Security Clearances? What's been your experience?

roninkaironinkai Senior MemberSan DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
Just curious how many of us in the IT field are needing clearances. Funny, you can have a million certs and degrees, but depending on your area...the only jobs available to you might be "clearance required" jobs. That's what I'm finding in my area. I'd say 90% of the jobs I've been called about require clearance. I've been waiting on mine for a while now, and this OPM hack this year has only slowed things down.
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Comments

  • MrAgentMrAgent Member Posts: 1,309 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I also work in an area that has a lot of government related work. I often wonder how I would do if I didn't have a clearance and was looking for work in the area.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Just depends on the area you are in. I never used my clearance once and never had the desire to.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,764 Mod
    I have a secret..shhhh (in the Wash Dc metro..area..) enough said.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ive seen jobs by HP and Microsoft for Cyber Security, got excited, then read the job description and again "clearance required". Even big well known companies are going after these government contracts.

    I've had one in the past, its just a long long drudgerous waiting game.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
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  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,764 Mod
    Waiting does bite..However, if you had one before the waiting isn't so ardorous EXCEPT top secret. Thank Snowden for that.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • RakuraiRakurai A+/N+/Sec+, CCNA/NP, CCDA/DP Member Posts: 84 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Waiting does bite..However, if you had one before the waiting isn't so ardorous EXCEPT top secret. Thank Snowden for that.

    Ain't that the truth, luckily I haven't hit any of the fallout from him.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    yea, all IT people are now suspect due to that. lol. I worked for his former employer for a brief time. small world.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
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  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,764 Mod
    I had fallout. I was offered a position with a company and they were going to go through the top secret with me since I already had a secret. The army said 'no way'. The company had to rescind the offer. Thank you snowden..I curse you. LOL.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • Skynet9Skynet9 Member Posts: 83 ■■□□□□□□□□
    well...I am waiting for my secret security clearance, interim was approved on 2nd week of july. It seems to be taking long time and I am bit of concerned now. I have crystal clear record and it seems to be taking forever.

    to add to the trouble, still waiting for me DEA clearance as well. So i don't have any good experience to share regarding security clearances.
  • RakuraiRakurai A+/N+/Sec+, CCNA/NP, CCDA/DP Member Posts: 84 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Only real thing I had since getting out was getting hired with a DoD contractor company, took 3 months to check over the clearance and get processed for poly. Other than me being impatient and want to start working things haven't been too bad.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ive been waiting since February. Someone I called at OPM to check on my clearance told me he's been waiting 1.5 years for his. No wonder we're getting hacked. We cant get qualified people in place to stop this.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
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  • FillAwfulFillAwful Member Posts: 119 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am in clearance limbo at the moment. The OPM hacks shut down the whole application process for 2 months right as I was starting my position. It made what was already a backed up and slow process even worse. So instead of working I'm on a very long training and certification pipeline. Not the worst case scenario by far but still an arduous process for someone as impatient as myself.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Due to these delays, I've started and was "laid off" from two jobs due to not having my clearance done. The benefits though like @FillAwful is lots of time to work on certifications. But not earning money for the last two months sucks.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
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  • tmurphy3100tmurphy3100 Member Posts: 154 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm curious how do I start the process of getting any clearance at all? I want to work in the security field in the future.
    2020 Goals: CCNA R&S, Cysa+, AZ103, Linux+, Pentest+
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    You have to find an employer willing to sponsor you. Or join the military etc. You have to have the need, you can't just get one.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The younger you are and the less places you've lived (and life experiences overall), the better. If you've moved around, travelled alot, had many employers, be prepared for a long wait. You can probably get interim if you are young and have a pretty "simple" background. I got my clearance easily when I was still in college. But again at that time, no life experiences, only 1 employer.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
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  • jeromelongjjeromelongj Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The job I am in currently said clearance required. I guess since no one here had theirs in this area and I just just gotten my Sec+ at that time I defaulted into it. It's been a slow painful process waiting on it to come through though. The OPM seems to be really slow getting around to do the investigations. I really hope it's done before Christmas... That will only be 7 months.
  • tmurphy3100tmurphy3100 Member Posts: 154 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You have to find an employer willing to sponsor you. Or join the military etc. You have to have the need, you can't just get one.

