Cyber intelligence officer

Cyber intelligence officers gather information about where threats to information technology (IT) systems come from and how they work.

Average salary (a year)

£20,280 Starter


£84,760 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become a cyber intelligence officer

You can get into this job through:

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


You can do a degree. Useful subjects include:

  • computer science
  • computer or cyber security
  • mathematics
  • network engineering and security

You could take a postgraduate course in computing or cyber security if your first degree is not in a relevant subject.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information


You could do a higher or degree apprenticeship in:

  • cyber security
  • cyber intrusion
  • network engineering

GCHQ also runs a cyber security 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 qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information


You could start work with an IT security firm, for example as a support technician after doing GCSEs or A levels, then work your way up while studying for further qualifications on the job.

Other routes

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

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in digital security from the National Cyber Security Centre and Security Service MI5.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be a British or Commonwealth citizen, a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, or a foreign national with the right to stay and work in the UK for an indefinite period

For public sector work, you may need to go through UK vetting for a:

  • security check (SC) - for access to information classified as 'secret'
  • developed vetting (DV) - for access to information classified as 'top secret'

For private sector work, you may not need to be vetted unless you're working on government systems.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you'll often be:

  • identifying common weaknesses in IT structures (threats)
  • using digital resources to gather information and evidence
  • using computer forensics to identify attackers, their motivations and typical techniques
  • analysing threats to major security systems
  • monitoring new and evolving threats and assessing their potential impact
  • keeping databases of threats and actors
  • producing threat assessment reports with recommendations for protective action
  • developing relationships with other organisations to safely share security knowledge
  • updating your skills and knowledge

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a specialised cyber security lead and then head of cyber security.

You could also be a freelance contractor.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

ICT Network Engineer Apprentice

  • Wage : £11,866.00 - £14,856.00 Annually
  • Location: Yeovil BA21 4DR

Network Engineer Apprentice

  • Wage : £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: EC4M 7HP

Courses In England

Network Engineering (Cyber Security) - BSc Hons Degree - Top up

  • Start date: 08 September 2020
  • Location: Blackpool

FdSc Cyber Security

  • Start date: 05 June 2020
  • Location: DURHAM

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