It is without a doubt that as the United States becomes more involved in a variety of global conflicts, there is an increasing need for the federal government to pay close attention to national security. More and more terrorist organizations are sprouting up and are using their resources and power to threaten the safety of US citizens and property here in the country and abroad. As a result of the increase in threats against the country, the federal government has invested heavily in recruiting top notch talent from around the country to work in a variety of security capacities to protect the country.
If you have ever considered a career in government and want to use your intelligence and drive to help protect the United States from terrorism, here is a comprehensive overview of the top 10 national security jobs. These jobs will vary in salary, educational requirements and experience needed. It is very important to keep in mind that in order to be eligible for these career opportunities, individuals must be US citizens and should have virtually no criminal backgrounds, no prior substance abuse issues and should resolve any financial issues and delinquencies. These jobs screen only the best candidates and that means even those who are financially responsible and at do not possess the risk of using highly classified and sensitive information for their own financial gain. These jobs were ranked based on popular demand and as well commonly recruited positions listed by government agency websites.
Linguist/Foreign Language Expert
One of the biggest careers that is in high demand right for now those interested in national security is becoming a foreign languages expert or a linguist. There is a huge demand for individuals who are fluent or highly proficient in critical languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Pashto, Chinese, Tagalog and other languages that the United States has deemed vital for the country’s security. Linguists are hired both by government agencies and private firms to provide interpretation, translation and intelligence services. Individuals must either have native fluency or be highly proficient in a language through many years of study. Typically, linguists not only are fluent, but are also knowledgeable in a variety of dialects. The average salary for a linguist based out of Washington, D.C. will range anywhere between $60,000 to as high as over $100,000 a year. Nonetheless, some of these roles require that linguists live in different countries, working in tandem with military units as they engage in highly dangerous security and military missions.
National Security Analyst
National security analysts are hired by both private and government agencies to work in a variety of projects that include: developing briefings, reports and other forms of intelligence to provide information to government decision makers in Congress and the White house, conduct research on the flow of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons across the world, and also research the growth and proliferation of both domestic and international terrorist organization that post a security risk to US citizens. These analysts are hired by government agencies such as the NSA, CIA, FBI and other military-oriented agencies. Candidates will go through a very extensive screening process and will need to obtain top security clearance. Salaries range as as low as $50,000 for junior analyst roles to as high as $100,000. Most of these jobs are based in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.
Cyber-Security specialists are highly trained information technology professionals who will work to create and manage large and complex security information systems. They will provide technical support to military databases that store sensitive security information, conduct site visits of large information databases, regularly perform assessments on the health of these information systems and provide briefings and other reports to top military and intelligence personnel. They are employed by a variety of agencies, both private and government, to work in a variety of capacities. Cyber-security specialists usually have both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in information technology and have mastered a variety of computer programming languages. Because of a great demand for these individuals, salaries are extremely high with the average starting salary being around $80,000 and higher.
If you have experience in logistics and transportation, you should consider applying to government-based logistics job opportunities offered through agencies such as the NSA and the CIA. These agencies often recruit logistics experts and professionals to help build and operate logistics technologies and help transport vital goods such as weapons and other infrastructure throughout the country and around the world. Whether you are a project manager, engineer or a technician with a background in logistics and infrastructure management, the government has a need for you. Logistics specialists working for various intelligence agencies command very high salaries. Most job opportunities are located in Washington, D.C., but are also seen frequently around military and naval bases across the country. Salaries will be as low as $50,000 and as high as $90,000 and above.
If you have a strong background in mathematics and statistics, here is a huge demand for you as well too. Many government agencies and military branches employ mathematicians and statisticians to work on complex research projects like constructing regression and prediction models, developing complex intelligence algorithms and even working to decode some cryptic problems that require strong math skills. Government agencies such as the CIA and the NSA will however require that you have at least a PhD in mathematics and have years of research under your belt before applying to these types of job opportunities. Nonetheless, a career as a government mathematician is extremely lucrative with the average salary being around $70,000 to over $100,000.
Business Analyst/Project Manager
Business Analysts and Project Managers are also frequently hired by security agencies to help with basic business needs such as office management, budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, business strategy development, materials acquisition, contract management with private vendors, grants evaluation and management. Candidates will typically need a degree in business finance, marketing or management and should strive to earn at least a master’s degree or a MBA from a top-notch business program. Salaries vary greatly, but typically range from $60,000 to more than $100,000.
Cryptologists are the backbone intelligence operation of many security agencies in the United States and abroad. They help combat terrorist operations by helping analysts and other security officers breakdown and interpret crytological messages, codes and other languages that are often employed by secretive groups to shield their terrorist operations. There is not a specific degree that will train individuals for this role, but typically cryptologists are extremely intelligent problem solvers and come from a variety of backgrounds such as history, social sciences, psychology, and even foreign languages. Salaries for cryptologists begin at around $60,000 and higher.
Accountants are also frequently hired by government agencies that monitor the security interests of the United States. An accountant working for a security-based agency will help departments perform financial audits, monitor financial performance, perform financial risk analysis, track down hidden assets of terrorist organizations, and engage in some budgeting activities. Accountants are frequently hired by agencies such as the NSA, CIA, FBI and the DEA. Most accountants hired in this capacity have am aster’s degree in accounting and graduated top of their class from a highly reputable accounting program. Although many accountats take the route of working as a CPA for a large accounting firm, a government-based accountant can also be an extremely lucrative career. The average salary for an account in this capacity is around $70,000 to over $100,000.
Security officers and other security-based personnel are hired to provide protective services to properties based in and outside the United States. They often screen people coming in and out of US-based properties such as consulates, missions, government agency offices, military bases, navy bases and other high-profile properties. Many people who have a security or military background are prime for these positions. Salaries can be as low as $40,000 to as high as $80,000.
Intelligence officers are usually the most coveted of all security jobs. These individuals work for covert intelligence and military missions to research and collect information on terrorist organizations, networks, cells and individuals looking to harm US property and citizens. They often are employed by agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense, different military branches and NSA. They work both in the United States and abroad, risking their lives to uncover terrorist operations worldwide. Many people who become intelligence officers are previous military servicemen and have previous involvement working for highly specialized military forces such as the Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Marines and other elite military outfits. Salaries will vary greatly, but are usually anywhere between $70,000 to over $100,000.
There are obviously many other roles one could pursue. However, these tend to be the most popular jobs for those interested in national security interests.