FBI Counterintelligence Division Career Information All You Need To Know

Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI

FBI Counterintelligence Division Career Information All You Need To Know

The FBI Counterintelligence Division is in charge of ensuring the security of the United States against foreign agents operating within the country. FBI counterintelligence officers are tasked with finding and neutralizing these threats to national security before they have a chance to harm America or its citizens.

FBI counterintelligence officers are non-military federal government employees who must abide by strict guidelines that dictate their operation alongside military FBI special agents working on similar cases. Since the FBI was established in 1908 to investigate violations of federal laws that involved United States government property or officials, it has traditionally been responsible for investigating espionage and counterespionage matters involving only federal agencies or in cases in which a federal crime had occurred. However, during World War II, many espionage matters were referred to FBI field offices by other federal agencies because of manpower restrictions imposed upon them. 

The FBI Counterintelligence Division  was formed three years after the National Security Act of 1947 was passed. Since then, FBI Counterintelligence Division has been actively fighting threats from foreigners who wish to harm America’s interests or national security.

FBI’s primary goals revolve around protecting national security and enforcing federal laws by investigations, intelligence gathering, surveillance, and analysis. To accomplish these goals, it employs over 36,000 employees.

The FBI divides its counterintelligence work into three distinct areas: counterespionage, counterterrorism, and counterproliferation.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the FBI Counterintelligence Division, here are some things you should know.

As a counterintelligence agent, you would be responsible for identifying and investigating individuals who pose a threat to national security. You would also be responsible for developing strategies to counteract these threats. This is a highly demanding and challenging job, but it can be rewarding work protecting our nation’s security.




What Does Counterintelligence Do in the FBI? 

Counterintelligence in the FBI is the section of the FBI that defends our nation against foreign intelligence entities, both traditional adversaries and non-traditional national security threats.

counterintelligence-fbiFBI Counterintelligence is also referred to as the FBI National Security Branch. FBI National Security Branch deals with national security matters, FBI Counterintelligence deals with foreign intelligence and counterintelligence matters

Counterintelligence agents are tasked with discovering spies employed by foreign governments to gather classified information about United States secrets. FBI agents cannot do it alone, so they cooperate with other US Intelligence Community members on counterintelligence missions.

FBI counterintelligence also protects the FBI itself by mitigating the damage done by insider theft of sensitive FBI assets, including espionage conducted by FBI personnel. The majority of FBI counterintelligence work is devoted to countering efforts of foreign intelligence services to target, exploit, penetrate, or corrupt US government operations or private sector entities.

Read More-How To Become A Behavior Analyst For The FBI


Who Is Responsible For Counterintelligence?

The FBI’s counterintelligence division protects the United States from foreign intelligence operations and espionage. Its principal activities include preventing espionage, solving crimes by identifying spies, and countering terrorist threats to American security.

The FBI uses informants as a part of its investigative functions. The FBI can pay its informants up to $100,000 for information that leads to an indictment or arrest. In reality, only about 1% of FBI investigations are initiated by informants. Most cases originate from FBI agents’ observations and their evidence gathering activities such as criminal records checks and analysis of phone numbers called from surveillance targets.

What Can You Do With A Degree In Counterintelligence? 

FBI counterintelligence agents gather and assess information that involves national security criminal activity.

A degree in FBI counterintelligence can prepare you to:

  • Investigate international, terrorist, and domestic criminal activities involving espionage and technology transfer to foreign countries.
  • Work on cases of kidnapping, fugitive apprehension, extortion, terrorism, nuclear smuggling, white-collar crime, computer crime, or copyright infringement.
  • Collect intelligence on human spying for a foreign power or targeting US soldiers by enemy forces or terrorists.
  • Identify criminals trying to compromise national security systems such as weapons programs, border control information, and other vital public and private data systems.
  • Gather information from sources about secret government research projects in chemical/biological development under

 How To Become An FBI Counterintelligence Agent? 

If you are looking for a challenging and fulfilling career, consider an FBI Counterintelligence Division Career. The Bureau seeks individuals with the skills necessary to pursue this rewarding position in their counterintelligence operations.

In order to be hired as an FBI counterintelligence agent, you must first successfully complete three phases of application processing:

  1. Fill out your application online
  2. Complete your FBI Background Questionnaire (Form FD-140)
  3. Schedule and complete the FBI Applicant Interview


After you have successfully completed all three of these phases, FBI human resources will work on verifying your qualifications and experience by collecting documentation about your education, employment history, references you provided, and any other information that might be relevant to your application.

