If you’re targeting an entry-level security job, then you can find those in the major cities in every state in the union. If, on the other hand, you’re prepared to advance your career, then you’re likely going to have to target specific cities and states in order to land that coveted security position. In order to assist you with that effort, here is a list of the current top 10 cities for security jobs.
1. Washington D.C.
Due to the large number of federal agencies and the presence of defense contractors and similar businesses, Washington D.C. has the most security-related jobs in not only the country but also the world. Washington D.C. is constantly undergoing political change, and that causes a revolving door of security positions. Therefore, it’s not just a good option for your next position but possibly also subsequent ones. Finally, Washington D.C. is essentially recession proof in this particular sector, which makes it easier to find and hold a job.
2. Orlando, Florida
Of all the states in the U.S., Florida has the largest population of defense contractors, and Orlando is the city where that population is densest. Defense contractors are not the only providers of security jobs, but they are some of the most prolific. Positions with defense contractors also tend to provide superior upward career mobility in a field where an individual can often stagnate. At the time of this writing, there were more than 2,000 security job listings for Orlando on the major job search websites.
3. St. Petersburg, Florida
The entire Tampa Bay Area is a very intriguing place for the security professional. Not only does it have a large population of defense contractors, it has a military presence, such as MacDill Air Force Base, and it has a thriving technology industry that places great demand on clearance and engineering skills. There is also a wide range of additional opportunities for those with backgrounds in intelligence, international affairs and languages.
4. Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, nicknamed The Rocket City, has been a great location for security jobs as far back as World War II. The history of the city is entwined with missile development and space flight in the U.S., and that has given rise to a thriving security sector that continues to grow today even as the industry changes. Candidates will find security positions related to biotechnology, communications, computer sciences and engineering.
5. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is one of the most crucial areas within the multi-state region known as the Silicon Prairie. That nickname is a take on Silicon Valley, but this region has actually surpassed its namesake in terms of growth, diversity and the array of employment opportunities that it offers. For security-cleared professionals, the most prevalent opportunities include positions as field service technicians and systems engineers.
6. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy, two Air Force Bases, the aerospace industry and of the most prolific tourism industries in the country. In fact, in Colorado, aerospace is second only to tourism. If a security professional wanted to choose just one city, this would probably be it. Colorado Springs offers a wealth of entry-level positions, all the education opportunities needed to advance a security career and a wealth of positions at the high end of the spectrum.
7. Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is what is called a cluster region, which means that it has a robust core industry that is attracting many additional companies from a diverse range of satellite industries. That core industry in this case is aerospace, and the city boasts nearly 100 independent aerospace firms. The cluster includes technology, bioindustry, optics and a wide array of other industries where security professionals are in high demand and positions are not easily filled.
8. Phoenix, Arizona
Orlando is the number one city in the country for defense contractors; Phoenix is number two. Phoenix offers close proximity to a robust business infrastructure as well as a lot of inexpensive wide-open land. That makes it unique and very attractive to defense contractors. Most of the contractors in Orlando have a presence here, too, and it’s not unusual to start a defense career in one of the cities and end up in the other.
9. San Diego, California
The defense sector and military presence in San Diego combine to form an industry that generates more than $25 billion dollars a year. San Diego may not be one of the largest such communities, but is one of the most lucrative, which means that it provides excellent opportunity for high-paying security jobs. Beyond defense, you’ll find security jobs in construction, communications and electronics.
10. Los Angeles, California
In Los Angeles County and Orange Country, data communications analysis and network systems are two of the fastest-growing fields, and that translates into a lot of opportunity for security jobs, particularly those that warrant six-figure salaries. The area, however, can be a bit brutal to security professionals on the lower end of the totem, which is why it only comes in at the final position on the list.