent
FBI agents are some of the highest paid in the law enforcement world, so that means there are special expectations involved. You'll need a four-year college degree as well as several years work experience. To to even be considered as an FBI agent, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree and three years of related work experience, or an advanced degree and two years of related work experience. You may also have to meet special criteria, like fluency in another language, a law degree or a major in information technology. Before you can become an agent, you'll also have to undergo 18 weeks of training at the FBI Academy. For the full list of qualifications, visit SecretService.gov.