Obtaining Security Clearance

New School Lesson: How to Get a Security Clearance

An article in last week’s Washington Post reported, “Maryland public schools will soon establish ‘security clearance’ educational programs for students as part of the state’s effort to capitalize on new jobs anticipated as part of the Pentagon’s base realignment, school officials say.”

The Maryland officials want their workforce to be able to compete for high-paying jobs that require security clearances.  Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, said she wants to establish security clearance education programs in all school systems by the start of the next school year.  Grasmick said, “I think it can be infused into components of curriculum that already exist.”

If Maryland is serious about this, shouldn’t they give consideration to Adult Education classes that focus exclusively on helping people avoid the usual detours and roadblocks to getting a security clearance?

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    The problem is just not getting a security clearance , but getting a job. It seems like the employers what so much experience and high tech people. I have a TS, and Q , college degree , however every employer what people with High Tech or Engineering background with several yrs. of working experience. I have many yrs. of administrative experience with a Business degree. The new BRAC jobs coming into MD (Ft. Meade area) should go to the folks that are already here with clearances. I haven’t attended any T/S Job Fairs, but I know several people who had and they all want people with many yrs. of specialize experience and grad. degrees in either Engineering or Computer Sciences. Comments welcome ..

  2. Avatar

    I have the opposite problem from what Jimmy is describing. I have ten years experience in my field (print and web design and development) and currently hold an art director position. I qualify for several of these positions except for the fact that I don’t have a clearance, and it’s not easy to get a clearance as a designer and web developer, from what I understand.

    How can I get someone to sponsor me for a clearance? I can double, nearly triple my income if I just had one! I’d be willing to take half of what some of these jobs are offering if they would just sponsor me… is that a valid approach to take?

    How can I get a clearance, short of joining the military?

  3. Avatar

    Melissa – obtaining a clearance is difficult. You cannot sponsor yourself, and most defense industry employers have trouble accepting candidates that do not already have a clearance in place.

    Contractors do have needs for artists, specifically to prepare briefings, do concept artwork for new systems, etc.

    Our suggestion would be to get your resume on the general job boards, and submit it to all major (prime) defense contractors. A short list would be Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, CACI, Titan, L3, and CSC. Submit a resume saying you are “clearable” and let the employers know briefly about your background.

    Good luck

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    I ‘m hearing that Ms. Clinton will cut 500,000 contractor jobs if she becomes President. This is not a rumor , but she states it on her webpage proudly. If you are a contractor , are you worried that your job may be elimated ? Will this cause the Federal Govt. to hire more workers and outsource less ?

  5. Avatar

    Sort of in the same boat as Jimmy in that I’m currently job hunting. I would like to stay in an analyst position but most jobs I see want engineering or more specialized experience, granted what analytical work I do now is specialized- perhaps to specialized.

    The jobs I do see call for a DOD clearance I have a DOE clearance and I am wondering if the crossover is easy? And will not having a DOD clearance put me out of the running?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Avatar

    Jay – it depends on the employer. We work with a lot of DoD employers that can accept candidates with DoE clearance and make the transfer of the clearance between agencies. I’d say one in ten say the transfer process is too difficult to undertake. I’d post a resume on ClearanceJobs.com and see what kind of response you get.

  7. Avatar

    I’m trying to break into the many government jobs in my area. Potential employers always ask if I have a security clearance. My response is that I’m not sure if I ever had one when I was in the Army/Reserves (1968-74)but I have never had the need since then. Any advice?

    Thank you.

  8. Avatar

    I read over the Q & A and saw no Answer. I will make the Question simple…Certified in Security…How do I START the Long Process to a DOD Clearence? 52 years old, 2 misdemeanors, caught the wife, now EX with another so-called man. Other than that…CLEAN. Robert. Thank You.