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Common Questions Regarding Security Clearance Jobs: Just What Can You Expect?

If you're interested in security clearance jobs but have some unanswered questions on your mind, we've taken the time to explain the ins and outs here.


The term security clearance usually elicits thoughts of using a security card to get into some underground vault that nobody is supposed to know about.  But the real reality of most security clearance jobs, is that so very few are actually that exciting.  Usually you’ll just be spending your time in a highly protected office building, going over files and information that is considered completely secure, so that it needs to be kept away from prying eyes.  But that’s not to say it’s not an extremely interesting career path for you to pursue.

Something like security clearance jobs are unlike really anything else that you’ll find in the job market, and can provide you with a truly unique work experience that you just won’t hear about from anyone else.  But they are also not the easiest for you to qualify for.  That’s because they have an extremely rigorous process by which you have to try and qualify, and then actually apply for the job itself.  You have to be prepared for that, which is why you’re usually likely to have a few questions about what exactly you can expect from any type of security clearance jobs:

1) How do you define security clearance careers?

These are basically just jobs where security clearance is needed in order for you to access the work area in which you’ll be doing all of your work.  That means these are areas that are protected from the public, and that typically have security posted all around the area, to form a secure zone that takes special clearance for you to be able to enter.  There are different levels of security clearance jobs, but basically this is the fundamental principle governing all of them.

2) Who offers security clearance jobs?

There are a variety of different ways that you can get a career in security clearance, and you’re going to find that there are different opportunities out there depending upon the type of job that you want to work.  But you can get both private sector as well as government security jobs.  Private sector jobs can include top secret company research as well as files that are to be protected from anyone that could see them outside of the actual company itself.  Government jobs typically include things like law enforcement, as well as military and even political careers.

3) How rigorous is a security clearance career background check?

You’ve never had a thorough background check until you’ve applied to these types of careers, as they dig extremely deep to find out everything about you.  That means depending upon the level of security that you’re seeking, they are going to be investigating everything about your life.  That means past employment, school, as well as your personal records.  But they also interview family members and even friends in many cases, so that they can literally find out everything about you.

4) How long are you cleared for, once you get the job?

Basically your security clearance lasts for about as long as you have the job.  As long as you remain an employee in good standing, you’re going to find that your clearance will last as long as you have the position.  That means it could be good for one year, to 25, all depending upon how long you plan on holding the position.  But even just one minor abuse of your position, and you’re going to find that you can lose your job really quick.  Plus it just takes that one black mark to ensure that you never qualify for security clearance jobs again.

5) How much do security clearance jobs pay?

Most typically, as any job that requires a lot of work just to get the position usually does, you will find these to be really well paying careers.  In fact, the national average usually falls somewhere between $65,000 to $80,000 making these jobs that can really pay the bills.  Plus there’s plenty of room for growth, as the higher level jobs within the secure information field pay well in excess of $100,000.  There’s a lot of pressure there as well, but it’s well worth it in the end with the amount of money that you can rise to over a well managed career.

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