You may think that in order to work in national security, you have to live in Washington. D.C. While working in the D.C. region has its benefits, when it comes to finding a cleared job; sometimes, starting or advancing your career outside the D.C. region can have both cost and career benefits. 

Here are five places to choose if you want to take your cleared career out of the D.C. area and explore where the roads lead around the U.S. Despite the restrictions due to COVID-19, cleared employers around the country are hiring. It’s still a good time to relocate. 

  1. San Diego – While San Diego is still a large city and comparable to a D.C. cost of living, the environment is sunny and the pace is different. With 32 military bases in California, the Navy and Marine Corps are clustered heavily around San Diego. Because of its strategic geography, the region has remained militarily strong, and large defense employers are here to stay.
  2. BostonBoston has been home to innovators and disruptors since the Puritans. Innovation today looks like connecting academic institutions, nonprofits and companies. The city is home to 35 institutes of higher learning. If you’re looking for a big city with a small town feel and major livability, look no further than Boston. The presence of so much R&D means you should never be bored in your career, with new opportunities to expand your skills and take on new challenges.
  3. Orlando – If you’re sick of shoveling snow and want beaches a short drive away, Orlando is a great option, whether or not you are Disney’s biggest fan. Cost of living is lower than the national average, and when it comes to cleared work, R&D and simulation are major industries in Orlando.
  4. Huntsville – While tech and aerospace may lead employment prospects, the variety of employers means there’s need for cleared professionals of every stripe – from budget analysts to maintenance technicians and analysts. If you’re looking for a city without D.C.’s cost of living – but with its diversity – Huntsville is a great choice.
  5. Colorado SpringsColorado Springs is one of the biggest defense and aerospace hubs in the nation, with more than 250 employers and multiple military installations. Diversity of opportunity and access to cutting edge technology are two of the major reasons to consider career opportunities in Colorado Springs. If you’re looking to add more outdoor activities to your life outside the office, Colorado Springs can deliver – whether it’s hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter.

It may be hard to consider relocating, but if you want to take your career to the next level, consider these hot cleared hubs. 

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.