12. How much are FBI Special Agents paid?
Special Agent trainees at the FBI Academy are paid as GS-10, step 1 ($43,441) plus the Quantico, VA locality adjustment (17.50%) during their time at the FBI Academy. This equates to $51,043 on an annualized basis (or $1,963 per each two-week pay period).
Newly assigned Special Agents are paid as GS-10, step 1 ($43,441) plus locality pay and availability pay. Locality pay (which ranges from 12.5% to 28.7% of base salary depending upon office assignment) is additional compensation to account for differences in the labor market between different areas. Availability pay is a 25% increase in adjusted salary (base salary + locality pay) for all Special Agents due to their requirement to average a 50-hour work week over the course of the year. Thus, with the locality and availability pay adjustments, new Special Agents in their first Field Offices earn between $61,100 and $69,900, depending upon the region of the country to which they are assigned.
New Special Agents assigned to certain designated high-cost offices (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., Boston and Newark) may also be paid a one-time relocation bonus of approximately $22,000 to help offset higher real estate and living costs. In order to qualify for the relocation bonus, new Special Agents must be assigned to one of the designated high-cost offices and they must be moving from a lower cost area to a different geographical area with a higher cost of living.
For example, a new Agent assigned to Washington, D.C. would make a base salary of $43,441 (GS-10, step 1 on the Law Enforcement Officers' salary table) + locality pay of $7,602 (based on Washington, D.C.'s locality adjustment of 17.5%) + availability pay of $12,761 (25% of base + locality) for a total salary of $63,804 their first year. If the new Special Agent qualified for the relocation bonus (e.g., moving from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.), they would also receive a one-time payment of approximately $22,000.