Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to protect national security and prevent crime – read on to discover how to become a criminal intelligence analyst.
A criminal intelligence analyst collects and analyses data relating to crime, discovers patterns and interprets trends. They do this to protect national security and to help prevent organised crime.
Being an intelligence analyst involves working in a fast-paced and demanding environment where your work can have a massive impact on society by intercepting and preventing crimes, including acts of terrorism.
There are many different employers you could work for including the police, GCHQ and security and secret services like MI5 and MI6.
Working for MI5
Working for MI5 is a challenging and rewarding career, where you work alongside many other teams in a supportive environment. At MI5, criminal data analysts play an important role in investigations. This can include tracking the location and movements of suspects as well as analysing their internet and mobile phone communications. This is an exciting career with many opportunities for progression such as becoming a senior or expert analyst and there could be opportunities to travel overseas as MI5’s work isn’t limited to the UK.
How to become a criminal intelligence analyst
There are many routes you can take to become an intelligence analyst, including MI5’s Intelligence and Data Analyst Development Programme or an apprenticeship. Entry requirements differ according to each employer but most places expect you to have five or more GCSEs at grades 9 – 4 (A*-C) including maths, English and a science. Some police forces require two A-levels or equivalent and although a specific degree usually isn’t required, a degree in criminology may be beneficial. To take part in the MI5 programme, you must have a 2:2 degree or equivalent full time work experience.
On average, starting salaries are £16,000 – £20,000 a year. However, once you are trained and experienced, the average salary rises to between £22,000 and £35,000. Trained MI5 analysts earn around £30,500 a year, increasing to £32,963 after the first year and as you become more experienced, salaries increase further with intelligence managers earning £50,000 or more a year.
Criminal intelligence analysts are usually in demand and are becoming very popular. If this role interests you, it may be a good idea to study criminology or gain work experience in this area to guarantee you are in the best possible position to get the job.
Researched and written by Abbie Maulkerson