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Intelligence analyst

Intelligence analysts use data to detect and prevent crime and protect UK security and the economy.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £52,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; at short notice

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Intelligence analyst jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As an intelligence analyst you'll:

  • collect and analyse national and international data using specialist software
  • build a picture of activities in a specific area and monitor the behaviour of individuals and groups
  • present information to managers and other agencies
  • review the effectiveness of your analysis
  • act as an expert witness in court
  • update records and keep up to date with security and confidentiality rules

Working environment

You could work in an office or in a court.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You can become an intelligence analyst with a degree in a wide range of subjects. However, you could gain useful skills from a degree that includes data analysis, for example:

  • computing
  • maths and statistics
  • social science
  • psychology
  • criminology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could do an apprenticeship such as:

  • Intelligence Analyst Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Digital Forensic Technician Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Serious and Complex Crime Investigator Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You might be able to start in a related job in the security services like researcher or language specialist. You could then apply to join an intelligence officer training programme.

If you work for the police, you could apply to become a police intelligence officer. Each police force sets its own entry requirements.

Other routes

You could apply for MI5's Intelligence and Data Analyst Development Programme if you have a degree or relevant work experience.

You might also be able to apply through the Civil Service Fast Stream or to the National Crime Agency.

Applications can take up to 9 months. As part of the process, you'll need to be ready to answer questions about your personal life, relationships, family and finances.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a British citizen
  • have lived in the UK for the last 3 years
  • pass enhanced background checks
  • have a good level of fitness
  • pass a medical check

More information

Career tips

Summer internship schemes and student placements are a useful way to find out more about the role and the recruitment process.

In more specialist roles, you might find it useful  to be able to speak a different language.

Further information

You can find out more about a career in intelligence from:Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ); Secret Intelligence Service, often known as MI6; Security Service, often known as MI5; National Crime Agency; UK Cyber Security Council

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With experience, you could work as a senior intelligence analyst. You would give specialist advice, assess trends and support managers to make decisions.

To get to senior intelligence analyst roles, you would usually follow an established career path created by the organisation you work for.

You could also move to a related area of work within your organisation, for example applying to become a police officer.

You can find out more about a career in intelligence from the security agencies:

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of English language
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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