The Midwest is emerging as a significant hub for national security and defense opportunities. With key military installations and major defense contractors located throughout the region, cleared professionals have ample prospects for a fulfilling career. Download the full report. 

Competitive Compensation in a Cost-Effective Region 

The average cleared salary for those working in the Midwest is $104,798 – which is $10,000 less than the national average. But the region’s affordability is hard to beat, significantly boosting the overall appeal. Seven of the top ten most affordable states are in the Midwest, and the low costs of living allow professionals to enjoy a high quality of life while earning competitive salaries.  

Education and Experience: Key Drivers of Salary 

Education and experience substantially influence compensation levels for cleared candidates in the Midwest. Professionals with a master’s degree earn nearly $22,000 more on average than those with only a bachelor’s degree. Certifications also play a crucial role, with certified professionals earning almost $19,000 more than their uncertified counterparts. Early-career professionals see significant salary jumps within the first five years, underscoring the importance of gaining experience in this field. 

Leading Cities and Top-Paying Jobs 

Key midwestern cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis offer vibrant job markets for cleared professionals. The highest-paying jobs in the Midwest include systems engineering, project management, IT, engineering, and aerospace, with average salaries reaching and surpassing six figures. 

Job Mobility and Market Growth 

Midwestern cleared professionals are open to job mobility, with 77% considering career moves. The region continues to grow and diversify, providing increasing opportunities for cleared candidates. States like Michigan are seeing a rise in cleared professionals, reflecting a positive trend in job market expansion. 

The Midwest is not just a flyover region; it’s a thriving landscape for cleared professionals seeking rewarding careers in national security. With competitive salaries, affordable living, and diverse job opportunities, the Midwest stands out as a prime location for both career growth and quality of life.

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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!