Possessing a U.S. security clearance can open a number of professional doors. This is, in part, because you cannot simply apply for the credential. Your current or prospective employer must do it for you. Since the process is costly and time consuming, companies don't do this lightly. For this reason, possessing a security clearance can make you much more desirable professionally.
Obvious jobs requiring a security clearance can be found in the military, such as those dealing with intelligence, tactical operations or using or maintaining weapons with heavily guarded technology. A few of the multitude of military clearance jobs include air and missile defense crew member, Patriot launching station enhanced operator/maintainer, air traffic control operator, electromagnetic spectrum manager, imagery analyst, human intelligence collector, and psychological operations specialist.
Government – Non-Military
Non-military government positions may also require a security clearance. A la James Bond, numerous members of the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency must maintain the credential due to the confidential nature of their work. The security of the nation, and sometimes beyond, depend on the ability of these professionals to protect state secrets.
Government projects make up a large part of the U.S. economy. Contractors in such industries as aerospace, logistics and information technology are frequent government suppliers with a need for people with security clearances. The range of needs for those with clearances is broad. Some organizations provide services or products that are so confidential that even the receptionist needs to have a security clearance.
Not all companies hire cleared employees for work on government contracts. Some hire such workers to help attract government contracts and to provide a secure environment for creating confidential proposals. Companies also hire workers with security clearances simply because they have undergone the stringent vetting process and, in theory, may represent a higher quality employee. This is especially important for employees who will be working with confidential information that may be subject to corporate espionage. A common clearance position is proposal writers, who must provide information on the entire company, as well as details of the specific offering within a proposal.
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