Active Top Secret/SCI desiring to go OCONUS (Middle East)

Arizona321Arizona321 Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone, newbie here!  Been reading a lot on here the past few weeks, so thank you to everyone that contributes on this site.

Here's my current situation.  
Clearance:  TS/SCI

Current Employer:  Army, 4 years, leaving in October.  Combat Arms job, so no IT work there.

Experience:  I have little professional IT experience, worked at an online hosting company doing tech support (but mainly sales) for about a year prior to joining the Army.

Certifications:  Studying for Security plus, plan to test mid September.

Desired Job Location:  Middle East, just started reading on here about Africa (intrigued, but not too sure)







So here are my questions:

With having little experience will it be hard for me to get picked up for a job? 

What jobs should I apply to?  Help Desk, or something a little higher because of my clearance? 

Who should I start with ?  I see a lot of people go with Vectrus on here, but since I already have a clearance should I look elsewhere ? 

Is there a pay difference between Secret vs TS/SCI clearance?

What's a realistic salary expectation?  

How long does the process usually take from application turn in until you're on country ?  I would like to leave begining of the new year.

Does OCONUS contracting look good to CONUS employers ?  I plan on doing 1-2 years then coming back to the US and working for Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman or other Defense Contracting companies in the Phoenix area.




I'm married with a newborn.  The primary reason for me wanting to go OCONUS is for the money and experience.  With the already saved money and contracting money I'd like to have a nice down payment on a house.   The wife is ok (but not excited) for me to go back overseas if the money is right.

Comments

  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 486 ■■■■■■□□□□

    With having little experience will it be hard for me to get picked up for a job? 
    With military experience and clearance, it shouldn't be too hard for an entry level position. 

    What jobs should I apply to?  Help Desk, or something a little higher because of my clearance?
    As far as IT work, either service desk or ADPE Tech is a good start. There are also other non IT jobs out there like Security, Intel etc

    Who should I start with ?  I see a lot of people go with Vectrus on here, but since I already have a clearance should I look elsewhere ? 
    I think so, look into General Dynamics, Jacobs, Leidos etc. Lots of contractors out there. You can google Defense contractors middle east to get an idea who's out there.

    Is there a pay difference between Secret vs TS/SCI clearance?
    Generally yes, for example in DC area the difference is about 20k annually from what I heard. Obviously it varies.  

    What's a realistic salary expectation?  
    About $100-150k annually for entry level, but it varies a lot by uplifts, danger pay, overtime etc

    How long does the process usually take from application turn in until you're on country ?  I would like to leave beginning of the new year.
    A month or two. Clearance is the longest hold. Once you clear medical, you get an CRC date and fly out.

    Does OCONUS contracting look good to CONUS employers ?  I plan on doing 1-2 years then coming back to the US and working for Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman or other Defense Contracting companies in the Phoenix area.
    I don't see why not especially if you can get in with a major contractor and then transfer internally. 


    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • Arizona321Arizona321 Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
    mikey88 said:

    With having little experience will it be hard for me to get picked up for a job? 
    With military experience and clearance, it shouldn't be too hard for an entry level position. 

    What jobs should I apply to?  Help Desk, or something a little higher because of my clearance?
    As far as IT work, either service desk or ADPE Tech is a good start. There are also other non IT jobs out there like Security, Intel etc

    Who should I start with ?  I see a lot of people go with Vectrus on here, but since I already have a clearance should I look elsewhere ? 
    I think so, look into General Dynamics, Jacobs, Leidos etc. Lots of contractors out there. You can google Defense contractors middle east to get an idea who's out there.

    Is there a pay difference between Secret vs TS/SCI clearance?
    Generally yes, for example in DC area the difference is about 20k annually from what I heard. Obviously it varies.  

    What's a realistic salary expectation?  
    About $100-150k annually for entry level, but it varies a lot by uplifts, danger pay, overtime etc

    How long does the process usually take from application turn in until you're on country ?  I would like to leave beginning of the new year.
    A month or two. Clearance is the longest hold. Once you clear medical, you get an CRC date and fly out.

    Does OCONUS contracting look good to CONUS employers ?  I plan on doing 1-2 years then coming back to the US and working for Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman or other Defense Contracting companies in the Phoenix area.
    I don't see why not especially if you can get in with a major contractor and then transfer internally. 


    Thank you for your reply, I appreciate the answers.

    I've done quite a bit of looking on Glassdoor and Indeed at different positions.  It just seems like if you have a TS/SCI they want you in a senior level spot or a CISSP, which I don't have yet.

    Despite not wanting to leave until the new year is it too soon to start applying to these jobs ? 
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 486 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Probably too early yes, but create a profile on clearancejobs.com and start connecting with recruiters now.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

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