Security Clearance Jobs

What Is It Like to be a Security Clearance Investigator? contributor Tranette Ledford offered five tips for those considering a career as a contract security clearance investigator. From the application process to the realities of living in a home office, perhaps the biggest truism about work as a security clearance investigator is that you really won’t understand what it’s like until you speak with one. Here’s an excerpt from her article:

Forget about camaraderie.  For the most part, you’ll be working solo.  And just as in any investigative field, the information you learn must remain private and cannot be discussed outside of those to whom you report.  Time management is critical, as you must meet agency deadlines when they’re provided, and keep an accurate account of all time spent.  Additionally, keep government holidays in mind.  They add up to about two to three weeks a year, so it’s a good idea to recognize when they occur so you can plan for slow-downs.

FYI:  You may want to check out some of the forums in which contract investigators discuss issues like work/life balance, pay and other factors.   Though you’ll likely hear opposing views, those discussions can help you determine how earnings, regions and agencies impact job satisfaction.

What would you add the list? What advice would you give to someone considering the career?

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I can describe what it is like in two words: career suicide!

    By the way website looks great but it’s a pain in the butt to post a comment on here….that must be the reason why nobody is bothering with posting a comment.

    • Avatar

      Thanks for that feedback! The new site does require registration for comments, but once you’ve registered, it’s definitely easier to comment, participate in the forums, and stay updated on content on the blog – hopefully people will take the time and stay engaged. Registration also helps keep spam out and legitimate comments in, which will improve the quality of the conversations. But keep that feedback coming – we want to know how we can improve! – Lindy Kyzer, editor

  2. Avatar

    The job at one time was worth pursuing. The pay has all but decreased and many investigators worked for years with no raises. The system as it sits now, is not worth giving up time when you can pursue better options.

  3. Avatar

    I just found the comments section here. I echo what Hackett said, this format is no bueno. I’m posting from my tablet and the comments section is way at the bottom, had to scroll way down and only did it be accident.

    As far as being a Background Investigator, I’ll just say my optimisim has waned and I am currently seeking other opportunities.

    • Avatar

      Got it on the comments – we’ve taken a few steps to address Jon’s concerns with posting – we’ll also consider ways to make the comments more prominent. Have you checked out the forum? At the top right of the screen, click on ‘Forum’ – we created that just for our security clearance investigator community who has kept this blog going. It’s a dedicated place for security clearance questions and conversations, and you can create your own threads that aren’t tied to a specific post. I’d love your opinion on that, if you have the time to check it out!

    • Avatar

      Fed–good luck on the hunt. I’ve been done a few months and after almost 10 years–it feels great to no longer do the job.

  4. Avatar

    Yeah, I saw the forum, it’s a great step but still difficult to figure out. I’m posting from my phone now and can’t find the forum login.

  5. Avatar

    I don’t know how in the name of all that is good this industry can survive as is. Horrendous business practices by OPM contractors leading to extraordinarily low morale amongst investigators. Said businesses can’t simply allow people to continue to quit or be fired because someone has to do the work OPM and its customer agencies want done. Something’s gotta change soon.

    For anyone considering becoming an OPM agent or contract investigator: don’t do it.

  6. Avatar

    Well said BW, T.W. and Joe Hackett! The job itself is great, except for all the middle-men, gutless, money-sucking, corporate management flunkies that contribute nothing to real production! The Govt oughta just divorce itself of all the private companies and just go to all individuals being their own private contractors. Money would surely be saved not paying the likes of USIS with their bonus payouts that the INV’s never got to see! We tax-payers have been fleeced for too long by those crooks!

  7. Avatar

    As I stated in an earlier post, I don’t know how this industry survives if it continues to rely on profit-based contractors to do most of its work. Back in February and March, KGS was furloughing employees due to low work levels being given to it by OPM. It even got to the point where layoffs and cost-saving demotions occurred. Ultimately, several top-level managers at the company were unexpectedly leaving, including the company’s OPM program director who had been with the company since inception. This article below came out today and sheds more light potentially into that. It also shows that really nothing changed in lieu of the lawsuit brought against USIS by DOJ. Troubling to say the least: