This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Intelligence officers collect and analyse information about people, places, and events that may pose a threat to national and international security.
Intelligence officers usually earn
$32K-$68K per year
Source: New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police.
Pay for intelligence officers varies depending on who they are employed by.
Pay in the Defence Force
- During training, intelligence officers in the Defence Force earn about $32,000 a year, plus additional benefits such as food and accommodation allowances.
- Those who have completed training are generally paid between $52,900 and $68,600, plus benefits.
Pay in other organisations
Intelligence officers that work for other organisations earn between $52,000 and $68,000 a year.
Sources: New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Intelligence officers may do some or all of the following:
- collect, analyse and assess information about people, places, and events that may pose a threat to national and international security
- co-operate with agencies nationally and internationally to gather information about potential threats
- manage investigations into specific threats
- provide reports to government and provide advice on how to manage threats.
Skills and knowledge
Intelligence officers need to have:
- knowledge of national and international politics
- knowledge of research methods.
- usually work regular business hours, but may sometimes work long or irregular hours
- may train at Defence Force bases in New Zealand and overseas, and may spend time at Defence Headquarters in Wellington
- may have to work in situations where personal safety is compromised
- may spend long periods away from home on overseas assignments.
There are no specific entry requirements to become an intelligence officer. However, you usually need a degree in one or more of the following:
- international relations
- defence and strategic studies
- information systems/technology
To be eligible to become an intelligence officer you also need to:
- be a New Zealand citizen
- hold a current full New Zealand driver’s licence
- have a clean police record
- pass a full psychological assessment
- gain high-level security clearance.
- Defence Careers website - information on becoming an intelligence officer
- New Zealand Security Intelligence Service website - information on becoming an intelligence officer
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include maths, physics, computer studies, English, languages, geography, and history.
Intelligence officers need to be:
- persuasive and analytical
- careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
- good at communicating with a wide range of people
- patient and discreet.
Useful experience for intelligence officers includes:
- research and analysing data
- language study.
Intelligence officers need to be observant when gathering information, so need to have good hearing and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses). They are also required to have normal colour vision.
Find out more about training
- New Zealand Defence Force Headquarters
- (04) 496 0999 - www.defencecareers.mil.nz
- New Zealand Police Recruitment
- 0800 639 2677 - www.newcops.co.nz
- New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
- (04) 472 6170 - www.nzsis.govt.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for intelligence officers with IT expertise
Demand for intelligence officers with expertise in information tech (IT) has been growing as the security organisations invest more in protecting national and international security.
Five key employers of intelligence officers
Intelligence officers may work for:
- the New Zealand Defence Force (the Navy, Army or Air Force)
- New Zealand Police
- Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)
- New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
- Defence Careers, 'Intelligence Officer', accessed February 2015, (www.defencecareers.mil.nz).
- Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), 'Foreign Intelligence', accessed February 2015, (www.gcsb.govt.nz).
- Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), 'Privacy and Security: Identity, Society and the State in the Internet Age', May 2014, (www.gcsb.govt.nz).
- Kitteridge, R, 'Review of Compliance at the Government Communications Security Bureau', March 2013, (www.gcsb.govt.nz).
- New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), 'Intelligence Officers – What We Are Looking For', accessed February 2015, (www.nzsis.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Intelligence officers usually specialise in one of two roles:
- Criminal Intelligence Officer
- Criminal intelligence officers gather, analyse, and/or share information with other organisations in an effort to anticipate, prevent, or monitor criminal activity.
- Defence Intelligence Officer
- Defence intelligence officers gather, analyse, and/or share information in an effort to anticipate, prevent, or monitor activity that could compromise security at a national or international level.
Last updated 7 June 2017