The Department of Homeland Security was the response to the 9/11 attack that rocked the United States. Created to prevent and counter new threats, Homeland Security has many sub-agencies that have a common goal. The sub-agencies ensure that all means through which you enter and exit the United States are secured.
This includes airports, seaports, and waterways. The goal of Homeland Security is to protect the United States from hostile people, dangerous products, and illicit drugs. The Department of Homeland Security also provides assistance when natural disasters occur as well.
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Due to the nature of Homeland Security, there are a plethora of career opportunities available in this agency. A large number of career opportunities allows people of different academic homeland security qualifications, certifications, and specializations to apply for positions in the Department of Homeland Security.
A common question that arises when talking about employment in Homeland Security is ‘Does Homeland Security hire felons?’
There is no clear-cut or definite answer to that question. Here is the reason why: Working for the Department of Homeland Security means working for the United States Government. The United States government hires felons in some cases.
However, the Department of Homeland Security is made up of different departments. Each department looks for certain specifications in its staff and as such, while one department may overlook a short or old criminal history, the other department may not overlook it.
Hence, it is not clear if the Department of Homeland Security employs felons.
If you are a felon and would like to work at Homeland Security, this article will address some questions you may have. The departments and jobs available in Homeland Security will be explained.
Afterward, the steps you need to take to be employed by the United States government will be highlighted. Everything you need to know about being hired by Homeland Security will be explained as well.
What jobs are available at the Department of Homeland Security?
Like many companies, Homeland Security has different departments that work simultaneously to ensure overall success. Therefore, if you wish to work at Homeland Security, you need to know the department you want to work in, and the position you wish to fill.
Each job position has different requirements so it is important to apply for a position you are qualified to fill. Some jobs in Homeland Security include customs and immigration officer, FBI agent, technology developer, and report analyst.
There are 22 departments in Homeland Security, some well-known ones are:
– Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
– The United States Secret Service
– DHS Science and Technology Directorate
– Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
– Office of Intelligence and Analysis
– Immigration and Customs Enforcement
– Coast Guard
– Customs and Border Protection.
– Federal Emergency Management Agency
Each agency listed above has a unique function and therefore has a set of requirements for hiring new staff.
Before applying to work in any agency or department, go to the Homeland Security website. In the career section, look for the agency you would like to work in. Assess the job vacancies available and check to make sure you meet all the requirements before applying for the position.
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Everything you should know before applying for a job at Homeland Security
1. Some departments may disqualify you because of your criminal history. There are 22 agencies in Homeland Security and each of these agencies has its stance on the criminal history of job applicants.
Therefore, while one department may consider you for a position despite a felony, another department may take the age of the felony into consideration. Importantly, prior arrests and a criminal history may lead to automatic disqualification in some departments.
For example, the TSA disqualifies applicants if they have a criminal history that includes a conviction for the crimes listed below:
– Unlawful possession and distribution of firearms and explosive weapons
– Sex-related crimes
– Manslaughter and,
– Drug possession with the intent to distribute.
2. Regardless of your educational qualification, there is a variety of positions you can apply to fill. Whether you are a student or Ph.D. holder, there are jobs you can apply for Homeland Security. Students can apply to intern at a department within Homeland Security and apply for entry-level positions after graduation. Individuals with higher educational qualifications can also become officers within any of the agencies.
If you are a student and wish to work at Homeland Security, you can choose to study related courses. Many universities and colleges have begun to incorporate programs that are relevant to the Department of Homeland Security into their curriculum. These courses provide potential Homeland Security employees with some prior knowledge of what the job entails.
3. You must be a United States citizen to work in the Department of Homeland Security. This requirement stands regardless of the position you wish to fill. Lack of citizenship means automatic disqualification.
4. You will be subjected to a background check. To work at Homeland Security, you must pass a background check. The background check will reveal your criminal history and credit history. Things such as driving offenses and work history will also be checked. For this reason, you should be honest when filling your job application.
Homeland Security reserves the right to conduct another background check even after you have been employed. If you are promoted or transferred to a different department, another background check will be run.
Hence, the possibility of getting away with a lie on your application form is almost impossible. After passing the background check, you will be given security clearance.
5. Some agencies require that job applicants pass a polygraph test. This is a part of the background check and a polygraph test can take as long as 4 hours to complete.
6. A drug test is compulsory. Before you apply to work at the Department of Homeland Security, ensure that you are not using illegal or recreational drugs. You will be disqualified if the drug test is positive. Furthermore, you may be subjected to random drug tests even after employment.
7. You will need to take an exam. The content of the exam you take may vary according to the department that you wish to work in. This exam will test your logical reason, arithmetic, and psychological state. In some cases, you may have to submit an essay.
8. There are job opportunities available for professionals, retirees, and veterans. Despite your position in your current career, you have an opportunity to work at the Department of Homeland Security. Some positions are contractual and short-term.
How to apply for a job at Homeland Security
1. Check the Homeland Security website for a job. Ensure you have the qualifications for the position you wish to fill.
2. Fill the job application form honestly. This will prevent disqualification after the result of the background check is assessed.
3. Submit any required and additional documents.
4. Attend the interview. In some cases, you may be interviewed over the phone.
5. Submit yourself for the required checks. The department you wish to work in will determine which additional checks will be carried out. You may need to go for a polygraph exam, drug test, psych evaluation, or medical exam.
6. Your application and results will be examined by hiring officers.
7. If you qualify, the security clearance screening will begin. When you receive your security clearance, you can begin your job, working at the Department of Homeland Security.
In conclusion, if you are a felon or have a criminal history, we recommend that you carefully examine the different agencies in Homeland Security. Choose a department with somewhat lenient policies towards applicants with a criminal history.
Gain the necessary requirements and apply for a position in the department to increase your chances of being employed by Homeland Security.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.