Does COVID-19 have you craving a permanent vacation? Pack your bags and make the move to Orlando, where your cleared career can get its big break. If you think Disney World is the only major employer in Orlando, think again: 80% of employment in Orlando is outside of travel and leisure, and includes major defense and aerospace employers like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, L3Harris and Leidos.

Benefits of Working in Orlando

If you’re sick of shoveling snow and want beaches a short drive away, Orlando is a great option. Cost of living is lower than the national average, particularly when you factor in not having to pay income, inheritance, or estate tax. If you’ve been a lifelong fan of Disney, move to Orlando and you can visit the parks so often people will start mistaking you for a cast member. Public schools are top notch, and local universities make Orlando a great place to extend your education.

When you think recreation, you may think of Disney, Seaworld and Universal Studios, but local residents know the natural wildlife is as enticing. Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is located just outside the city, and residents have easy access to a number of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Key Industries and Jobs to Watch

Research and Development and simulation are major industries in Orlando. The Central Florida Research Park, adjacent to the University of Central Florida, is home to more than 100 defense industry employers, from Akima and Agile Defense to Booz Allen and CSRA. And partnerships with UCF ensure a steady supply of STEM talent and professional development opportunities for existing workers. The Florida sun isn’t just great for taking in a water park and meeting Mickey Mouse, it also creates the ideal aviation training and flying environment.

The Space Coast is a short one-hour drive from Orlando, and is a major source of technology innovation in areas like simulation and photonics. Orlando benefits from a diverse aerospace workforce, and the presence of a vast number of defense contractors doing a variety of work. In 2017, Lockheed Martin built a new Research and Development facility, taking its talent footprint in Orland to more than 8,000.

Orlando 411

Population 291,739 (70th largest city in the U.S.)
Housing Cost The median rental costs $1,139 per month, and the median house value is $217,800.
Typical Weather If hot weather is your thing, Orlando is your place to be. The average high during the coolest months, think January, is 72°F. On the opposite end of the year in July, the average high is 92°F. As your body adjusts to the constant heat, you might still find the need for a jacket, but it might be used more for warming up in the air conditioning, as opposed to the outdoor heat.
Cleared Employer to Watch Hello Lockheed Martin! Lockheed has 300 open positions posted for the Orlando area.
Highlighted Job Graphic Designer– Orlando just so happens to be home for I/ITSEC – a large modeling and simulation conference that has many defense contractors invested in its success. Many large contractors have modeling and simulation contracts in the Orlando area. Graphic designers with the ability to gain a clearance could find a higher return on investment for their education than their commercial designer friends. Additionally, many defense contracts in the area requiring graphic artist skills equals more employment options.


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