As you now know, anyone who has access to classified data requires a security clearance. While there are different levels of security clearances, there are also many different industries and specific jobs that require them. The kinds of cleared jobs for the U.S. federal government and government contractors run the gamut from counterintelligence analysts to janitorial workers and everything in between.
There are 854,000 Americans who have top-secret clearances; almost one-third of them work for private companies, according to an August 2010 Washington Post article.
And a security clearance translates into big bucks. Having a security clearance can increase your salary - depending on your skill set, the type of job and the clearance level - by anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent, compared to someone who does not have a clearance. Typically, the higher the clearance level, the higher the pay.
According to the 2011 Security Clearances Job Compensation Survey by ClearanceJobs.com, the following are the top earners by job category:
|Program, Project Manager - Engineering||$122,660|
|Program, Project Manager - Info Tech||$115,702|
|Sales - Account Manager||$120,529|
|Information Technology - Software Programming||$105,207|
|Policy or Public Affairs||$107,499|
|Engineering - Aerospace or Aviation||$99,644|
|Program, Project Manager||$102,910|
|Engineering - Electrical||$95,182|
|Information Technology - Databases||$94,883|
|Information Technology - Testing||$92,534|
|Information Technology - Security||$90,071|
|Finance - Contracts||$82,818|
|Emergency Management, Preparedness||$83,545|
|Information Technology - Hardware||$83,187|
|Intelligence - Analyst, Linguist or Interrogator||$87,145|
|Information Technology - Telecommunications||$85,552|
|Security - Guard, Building, Personnel||$67,920|
|Administrative - Clerical or Secretarial||$54,615|