I Don't Have a Security Clearance... Is That A Problem?
June 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm #132749
Someone recently asked me about working for DHS. Their background is working for the the St. Petersburg police department in investigations. The problem is they don't have a security clearance.
Are there any DHS jobs that don't require a clearance? If not how does someone start the process of getting a clearance and how does that process play out?
June 14, 2011 at 10:57 am #132755
Samuel A. LuksParticipant
When they apply for a job that requires a clearance, they will fill out the required paperwork. DHS or what ever agency they decide to apply to will sponsor them in the process. OPM will then issue them the e86 to start the process.
If they think or know they want a job with a clearance, it is best to have them start finding all of there 'stuff' for the last 10-15 years. Names, addresses, work info, ect, as the background forms will want that... and then some. They will normally have 14 days to complete the from once OPM send them the 'invitation'.
Not all jobs require a security clearance. Some require you to be able to receive one. Some require you to have one. Just depends on the job.
The basic job with TSA as an Officer, requires a background investigation. My current position (Supervisor) requires a Secret Clearance. So it just depends.
Hope that helps a bit.
June 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm #132753
An alternative to trying to catch on with DHS directly, might be to look at the companies that have large amounts of work at DHS and then search their career websites to identify possible opportunities.
Additionally, given that persons experience, I would look at OPM and some of the vendors that support OPM as contractors especially in providing investigation support (KeyPoint Government Solutions comes to mind).
June 29, 2011 at 1:17 am #132751
Joseph T. AbbottParticipant
As a follow up to Samuel below, the problem if it exists, exists basically for two main reasons. The first reason is that they do not have time to wait for the security clearance process to finish. The second reason is because they have a background that raises concerns about the individual working for the DHS. In order to solve problem number one, the individual needs to apply for a job within the Department or one of its components, such as ICE, CIS, CBP, TSA, FEMA. Plan for the it to take several weeks, sometimes months to complete. There are thousands going through the same process at any one time. If you are older, youmay have more history, jobs, residences and that takes more time too. The DHS agencies can be accessed through the DHS.gov public website and most jobs are posted through USAJobs, hosted by OPM.gov. Now, during the pre-employment process, the indivdual needs to follow the instructions for submitting the background information requested, normally done electronically. Failure to follow instructions or reply within the required timelines results in delays. In other words, if the agency tells you to do it, get it done. With regards to the second reason, if the indivdual has a troubled past, then the individual needs to disclose it, and be prepared to explain what happened. Depending upon the type of issue, it is either resolved favorably for the individual or additional information is required. Those issues are handled on a case by case basis with the agency conducting the background investigation. Hope this helps.
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