Let me start today’s blog with an upfront disclaimer: though obtaining a security clearance may sound like a good idea to anybody considering some kind of civilian position with the US government, you can’t get one on your own. Obtaining a security clearance requires the active consent and participation of the Feds, and can only be granted for those who work in government agencies or who contract to same (usually through large specialist companies that specialize in providing contract human capital for government use, sometimes called “Beltway bandits”). You can’t go out and get one on your own.
That said, one of the biggest hurdles to obtaining a security clearance is getting through the background check. Here’s where a potential silver lining lurks for military or ex-military personnel: if you’ve ever had a security clearance, your odds of getting one as a civilian go up enormously AND the background check only needs to pick up after the data when your last clearance was granted. This can be a huge boon for those who’ve already been awarded such clearances, even if that occurred some time ago (of course, your criminal and financial record must be blemish-free since then, but that shouldn’t be too big a hurdle for most people).
If you want to learn more about this fascinating subject, please consult one or more of the following articles:
- Security Clearances TAOnline.com (undated)
- Security Clearance Guidelines About.com (undated) (see also Security Clearance Secrets)
- Typical description of legal services in aid of obtaining clearance from The Marbury Law Group, under the heading Security Clearances (many, many legal firms provide such services: this is just an example).
- Security Clearance Jobs Blog (dates vary)
- Security Clearance Manual, Chapters 1 & 10, (undated)
- How long does my security clearance last … ? Yahoo! Answers (April, 2009)
- How can I obtain Government Security Clearance? Linked-in Answers (April, 2009)