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This Is How Much Criminal Minds' Penelope Garcia Would Make In Real Life

Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) of "Criminal Minds" has a fascinating job as a technical analyst that many people would be envious of. A Caltech dropout, she teaches herself computer skills and ends up on the FBI's list of most dangerous hackers in the world (via Criminal Minds Wiki). But she isn't looking to blackmail or steal money, instead wanting to bring down businesses that she feels are corrupt. When the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) catches her, they offer her a choice to either go to jail, or work for them. Obviously, she chooses the route in which she doesn't get locked up.

Looking at Garcia's clothing, hobbies, or car, it's pretty hard to deduce what her salary is. Her sense of style is quirky, she loves to make soup, read, and knit, and her car — named Esther — runs on biodiesel. Her job title doesn't technically exist in the FBI, but a similar one does: Intelligence Analyst. Obviously, Garcia's job is a fictionalized version of an Intelligence Analyst, but how much would someone expect to make if they wanted to work for the FBI in this role? The answer might surprise you.

FBI Intelligence Analysts can make six figures

One thing to know about FBI salaries is that everyone gets paid according to a General Schedule, or a "government-regulated scale" (via FBITraining.org). For someone with little experience entering a job as an Intelligence Analyst, according to the FBI's website, they would start out in the GS-7 category, making between approximately $33,979 to $44,176 a year. 

Before you feel too bad for the newbies, it's important to note that they also receive something called Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP), which is a 25% bonus on top of whatever your base salary is. So, let's say Penelope Garcia is right in the middle — no job experience, but experienced as a hacker — and she starts at around $39,000. With her little bonus of almost $10,000 added on, she isn't doing too bad for her first real job.

The top pay grade for Intelligence Analysts, for those that choose management roles, can be up to about $129,517 a year, plus LEAP. Even those who don't want to go into management still can make up to $110,104 a year (FBI Agent EDU). Garcia obviously isn't in management and she's been in her position for many years, so it's possible she would be above the six-figure mark, or pretty close to it.