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What is the Department of Homeland Security?


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in direct response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This federal cabinet-level department was established by the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and considered one of the largest reorganizations of the federal government in the country’s 200+ year history.

How many agencies are in the Department of Homeland Security after this massive reorganization? In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security, through its 30+ agencies employed more than 230,000 security professionals on a solitary mission — protecting America and its many and diverse residents.

What Does Homeland Security Do?

As the most recently added cabinet department of the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security’s ultimate responsibility is to protect the public and the American way of life we all cherish. The Department of Homeland Security focuses its efforts on the events that occur within the civilian scope, where it serves to protect the borders of the United States from within, and without. In this way, the Department of Homeland Security jobs (even the Homeland Security internship) differ from the many security jobs offered by the Department of Defense — which operate from a military perspective.

Department of Homeland Security jobs vary as the many Department of Homeland Security subsidiaries are tasked with issues regarding border security, immigration, cybersecurity, and anti-terrorism, to name a few. The Department of Homeland Security offers a homeland security internship to a number of homeland security students. Those interested in joining the dedicated security professionals protecting the United States are encouraged to apply through the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

The DHS website lists the available Department of Homeland Security jobs. The website also provides helpful contact information and downloadable online forms for your review.

What Are Some Department of Homeland Security Jobs?

Professionals who hold Department of Homeland Security jobs must commit to the Department of Homeland Security’s mission statement that speaks to the safeguarding of American values and the residents of the United States, with integrity and honor. Employees of the Department of Homeland Security actively secure the freedoms the United States offers to its citizens.

Through the many Department of Homeland Security subsidiaries and agencies, security professionals ensure the nation’s safety through many missions dedicated to protecting the United States’ borders, ports of call, and airports, among others. With so much demand, many colleges and universities are developing degree programs centered around Homeland Security. Working security professionals may also consider certifications.

The Department of Homeland Security agencies offers rewarding career opportunities in the areas of law enforcement, response/prevention, travel security, and immigration, among others. These Department of Homeland Security jobs offer you an opportunity to learn new skills while being a part of the national team of professionals fighting against terrorism and other national threats.

What Are the Department of Homeland Security Agencies?

How many agencies are in the Department of Homeland Security? The Department of Homeland Security oversees more than 20 different agencies and subsidiaries within its scope of responsibility. A partial list of the Department of Homeland Security agencies and the Department of Homeland Security subsidiaries is shown below:

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)– the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency is responsible for managing the citizenship processes as well as requests from asylum seekers. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency employs more than 18,000 people across the globe in the USCIS’ 200+ offices. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has been authorized to make adjudicated decisions at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services centers located across the United States.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The United States Customs and Border Protection agency is responsible for protecting the United States’ borders on land, on the sea, and in the air. It is also authorized to enforce immigration and customs laws at every United States port of entry and border and, is considered among the largest law enforcement organizations in the nation. More than 45,000 individuals are employed by the United States’ Customs and Border Protection agency.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) –The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency operates with two distinct departments. These divisions include the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) and the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) related to immigration law. ICE employees are responsible for enforcing more than 390 federal statutes relating to immigration and terrorism.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) –The Transportation Security Administration is responsible for the security provided for international and domestic aviation services, as well as security protection at US ports. The Transportation Security Administration screens passengers at airports, and ports, but is also responsible for placing Federal Air Marshalls (armed!) on planes. Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration employs teams of dogs and dog handlers regarding hidden explosives.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) –The United States Coast Guard is one of the seven uniformed branches of the United States armed forces. The United States Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing Maritime Law, Protecting Critical Natural Resources, Maritime Safety, Maritime Stewardship, and Maritime Security. The United States Coast Guard follows eleven missions, which are divided among homeland security issues and non-homeland security issues.

The United States Secret Service (Secret Service) — The United States Secret Service operate with two distinct missions. These include the Protective Mission and the Investigative Mission. This federal agency is tasked with the responsibility of protecting the lives of that country’s leadership, as well as their families. The Secret Service is also tasked to maintain a vigilant watch upon the nation’s vulnerable financial infrastructure. The Secret Service operates domestically (with more than 100 offices) and internationally with 20 offices across the globe.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the country’s readiness in times of disasters — floods, hurricanes, forest fires, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Its primary purpose to financial help local communities without the resources to repair the necessary damage. Many of the most recent revisions to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s structure and procedures were based upon the events surrounding the devastating hurricane Katrina.

Related Rankings:

Top 25 Campus Master’s in Security Studies Programs

Top 25 Online Security Master’s Degree Programs

Top 10 Online Homeland Security Degree Programs

Most Affordable Homeland Security Degree Programs

Top Scholarships for Homeland Security Students


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