If you’re fired or lose your job, does that automatically mean you’ll lose your security clearance? Not necessarily. You automatically lose your access to classified information when you leave your job, but your security clearance may remain current if no incidents or flags are placed in your file.

Cleared professionals, just like anyone else, may be fired for a variety of reasons. If your contract ends, your company reorganizes – or your boss just hates you – you may get fired. But in each of those incidents you wouldn’t lose your clearance eligibility. Your clearance remains current and you have two years to find yourself another cleared position – assuming your investigation hasn’t expired.

If your firing comes with an incident related to the adjudicative criteria – you’re fired for mishandling classified information, threatening a coworker or committing a crime – an incident report will be placed in your record and your eligibility will be denied until the incident report is resolved. In many cases that means you’ll need to find an employer willing to take the time to work with you as you resolve the incident report and work to get your eligibility back.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.