Security is a hot commodity. From the workplace to cyberspace, employers increasingly respect and value security cleared personnel. But how important is the issue of job security to you?
According to Pew Research, more than half the nation’s workforce cites job security as a top priority. The data includes younger and older workers, demonstrating that workers of both age groups recognize jobs can be hard to come by. Once landed, people want to keep them. If you’re cleared, looking for a new career and consider job security a factor, one of the best ways to measure it is by looking at the growth rate in specific industries.
Economic Modeling Specialists, International, compiles and publishes reports on labor data. It recently listed the industries projected to grow the fastest between now and 2016. While it projects great prospects in oil and gas, health care and education, most of those jobs don’t require a clearance. But that’s not the case in IT.
IT = JOB SECURITY
The technical sector is expected to rank high when it comes to staying power. It also happens to place a high value on security clearances and offers the salaries to prove it. The next few years are expected to look like this:
Computer network architects will be in steady demand, with the fastest job growth in Arkansas and Texas. In Plano, Dallas and Fort Worth, more than a dozen different companies are looking for cleared network professionals, offering salaries of $91,000 or higher. Names to look for in Texas include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Bell Helicopter, Raytheon, General Dynamics and NASA in Houston.
The future looks equally good for cleared web developers. The fastest growth for these jobs is currently in Utah, where the defense contractor industry has drawn more than $23 billion in federal contracts in the last decade. Big employers of cleared personnel include Hill AFB, Honeywell, L3 Communications and ATK. However, the heaviest concentration of cleared web developer jobs is still lumped throughout D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Average salaries start at around $90,000 and up.
Likewise, cleared information security analysts can expect the best prospects in and around the capitol beltway. The federal sector pays experienced, cleared analysts an average of $105,000 on the high end, with defense contractors raising the bar up to $125,000. These jobs are by no means limited to the D.C. region. They’re everywhere. In fact, Delaware has twice the national average in numbers alone.
The defense industry will continue to need cleared logisticians. They’re already in demand among major contractors like Booze Allen Hamilton, CACI and Centurum, Inc. They’re also advertised by lesser known contractors in more than a dozen states and in the federal sector. Logisticians with a clearance and a bachelor’s degree can command annual earnings of around $75,000 and up.
Expect the need for cleared software developers (systems) to be a permanent condition. Name a defense contractor and that company hires software developers. Openings will continue for civilian jobs attached to military installations. And the heaviest concentration overall, will likely remain localized in the D.C. region and California, where earnings average about $100,000.