Cleared Jobs with ASEC: What You Need to Know About Government Security Clearances

As a job seeker, you might be familiar with security clearance language listed in job postings. This could include statements such as, “Secret clearance required” or “Must be eligible to obtain a Secret clearance.”

Here is what you need to know about Government Security Clearances.

Navigating the world of security clearances can be very confusing to those outside of the industry. While the work you will perform as a cleared professional will be confidential, the process of obtaining a security clearance is not. 

Given our own experience with security clearances, we’re here to draw back the curtains to help you. Most positions at ASEC will require Secret, Top Secret, and TS/SCI-level clearances. 

Now, what does that mean for someone who does not hold a security clearance?

Below you’ll find the answers to some frequently asked questions, including why a security clearance is needed for certain jobs, how to obtain a clearance, and what these different clearance levels mean.

Can I Get My Own Government Security Clearances?

We’ll start off with one of the more common questions we get, which is prospective employees asking if they can get their own clearance.

The answer is no, individuals are not able to apply for a clearance themselves. 

The process for obtaining a security clearance comes either through the sponsorship of a government agency or a company with a government contract that requires classified performance.

How Long Will It Take To Get A Security Clearance?

There is not a hard and fast number for the time it will take to obtain a security clearance.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the process takes between three and four months on average. Depending on your background, completing the security clearance process can take up to a year.

Factors influencing the process’s length include the level of security you’re looking to obtain, your finances and financial history, family members, and or foreign contacts requiring in-depth verification.

Will Not Having A Security Clearance Keep Me From Getting A Job That Requires It?

There are two main ways you will see job postings describe their security clearance needs: required and eligible.

If a job description says that a clearance is required for the job, and you don’t have a clearance, you will probably not be considered.

If the job description says you must be eligible to obtain a Secret clearance – or whichever level of clearance is being requested – and you think you would be able to obtain it, you should feel comfortable applying.

What Do The Different Security Clearance Levels Mean?

These security clearances are issued by a number of US government agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of State (DOS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DoJ), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). DoD issues more than 80% of all clearances.

At ASEC, we support DoD contracts, and we have a security team that ensures our employee and facility security clearance requirements are upheld.

There are the levels of DoD security clearances:

  • TOP SECRET – This is for positions dealing with information in which unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security.
  • SECRET – This is for positions dealing with information in which unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security.
  • CONFIDENTIAL – This is for positions dealing with information in which unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause damage to national security.

What Will Keep Me From Obtaining Government Security Clearances?

There are a number of reasons that you could be denied a security clearance.

These can include more explicit issues, like criminal activity, to less obvious ones, like your adjudicator believing you might be susceptible to coercion. 

Other reasons for security clearance denial could include financial issues (like debt or unpaid taxes), personal conduct (lying or not cooperating with the clearance process), foreign ties, and drug use.

What happens if you are denied a security clearance? All hope may not be lost. 

With Presidential Executive Order 12968, you have the right to receive a written explanation of your denial, as well as a chance to request a review. A security clearance lawyer can also help you navigate the appeal process.

Getting To Work With ASEC

The majority of ASEC positions supporting our NAVAIR customers require at least a Secret clearance. To find out which security clearances are required, we encourage you to visit our Job Openings page. At the bottom of each post, you will find a section that details the Security Clearance Requirements.