YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE AND WHY A SECURITY CLEARANCE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU
Are you, a family member, a friend, or a colleague trying to find a job with the federal government or perhaps enter the military? Maybe you are applying for a job with a company that works on Department of Defense contracts such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and many other companies both large and small. Did you know that the majority of these jobs require an investigation of your background? As political problems between countries continue, and terrorists, civil unrest, and even wars keep causing various crises, use of technology within information gathering, weaponry, secret skill sets, etc., will be a big factor in tracking these problems. The people entrusted to run the systems using this technology, as well as handle classified information, will require their trust and loyalty to our country. Although you may have, or can be taught, the skills to be qualified for any of the above jobs, you may be missing the one key element that stands between you and getting the career of a lifetime: a U.S. Government issued security clearance.
A January report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says more than 4.9 million people have some sort of government security clearance. About 1.4 million of those lay claim to “top secret” clearance.
As U.S. Special Agents and supervisors, my colleagues and I ran into many people who had heard the phrase “Security Clearance.” However, they often did not understand what a security clearance was for and what the process was to get it. More specifically, they did not see the connection between being granted a security clearance and earning more money over the course of their working years.
My responsibility to you who are reading this book, whether you are a student, a parent, a grandparent, a job seeker, an educator, a company security officer, a military recruiter, etc., is to provide you with easily understood details of how the process of receiving a security clearance works. I will show you what you must do if you need a security clearance for the U.S. Government or military. I will also explain why a security clearance is so valuable for your financial future and independence. By the time you have finished reading this book, you will have all the answers you need. You will feel very comfortable going through the process of being granted a security clearance. In addition, you will be able to arrange your life in a way that will help you get the security clearance as quickly and painlessly as possible and keep it. If you follow the simple steps that I will provide you within this book, I can guarantee you that you are less likely to make a mistake on your security clearance application. By following these steps, you will also help the government complete and adjudicate your investigation more efficiently, and you will be granted a security clearance much more quickly. Consequently, you can begin your career sooner than later and make more money at the same time!
In the above paragraph, I mentioned that having a security clearance is valuable for your financial future and independence. You should now be asking yourself, “why” it is valuable. Simply put, if you are granted a security clearance, you will be allowed to have jobs that pay better. Research data shows that individuals who have security clearances make anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 more per year than people who do not. Keep in mind that a security clearance from the government will give you access to sensitive information or areas that have some effect on the national security of our country or both. In the following example, you will see clearly why a security clearance helps you financially and gives you independence.
Example: There is a specific job announcement for a federal government position that you would like to apply for. It has a starting salary of $40,000. In addition to having the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s in government language) for the job, the announcement explains that you will be required to undergo an investigation and successfully be granted a security clearance. You apply, get interviewed, and are eventually contacted to accept the job offer. Then you immediately need to complete your paperwork for a security clearance. Remember, no security clearance, no job. Once all is said and done, you either get the security clearance and begin to earn the $40,000, or you are denied and must look into applying for a position that does not require a security clearance. Often, especially in today’s tough job market, you may be forced to take a job that pays only $20,000. As a result, in this example, you have lost an additional $20,000 per year. If you never got a raise at the job of $40,000 per year and retired after forty years of service, you lost $800,000 over this period of time, since a $20,000 salary difference over forty years equals $800,000. That number does not include the cost of living raises that the government typically provides, as well as promotions, bonuses, and such! Are you starting to see the importance of a security clearance now?
According to a leading jobs website for those with security clearances, the average security-cleared employee in the Washington region earned $97,838 in 2011. ClearanceJobs.com says that this figure represents a 4 percent increase from one year ago. By comparison, the national average security-cleared salary was $76,152 in 2011. According to the website’s survey, there was no pay gap between men and women working in the same position.
FACT #4: ACCORDING TO FED MARKET.COM
Prospective employees holding security clearances are extremely hot commodities. Those with clearances can expect to receive a 25% salary premium (or more). Contractors are stealing personnel from their competitors and the federal government because they have no choice. As a result, having a security clearance is often the deciding employment factor and may take precedence over one’s skills and experience.
Non-promotable status: A soldier is without appropriate security clearance or favorable security investigation for promotion to the grade and military occupational specialty (MOS). Soldiers will regain promotable status the day they receive the appropriate level clearance. Soldiers who lose their required clearance for cause will be removed from the recommended list.
As you read this book, you will learn about the different levels of security clearances and what investigation each level of security clearance requires. You will also learn the best way to prepare for your security clearance questionnaire, the types of questions you will be asked if you need to be interviewed, and much more.
I believe that most of my readers will be students in high school and college who are seeking to enter the military, federal government, or federal contractor companies upon graduating. Most of these jobs will require a security clearance. This book will save you countless hours of Internet research because you now have the information you need at your fingertips from an author who has pretty much seen it all. Now let us move forward and get it done!