Everything you need to know about MI5 jobs

The British government agency, MI5, exists to help protect the UK from threats to national security, both at home and abroad. This may include counter-terrorism, intercepting espionage attempts and even cyber threats and sabotage.

A highly gratifying area of work with a wide variety of different roles, MI5 jobs are often very appealing to professionals looking for the next step in their career, especially those with the ability to gain certain security clearances.


What is a career with MI5 like?

Like most work within the intelligence industry, a career at MI5 is unlike many others. Depending on your specific role within the agency, you’ll either be identified as a generalist or a specialist.

Staff are generally given a lot of responsibility for managing their own careers and typically will move between different areas every few years. It’s not particularly unusual for one of these security cleared professionals to have worked in counter-terrorism, corporate communications and recruitment, all within the first few years of the job.

Traditionally, MI5 has always advertised its ideal employee as self-motivated, resilient and able to manage a heavy workload to meet tight deadlines. Having personable qualities is a must, as roles involve engaging in confidence with staff at varying levels of seniority, as well as candidates and referees from a wide range of backgrounds.


What jobs are available with MI5?

Roles within MI5 are generally separated into five major categories, which are intelligence, technology, languages, specialist and corporate. Some of the most popular positions among candidates are intelligence analyst, intelligence officer and covert technical operations specialist.

If you're ex military, you may want to look at MI5 jobs for veterans in the UK to see more of your options.

What should I expect from an MI5 interview?

Due to the nature of the work involved, it won’t surprise many to know that the application process for MI5 jobs is extensive and thorough. The agency refuses CVs unless they are required for a specific role and, generally, from start to finish, candidates will spend six to nine months within the vetting and interview procedures.

The entire process will differ based on the specific role you’re applying for. However, from submitting your application, should you be selected to progress, you will undertake a competency questionnaire and verbal reasoning test. The next steps may include a written exercise, followed by a telephone interview and finally an in-person interview.


How much do MI5 agents earn?

MI5 is well known to have a lucrative benefits package, which includes a performance-based appraisal system and a merit award policy to recognise special contributions.

Additionally, agents benefit from an interest-free travel season ticket loan, a solid pension scheme, flexible working where appropriate and a wide array of facilities, like subsidised restaurants and gyms.

Being an intelligence agency, employees are required to keep information sealed and, as such, finding an exact salary range can be challenging. According to Glassdoor, new recruits and those entering MI5 via one of the many graduate programs, can expect to earn a starting salary in the region of £26,000 to £32,000. Those security cleared personnel with more experience, or experts who have worked within the agency for a few years will see their earnings boost significantly to above £45,000 per year.


Where to find MI5 jobs

To find the latest security cleared jobs, register with SecurityClearedJobs.com and upload your CV onto the platform. This way, recruiters can view your skills and experiences before reaching out to you directly. A veterans career fair may also prove useful.

Candidates for MI5 must have British citizenship and have spent at least nine of the last ten years as a resident in the UK to be eligible for MI5 jobs. However, applications will still be considered from those serving in the Armed Forces or in some other capacity overseas.

View our latest security cleared MI5 jobs by clicking here.