FBI Pay Scale 2022

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FBI Pay Scale 2022

Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI in the United States official law enforcement agency aims to protect the nation from terrorism and other criminalities. The agents who work for the FBI devotes their lives to maintaining security and peace within the States. Their duties are challenging and complicated. Special agents who work for the agency have to face life-threatening risks every day. This is why the FBI is considered the world’s best agency, and the agents are perceived as the nation’s prestige and honor.

The nature of this profession makes it one of the highest paying careers amongst law enforcement agencies. The agents who serve the country with dignity and faith often get promoted quickly. The FBI salary is based upon a GS-Level payscale. According to that scale, the agents are getting paid. If you are planning to join the agency but don’t know where to start, our blog post on How To Join The FBI – The Best Degree Paths will help you get started. FBI career is one of the most rewarding occupations, along with the highest paying FBI jobs you get to contribute to the more significant cause.

This article will discuss how much do FBI agents make per year according to the FBI pay scale 2021. Along with that, we will also explore the General Schedule, which is the general pay system for all the FBI employers.


Related: Best Degree Paths For Becoming An FBI Agent Complete Career Guide

FBI General Schedule (G-S) Pay Scale

Pay is an essential factor that all candidates consider before applying for any job, not only in the private sector but also in the public sector. Government jobs, predominantly white-collar jobs, pay handsome salaries with rapid promotion opportunities and other benefits like health insurance. All the federal government employees, including the FBI agents, are paid according to the government-regulated pay scales. Most of the employees are compensated according to the General Schedule (G-S) pay scale.

The General Schedule

The General Schedule is a pay scale system according to which federal employees working in professional, technical, administrative, or clerical positions are getting paid. The general schedule is composed of 15 levels. These levels are assigned to different jobs, which then determine the pay level for that specific job.

Grade levels

  • GS-3 or GS-4 is typically the internships and student jobs
  • GS-5 to GS-7 is the entry-level government jobs
  • GS-8 to GS-12 is the mid-level government jobs
  • GS-13 to GS-15 is the high-level supervisor and management jobs

PAY of an FBI Agent?

As discussed above, the general schedule determines the FBI salaries. The federal government fixes these GS levels based on experience and educational requirements. The agencies establish GS – grades based on difficulty, responsibility, and qualification. A candidate who falls into the criteria is qualified for the positions. There are many chances of promotions in the FBI, which increases the GS level of the agents. Some G-S levels are the golden opportunities for the agents to go higher in rank without switching jobs.

The federal agent pay scale starts at G-S 10, the agents and the staff have the opportunity to go up to GS-13. The special agents who have supervisory positions in the FBI can climb up to GS-15. Each GS-grade has 10 steps within each GS-level. The average increase is one year at steps 1-3, 2 years at steps 4-6, and 3 years at steps 7-9. However, agents who give outstanding performance get an immediate increase, typically of 1 level per year.

FBI Base PAY & Living Adjustment

The salaries under the General Schedule systems are based on the base pay and a locality pay adjustment. There are 53 General Schedule Locality Areas established by the GSA’s Office of Personnel Management. The General Schedule base pay is adjusted according to the cost of living based on the location. It is adjusted annually in relation to the nationwide changes in the salaries of the private sector employees. The General Schedule base pay is adjusted according to the cost of living based on the location. It is adjusted annually in relation to the nationwide changes in the salaries of the private sector employees. This means that if you live in a metropolitan city like New York or California, you are more likely to get paid higher than someone living in Pittsburgh.

Besides, the FBI salary scale is generally 10 to 25 percent higher for those who live outside of the continental United States. The federal government offers a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to employees who live in Hawaii, Alaska, or offshore territories.

Who pays the FBI

There are people out there who wonder about the payments of the FBI, and by doing so, they’re curious about the salaries of the agents and other employees of the agency. The Federal Bureau of intelligence is a federal agency established to serve the purpose of national security in the United States. The agency has its budgeting, but the federal government pays the amount.

This implies that the federal government funds the agency to serve the purpose of national security. The primary source of funding for the FBI is Congress, and a set annual budget is being passed on to the agency by Congress. The agency then plans its operational activities and pays its employees. A secondary source of funding for the agency is reimbursable activities. A handsome amount of the FBI’s budget is generated through these activities. Generally speaking, these activities are the transactions between the agencies in return for their services.