Once FBI human resources have collected all necessary documents, they will begin preparing a “Selection Package” which includes;

  •       The results of your background investigation
  •       Applicant questionnaire
  •       Records from prior employers or schools
  •       Letters of recommendation, etc.


FBI headquarters staff then review the Selection Packages submitted by applicants for final consideration for entry into FBI training. Top-quality candidates are then selected based on their FBI assessment.

After successfully passing necessary exams, FBI counterintelligence jobs require an 18-month specialized training at Quantico.

How Much Does A Counterintelligence Agent Make?

counterintelligence-agent-jobsFBI counter intelligence agent salary is a significant issue when considering an FBI counterintelligence agent career. There are many other benefits to FBI counterintelligence agent jobs besides salary. However, these can be easily forgotten when the FBI counterintelligence agent salary is brought into the picture.

How much FBI Counterintelligence agents are paid is determined by their rank. FBI Agents just starting are considered at the GS-7, GS-9, or GS-11 level, which pays between $48,267 and $55,500 a year, while FBI Special Agents in Charge can make up to $139,994 a year. FBI Supervisory Agents will have their salaries based on the GS-14 scale, while FBI Senior Supervisory Agents will have their salaries be at the same level as FBI Executive Managers. FBI Agent Salary levels throughout one’s career are dependent upon performance evaluations, and promotions received over time within the FBI organization.



FBI  Agent Job Requirements

FBI counterintelligence agent job requirement says FBI agent must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Nevertheless, FBI does not necessarily mean hiring FBI counterintelligence agents only from the FBI training academy in Quantico, VA. The FBI has a huge application pool, and even FBI agents who do not graduate from Quantico can be hired as FBI counterintelligence agents.

FBI is one of the most popular law enforcement agencies in the US, requiring job seekers to pass a rigorous background check and security clearance before being accepted into the FBI Counterintelligence Division.

fbi-counterintelligence-jobsTo qualify for this position, applicants should meet the FBI job requirements, including FBI physical fitness requirements and firearms qualifications. Applicants should also gain work experience in criminal investigations, computer forensics, cryptography, surveillance operations, and other kinds.

The FBI Counterintelligence Division is looking for people interested in national security, intelligence gathering, and law enforcement. If you have the desire to work with others to protect our nation’s interests around the world, this might be a good fit for you!

Counterintelligence Careers – The Scope of the FBI Counterintelligence Division

FBI Counterintelligence Division is responsible for conducting investigations to counter threats from foreign intelligence services. FBI agents assigned to this division are tasked to spy on American citizens, other FBI agents, and federal agencies in the US who are spying against the US. FBI Counterintelligence Division is primarily responsible for fighting espionage activities that target the United States.

Among FBI Counterintelligence Division’s main objectives are preventing terrorist cells or groups that pose a severe threat to national security, dismantling organized crime rings operating within the country, protecting classified information by monitoring government employees’ tradecraft used against national security, thwarting foreign-influenced operations in America, tracking down human traffickers, and preventing illegal arms sales through international gangs.

FBI Counterespionage Division Jobs

FBI Counterespionage Division is an FBI department involved in worldwide investigations surrounding foreign intelligence services, international terrorist organizations, and FBI internal threats and cyber-crime. FBI CI agents working counterintelligence assignments usually have a Top-Secret clearance level with SCI access.

 FBI Counterproliferation Division Jobs

FBI Agents assigned to the FBI Counterproliferation Division are expected to research to stay abreast of WMD threats that might affect the United States or its interests abroad. FBI CI works with other federal organizations like CIA, DHS, CBP, US Coast Guard Investigative Service, US Postal Inspection Service, etc., along with state and local law enforcement agencies

FBI Counterproliferation Division is a section of the FBI dedicated to stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and related materials.

FBI Economic Espionage Division Jobs

The FBI Economic Espionage Division will be the nation’s resource for collecting and analyzing foreign intelligence targeting US proprietary economic information and technology, including advanced technologies such as biotechnology, robotics, electronics, and information science-related technologies.

FBI Counterterrorism Division Jobs

The Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI Counterterrorism Division is tasked with protecting the United States from terrorist threats, both foreign and domestic. Focused on anticipating terrorist threats by combining intelligence analysis, operations, and investigations in a coordinated effort to combat terrorism throughout the world, FBI counterterrorism Division career opportunities are available for those looking to join this elite group of American patriots.

FBI counterterrorism career positions within the FBI Counterterrorism Division fall into two job categories: Intelligence Analysts & Intelligence Operations Specialists.

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