Central Intelligence Agency CIA Officers are field operatives or operations (ops) officers. They are paid according to the federal General Schedule (GS) scale, which has 15 increasing pay levels, GS-1 through GS-15, with each level having 10 possible longevity steps, meaning that at any given GS level you would get a raise every three years equal to about three percent of your base salary. Promotion to the next higher GS level will equate to an increase in pay of more than two but less than three steps at the current level. let us know more about that the Salaries For CIA Officers-Know More.
The salaries for CIA Officers are as follows: For GS-10 step 3, two or three years of experience the salary is about $52,000 per year, For GS-12 step 3, six to eight years of experience, the salary is about $70,000 per year while for GS-14 step 3, 13 to 18 years of experience, the salary is about $90,000 per year.
The floor base pay levels for federal employees including CIA Officers are designed to be equivalent to those of personnel in the private sector with similar kinds of work and levels of skills, expertise, and experience in areas of the US where the cost of living is the lowest. In much of the country, including places where many federal employees work, the cost of living is much higher, and base salaries are adjusted upwards accordingly.
In the US, most CIA officers are stationed near CIA Headquarters (Hqs) in Langley, Northern Virginia, just west of Washington, DC. The cost of living in this area is quite high, mainly owing to the cost of housing. Even drawing enhanced salaries, entry-level CIA officers often have trouble finding affordable housing anywhere near CIA Headquarters in Langley, North Virginia.
CIA Officers’ Bonuses Apart from Basic Salary
Housing, transport of household goods, and other forms of support are provided at no cost to CIA Officers and personnel stationed overseas. Their base pay is nevertheless augmented to the level which would permit them to live with their families at roughly the same level of comfort and convenience a person of their grade would have at home in the states.
CIA Officers’ Salary and Pay Grades
CIA officers are commonly hired at a GS-9 pay level and reach GS-11 after three or four years, most of which is spent in training of one sort or another. Journeyman grades for CIA officers in the field are GS-12 through GS-14. The top level, GS-15, is generally reserved for first-line supervisors, such as CIA branch chiefs.
Most CIA officers are assigned in true name under “official cover” to a succession of three-year tours in different countries overseas between often shorter sojourns at Headquarters. Usually, the CIA station is located inside the US Embassy in that country’s capital city, though there are sometimes also CIA bases in one or more other major cities where there are US consulates or a US military facility that can house and support (and protect) a base. Some stations number only a few personnel, but many are quite large and along with the dozen or two (or possibly many more) ops officers might also include reports officers, finance officers, technical services officers, and other specialists, along with clerical personnel.
CIA Officers’ Salary Terms and Benefits
CIA personnel under official cover identify themselves as US Government employees and carry US official passports, which are different from US diplomatic passports in that they don’t convey complete diplomatic immunity — though as a courtesy in friendly countries their passports are often given the same status as a diplomatic passport, etc.
Many other personnel at typical middle-sized or larger US embassies are not State Dept personnel, much fewer diplomats, but hail from other federal departments (especially the Department Of Defence ) and agencies, and they also carry US official passports. All of the personnel inside an embassy know who the CIA Officers are, and are directed to help protect them from discovery.
The evident assumptions regarding the circumstances and lifestyle and remuneration of CIA Officers along with the implied possibility that their operational expenses are so massive it would be possible to pad them are usually false.
Here are some current ballpark salary figures for average CIA officers at typical points in their careers (not including the cost of living adjustments):
- GS-10 step 3, two or three years of experience: about $52,000 per year.
- GS-12 step 3, six to eight years of experience: about $70,000 per year.
- GS-14 step 3, 13 to 18 years of experience: about $90,000 per year
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question 1: How much money do CIA Officers annually, and how much can they charge for reimbursable operational expenses?
Answer: Let’s say that the CIA officer in the field would have about 20 years of experience under his belt. He might be a GS-14 step 3 or 4. His annual pay, given the likely substantial cost of living adjustment, would be considerably more than $100,000 per year, maybe in some cases approaching $150,000 per year, but in any case well less than $200,000 per year. This is less than you were anticipating, but it probably sounds to many readers as pretty damn good money — and it is, especially when you consider that their fine housing is free, as is medical care and other forms of support, but also consider that CIA officer in the field routinely work 45 to 55 hours per week while getting paid for only 40 hours per week because they don’t receive overtime. And that they often have to work evenings and weekends without claiming comp time on week-days.
- Question 2: How much are CIA Officers charged for reimbursable operational expenses?
Answer: As for operational expenses, for the most part, those are almost nominal — maybe a taxi ride now and then, a modest bar tab, or a dinner with a developmental prospect and wives. The CIA is rather parsimonious about reimbursing operational expenses, so CIA officers are often a bit out of pocket.