Tune into the news for five minutes or doom scroll for two, and there’s no question: National security is a top priority. The people serving the mission of the U.S. are the driving force behind the safety and security of the nation, which is why cleared professionals are such an integral part of this crucial ecosystem. So, let’s unpack the levels of clearance: Confidential, Secret and Top Secret.  

Confidential Security Clearance 

The first level of security clearance is ‘Confidential,’ and it grants access to information that could cause damage to national security if it falls into the wrong hands. It’s required for many government positions that involve routine access to classified information. This level allows employees to access certain documents and materials not meant for the public eye, but the scope of information is relatively limited. 

Secret Security Clearance 

The ‘Secret’ security clearance is the next level up and is required for positions handling more sensitive information. While Classified clearances require a background investigation, access to this level of classified material requires a more extensive process. The disclosure of Secret information could be expected to cause serious damage to national security. Those with a Secret clearance can access a wider range of classified data, including intelligence reports and other confidential information vital to national security. 

Top Secret Security Clearance 

At the top of the cleared pyramid is the ‘Top Secret’ level. This clearance is reserved for the most sensitive national security information. Access to Top Secret information requires the highest level of scrutiny during the background investigation, as disclosing such information could reasonably be expected to cause grave damage to national security. Those with Top Secret clearances have access to a vast array of highly classified information, including intelligence sources and methods, as well as the most critical defense plans and strategies. 

These three levels—Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret—are essential for maintaining national security.  For the latest security clearance, defense, and national security news, visit clearancejobs.com. 

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Phoebe Wells is the Public Relations & Partnerships Marketing Manager at ClearanceJobs and loves every aspect of her role. Creating content and working with the CJ team to connect cleared candidates with employers is incredibly rewarding, as the work ClearanceJobs does ultimately supports the mission of the U.S. As the daughter of a veteran and former cleared worker, she knows the sacrifices security and defense professionals make. She is honored to assist them in leveling up their careers. Plus, she gets to work from home in the Adirondack Mountains with her partner and two huskies!