FBI Base Salary

The FBI agents make up to $73 thousand a year on average. This is the mean average pay of the agents. The agents who have served in the agency for a long and are in senior positions have much more salaries, and they make up to $ 15,092 a year. An agent who is just starting to become a part of the agency can’t expect this higher salary. The base salary of the agents beginning to work in the agency can be around 5 thousand dollars a month.

If you are starting to become a part of the agency, you need to know that the salary offered by the agency is handsome, and you can make a decent living out of this salary. The base salary isn’t where you will be stuck for your whole life. Instead, the amount will increase as you move up the ladder of ranks within the agency.

FBI GS Levels

GS levels are essential for all government jobs; they determine the amount of salary that an individual will receive. The rule is applied to the FBI agents, and they receive the pay according to their GS levels. The grades of FBI agents are discussed below; this will give you an idea of where you will be when you become a part of the agency.

The general grade levels are as follows:

PositionGS Payscale
Internees and StudentsGS-3  or GS-4
Entry-level AgentsGS 5 to GS 7
Mid-level agentsGS 8 to GS 12
High-Level Supervisor and managersGS 13 to GS 15

FBI promotion timeline

The FBI field agents usually start at GS 5 Payscale, and their promotions are regular till GS 13 pay scale. Initially, the agents have to complete a probationary period of two years, and once they are done with the probationary period, they can move up to the senior pay scales. The promotions are depended on the performance of the individuals and their reputation within the agency. GS 13 is the pay scale where most of the agents are working. 

Educational Requirements for FBI

Receiving a handsome FBI gs pay scale always seems fascinating. Still, there comes a requirement before achieving that status in the federal bureau of intelligence, and that requirement is educational degrees. A two-year college degree is mandatory to become a part of the FBI, and there isn’t any specification regarding your college degree. This means that your educational degree can be in any discipline, but if it is in a field related to the criminal justice system, it is going to help you out in your professional life at the FBI. Some of the fields in demand in the Federal bureau of intelligence include technology, engineering, mathematics, law, cybersecurity, health care, and accounting and finance.

If you are among the ones who haven’t chosen a discipline for their college degree, you should be looking for a discipline related to the criminal justice system. However, if you’ve already completed your college degree or you are in the middle of it, you should be focusing on achieving that degree as soon as possible so that you can get entitled to the FBI agent pay scale.

Work experience is also a plus in the FBI. A candidate who has one year of professional experience in any of the fields related to the criminal justice system is treated equivalent to a master’s degree holder. For this reason, you should also look for employment to gain experience while you are waiting for jobs in the FBI.

Years of Experience in the FBI

The years of experience matter a lot in the federal bureau of intelligence. The agents paid with higher salaries have much more experience than those who are paid less. The agents usually start their career at GL-10, and they move up one scale after every 1 to 3 years of experience. During this time frame, the agents must demonstrate that they can provide the promotion. This can be demonstrated through a professional attitude towards the work and having the skills to perform the duties assigned by the agency. An agent serving at GL-10 is expected to earn more than $52,000 a year.

The FBI gs levels are different from GL levels, and an agent who has served in the agency for more than two years at GL can be promoted to the GS level of the FBI salary scale. The agents working in the FBI can be promoted to GS-13, which is top-level for the agents within the agency. The average annual salary of special agents working at the position is $79,468.

With this information, your questions like how much FBI agents get paid or how much an FBI agent gets paid must be answered. The average annual salary of the agents depends on their pay scale. During the initial years of service, the income is around 52 thousand dollars a year, and this can go up to 79 thousand as you gain experience in the agency.

Job growth for FBI Agents

Job growth is an essential factor to be considered before choosing a profession. In the next decade, the expected job growth for the law enforcement career is 5 %, which means that the people employed in any agency capacity are expected to get 5 percent growth. This also affects the new openings in the agency.

If we talk about the particular job growth in the FBI, it depends on the agency’s requirements and its missions. The federal government funds the FBI missions. If sufficient funds are resting at the government’s disposal, it can promote the employees of the FBI, thereby offering them a handsome job growth. 

2022 GS Base Payscale for the FBI Agents

The starting salary for an FBI agent starts from the GS-10 and ascends to GS-15. The general base payscale tables are revised yearly and are implemented in January.

This year (2020-2021), the GS pay rates have raised a total of 1.0%. The 2021 GS base pay is mentioned below in a table from GS-10 till GS-15, including the annual GS base pay at every step (1-10). 

GS Grade   Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 6Step 7Step 8Step 9Step 10

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