    Gotcha. But many job profiles will say a certain clearance is required. Is me applying for jobs considered "a need?" Or are these jobs just unattainable until I get clearance from working my way up.
    2020 Goals: CCNA R&S, Cysa+, AZ103, Linux+, Pentest+
  • RakuraiRakurai A+/N+/Sec+, CCNA/NP, CCDA/DP Member Posts: 84 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It really depends on the company. They may sponsor you or try and just look for people to hire that already have the clearance. Mostly for only looking for people is to make sure that they don't hire someone and then process them for the clearance and find out during the investigation that they can't get the clearance. Best bet is to try and call them, tell them your interested but don't have a clearance and see if they are willing to process you for a clearance.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The process usually is that they want the clearance, but give you X amount of days to get an interim. Then you can start your job while the full investigation starts. My issue is that I didn't get interim within 30 days, probably because my wife is not a US citizen. But you can get in the door w/o a clearance. They may just ask you if you know of anything in your background that may prevent you from getting a clearance (DUI, felony, etc).
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  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,764 Mod
    They won't if it's Top Secret. Won't even look at you.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • RakuraiRakurai A+/N+/Sec+, CCNA/NP, CCDA/DP Member Posts: 84 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yea... was going to add that, company I work for won't touch anyone without a TS, and then put them in for the mandatory CI poly... which really isn't as bad as many people think it is.

    editing to add to...


    DUI and felony.... you would think that they wouldn't give people clearances with it BUT.... roommate in the barracks had either a felony or DUI, forget which, and was able to get a clearance. Might have been the timeline of when it happened before joining and then switched into a job that needed it.

    As for spouses that aren't US citizens, I've known at least 4 that I have worked with that have spouses that aren't US Citizens that have TS clearances, 2 of which have Yankee White.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    yea you can get a clearance with DUI, felony, foreign spouse, etc, its just that this may be cause to deny an interim and delay the process. so for the person who's never had a clearance and wants to get into the system, not having these things could mean an easier interim decision. if you know you have something that may trip you up, expect a long wait.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
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  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 959 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Gotcha. But many job profiles will say a certain clearance is required. Is me applying for jobs considered "a need?" Or are these jobs just unattainable until I get clearance from working my way up.

    The job being a part of a contract that requires a clearance is the need. You simply applying for a job is not a need. If you were hired by a company for the position that required a clearance then there would be a need for you to have a clearance.

    Every once in awhile I see job postings that say a clearance "must be obtainable". Your best bet is probably to apply to positions that have this type of verbiage in the job description.
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Member Posts: 613 ■■■■■□□□□□
    None of you are giving me a warm and fuzzy about any of this :) I just submitted my paperwork for an overseas contract and was told by my recruiter that a Secret Clearance usually takes about 2 weeks. Was he referring to an interim clearance by chance? I've had a Secret Clearance in the past but I worry about receiving an interim, somehow not getting the clearance and then being unemployed.
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Member Posts: 1,027 ■■■■■■□□□□
    two weeks would be your interim. My final secret for vectrus (ITT) job in Kuwait didn't finalize until January, and process was started in end of august/start of september
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Member Posts: 613 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Holy cow! Thanks for the timeline. I seem to recall my first clearance taking 6 months but I wasn't in a hurry since I hadn't gone to BCT yet. It almost sounds possible to complete a deployment while waiting for your clearance to go through. Strange indeed.
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If anyone tells you it takes two weeks, they are probably referring to an interim decision. Expect the full clearance to take a long time. But if you get interim, you can already start working in a secured area so the waiting game is easier. Least you can work. Clearances may have taken 6 months of less in the past, but that was before Snowden and Chinese hackers attacking OPM.
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  • Skynet9Skynet9 Member Posts: 83 ■■□□□□□□□□
    dragonsden wrote: »
    If anyone tells you it takes two weeks, they are probably referring to an interim decision. Expect the full clearance to take a long time. But if you get interim, you can already start working in a secured area so the waiting game is easier. Least you can work. Clearances may have taken 6 months of less in the past, but that was before Snowden and Chinese hackers attacking OPM.



    what happens if you withdraw application in that time and went on to work somewhere else?
  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    well someone (some company or agency) needs to be sponsoring your investigation. usually if you leave a position that was doing your investigation, the process will stop as once you leave, your FSO will probably terminate your case in JPAS.
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