By analysing and interpreting intelligence data, intelligence analysts contribute to national security.
As an apprentice intelligence analyst, your goal is to protect the United Kingdom’s national security and economic well-being while identifying and preventing organised crime, such as terrorist acts, cybercrime, and drug trafficking.
You’ll be responsible for gathering, analysing, and assessing classified intelligence.
Intelligence analysts, sometimes known as officers, work for the UK’s three intelligence and security agencies (GCHQ, MI5 and MI6), the armed forces and the police.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- collect national and international data
- analyse data using specialist software
- build a picture of activities in a specific area by studying data trends
- present your intelligence to managers and other agencies
- monitor the behaviour of individuals or groups
- update intelligence records on databases
- review the effectiveness of your analysis
- act as an expert witness in court
- keep up to date with security and confidentiality rules.
- Starting apprentice salaries for the three agencies – GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 – are in the region of £20,000 to £22,000, plus benefits.
- There are opportunities to progress to higher grades, with salaries reaching around £40,000 to £45,000 after five to ten years’ service.
- All grades experience incremental annual increases in pay, plus bonus payment opportunities.
Intelligence analysts work a typical 37-hour week although you may be expected to work extra hours at times of pressure or during crises.
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.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice intelligence analyst include:
- Level 4 Intelligence Analyst – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 18 months to complete.
On an actuary apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- 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
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.
The main employers of intelligence analysts in the UK are the three intelligence and security agencies:
- Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
- Security Service (MI5)
- Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
The agencies offer scheduled inductions, on-the-job training sessions, and specialised courses relevant to the unique work.
New employees may be assigned a mentor or coach to advise and support them.
As an intelligence analyst, you will be encouraged to strengthen current skills and gain new ones as part of a continuing professional development plan (CPD).
Your initial job as an intelligence analyst will last between 18 months and three years, and you will be given a lot of responsibility immediately. The agencies strive to pick applicants to work in various areas from the skills, abilities and competencies demonstrated during the hiring process.
The nature of the intelligence and security profession means that you may persist in a position for many years. However, you will be strongly recommended to change jobs to keep you challenged and obtain knowledge in various fields. This may mean moving inside or across teams to focus on different situations, such as a new geographical location or specialised analytical approaches.
Because of the rapid speed, depth, and breadth of information and communications technology growth, you will need to constantly adapt your working methods to meet new opportunities and threats.