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Salaries for Jobs In Homeland Security

Homeland Security has become one of the country's largest employers, with almost a quarter of a million workers



By Neil Johnson
Posted 2012

Homeland Security Salary Information
Homeland Security Salary Information

With about 240,000 employees, the Department of Homeland Security would rank 20th in the 2012 Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. employers, filling the place behind FedEx and ahead of Walgreens.

According to the ranking on the CNN Money website, Homeland Security would be larger than General Motors, Verizon Communications and Lowe’s.


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Homeland Security planned to hire more than 65,000 employees between 2009 and 2012, according to wherethejobsare.org. It is also one of the top three employers of the federal government that, along with the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration, make up 60% of the federal workforce.

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Schools are responding with programs offering a homeland security degree for students to specialize in the growing field. Homeland security training can range from workshops to advanced degrees with more than 300 schools offering some form of training.

Here’s a look at some Homeland Security jobs. Most salaries in the department are on the government GS pay scale and the pay range is an estimate.

Cyber Security Specialist. This is a job in high demand to protect computer networks from viruses, hackers and attacks by hostile governments and organizations. Homeland Security has placed a high priority on finding these workers. Some areas include risk analysis, incident response, investigation and systems engineering. The salary runs from $74,000 to $175,000.

Intelligence Officer. These workers are deployed around the country to work with state and local agencies in combatting threats and sharing intelligence about national security threats among a number of state and local emergency agencies. The salary ranges from $70,000 to $96,000.

Border Patrol Agent. These agents are responsible for enforcing the nation’s border security. Their main responsibilities are to stop smuggling and keep undocumented aliens from entering the country. They also work to apprehend people who have broken immigration laws. The salary range is $39,000 to $46,000.

Immigration Officer. These officers work directly with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies to find people who could be a threat to national security. They also are involved with granting or denying requests for immigration benefits and conduct investigations of documentation. The pay range runs from $34,000 to $54,000.

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IT Specialist. This position involves finding ways to improve the department’s software and computer systems, including providing technical support for hardware and software, and recommending improvements in both. The salary ranges from $54,000 to $77,000.

Mechanical Engineer. Mechanical engineering jobs with Homeland Security often involve working as a civilian employee with the U.S. Coast Guard and can include managing projects at federal facilities, trouble-shooting for contractors on new projects and helping evaluate the performance of contractors. Other agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration use other engineering specialties, such as industrial engineer. The pay for a mechanical engineer runs from $68,000 to $87,000.

Security Specialist. This type of job covers a variety of possible positions that include the Federal Protective Services where the specialists safeguard the nation’s infrastructure. The job duties may include reviewing security priorities or identifying problems in transportation security. A security specialist job also may cover evaluating the background of workers and job candidates for sensitive positions with Homeland Security. The pay can range from $52,000 to $82,000.

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Customs Specialist. This job can include being an import specialist for U.S. Customs and Border Protection responsible for enforcing customs laws and preventing illegal drugs and other banned items from entering the country. It also includes helping keep terrorists and weapons from entering the country. The salary range is $31,000 to $50,000.


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