10 Great Jobs in National Security

National security is a growing field with a wide array of job options. As the United States becomes more heavily involved with global conflicts, the federal government has had to recruit more employees for domestic security jobs. From federal jobs to private security positions, individuals can a variety of options in the security industry.

Depending on the position, individuals may need a degree or additional experience to get a job. Most of the jobs require a background check, so applicants should not have a criminal history. With a clean background check and the right qualifications, individuals can go on to have a rewarding career in national security.

1. Customs and Border Protection

There are many different career options with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This law enforcement agency is responsible for protecting the borders of the United States. Each day, the CBP makes more than 900 apprehensions. An estimated 9,000 pounds of illegal drugs are seized on a daily basis. The Customs and Border Protection is responsible for making sure that dangerous materials and people are not able to enter the United States.

2. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for enforcing federal laws about trade, immigration and customs. Their job is to protect the United States through operations across the nation. There are an estimated 20,000 employees at 400 offices in the country as well as operations in 46 foreign countries. Each year, the department uses a budget of $5 billion to conduct investigations and to carry out removal operations.

An employee at ICE may be involved in enforcement and removal operations (ERO). These operations are designed to remove illegal aliens. Homeland security operations are also run by ICE to find illegal goods that are smuggled into the United States.

3. Federal Emergency Management Agency

Working at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an extremely rewarding experience. If you want to spend each day helping people, this is the right career choice for you. Many of the employees at FEMA work to help families recover from natural disasters and other hazards.

In the last two decades, FEMA has opened up a department that caters entirely to national security. In 2003, FEMA became a part of the Department of Homeland Security. Since then, FEMA has worked to develop disaster response plans to protect against terrorism and other homeland security issues. Now, employees work to create a coordinated approach to natural and man-made emergencies.

4. Federal Protective Service

The Federal Protective Service is responsible for ensuring safety at federal buildings. Individuals in this organization are responsible for protecting the building, visitors and occupants from anything that could happen. They work closely with the Department of Homeland Security to spot and prevent potential threats. Depending on the position, applicants may need to have a college degree in a related field.

5. Transportation Security Administration

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for making sure that transportation systems are safe for shipping goods and travel. Like many security organizations in the United States, the TSA also implements counterterrorism measures. Established following the 2001 terror attacks, the TSA has a workforce that consists of thousands of employees. The organization seeks employees who are professional, hard working and team spirited. Individuals employed at the TSA must have a high level of personal integrity and a clean background check. Once hired, individuals can work in career paths like transportation security inspector, explosive detection canine handler and transportation security officer.

6. Secret Service

Created in 1865, the United States Secret Service now includes 7,000 employees around the world. While the Secret Service may be best known for protecting the president, the organization is also responsible for fighting crime globally. The Secret Service has field offices in Mexico, Africa, South American, Europe, Canada and Asia.

If you are employed at the Secret Service, you may be assigned to protective or investigative missions. The Secret Service is responsible for protecting visiting foreign dignitaries, the president, the vice president and presidential candidates. Temporary protection assignments may be for people like foreign heads of state or at National Special Security Events.

Investigative missions at the Secret Service involve catching counterfeiters. The agency is responsible for protecting the financial systems of the country from a variety of financial crimes like counterfeiting. Because of this, the Secret Service operates in diverse areas like banking, cyber and finance. Exciting career options in this field include working as an investigative expert, an intelligence analyst or a forensics expert.

7. Cyber-Security Specialist

A cyber-security specialist is trained to manage complex security information systems. They may work with the government or military databases to protect sensitive information. Individuals in this career field typically start at a base pay of $80,000 per year or more. Once hired, they may work to provide intelligence briefings, perform security assessments and provide technical support.

8. Logistician

Logisticians are required by many of the top security agencies in the country. These logistics experts help to create and run logistics throughout the country. These logistic technologies help to transport goods, weapons and other items to the place where they are needed. While you can start by getting a degree in this field, you may also be hired if you are an engineer, project manager or technician with a background in the industry. Logisticians work at different intelligence agencies and are frequently based in Washington, D.C.

9. Cryptologist

A cryptologist is not just a code breaker anymore. Cyber-security is now run using codes and advanced mathematics. Cryptologists work with national security agencies to help breakdown cryptological messages and computer languages. This may be done to investigate a crime or conduct counterterrorism operations. To be hired in this field, individuals should have a background in computer science or mathematics. Successful applicants must be excellent at problem solving and code breaking.

10. Intelligence Officer

An intelligence officer work with the government or the military to collect information about criminals and terrorist organizations. They may be employed by organizations like the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Administration or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Often, intelligence officers start out making at least $70,000 a year.

Related Resource: 10 Scholarships for Former Military Officers

With experience and the right degree, individuals can find a thrilling career in national security. These national security jobs are available for mathematicians, linguists and criminal justice professionals. Once hired, employees will work to fight crime and protect American citizens.