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Homeland Security Employment

Homeland Security is among the nation's leading growth sectors, with employment in all areas of the Homeland Security field expected to continue to rapidly expand through the coming decade. Many state and local Law Enforcement agencies also continue to shift their existing personnel and resources toward the collection and analysis of crime and terrorism intelligence, as well as toward the specialized fields of counter-terrorism planning, preparation, and response. In the coming years, a significant number of additional personnel and other resources will be required as state and local law enforcement agencies assume a greater share of the national responsibility for Homeland Security functions. Tremendous demand exists - and will continue to exist - for skilled intelligence analysts, policy analysts, managers, translators, trainers, and technical experts within the ranks of sworn officers and investigators as well as in civilian job titles. An emerging area of particular need is for managers in cyber security fields.

Law enforcement agencies at the federal level also show signs of similarly rapid growth, especially in specialized Homeland Security and intelligence fields. The FBI, the Border Patrol, the Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration and other federal law enforcement entities have dramatically expanded and enhanced their Homeland Security posture, and all are actively seeking skilled managers and professionals for investigative and analytical positions. Similarly, agencies within the US Intelligence Community need large numbers of analysts and technical specialists as well as operatives. 

Specialists in Emergency Management are also needed at the federal, state and local levels. The growth of the Emergency Management profession is closely related to the growth of the Homeland Security profession, and career opportunities are increasing for skilled professionals and managers within the fields of Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical Services, public health management, Hazardous Materials handling, and various environmental and geographic sciences. As reported in US News and World Report, Emergency Management Specialist is one of the 50 best jobs of 2011 and should have strong growth over the next decade (money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2010/12/06/best-jobs-2011-emergency-management-specialist).

Homeland Security careers and employment opportunities are not limited to the law enforcement, intelligence, and emergency management fields, however. Indeed, virtually every sector of the American economy has a role to play in ensuring the nation's Homeland Security goals are achieved. Private sector companies, public utilities and critical infrastructure entities—especially in the transportation, health care, education, information technology, and manufacturing fields—are therefore becoming more and more involved in Homeland Security functions. Corporate security personnel, and especially corporate security managers with the knowledge and skills to interface effectively with law enforcement, with the intelligence community, and with other corporations and groups involved in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, are in great demand. This demand is especially strong in defense industries, technology companies, and various financial services fields.
In this competitive employment market, the need for knowledgeable and highly skilled professionals who hold academic credentials in Homeland Security has never been higher, and the need will not diminish in the coming decade. Experienced and credentialed Homeland Security managers will be in particularly high demand.

The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics) predicts between 2008 and 2018 (ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ep/ind-occ.matrix/occ_pdf/occ_43-5031.pdf; ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ep/ind-occ.matrix/ind_pdf/ind_930000.pdf):

  • a 17.82% increase in Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatchers – a total increase of 17,800 new jobs;
  • a 7.78% increase in Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians – a total increase of 2,000 new jobs;
  • an 18.87% increase in Fire Fighters – a total increase of 56.400 new jobs;
  • a 16.78% increase in Detectives and Criminal Investigators – a total increase of 18,600 new jobs
  • a 7.96% increase in First-line Supervisors and Managers of Police and Detectives – a total increase of 7,500 new jobs;
  • an 8.21% increase in First-line Supervisors and Managers of Correctional Officers – a total increase of 3,500 new jobs;
  • an 8.12% increase in Police and Sheriffs Patrol Officers – a total increase of 51.200 new jobs;
  • a 19.42% increase in Emergency Management Specialists – a total increase of 1,600 new jobs;
  • an 8.25% increase in Security Guards – a total increase of 4.200 new jobs;
  • an 8.13% increase in Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics – a total increase of 5,000 new jobs;
  • an 8.09% increase in Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, including Health Technicians – a total increase of 1,000 new jobs;

The following data is summarized from a 2009 report on federal government employment prospects in the coming years, “Where the Jobs Are: Mission-Critical Opportunities for America, 3rd Edition – 2009” (wherethejobsare.org/WTJA/about/WTJA09.pdf).

The Department of Homeland Security projects an increase to an estimated 65,730 new job openings between 2010 and 2012. The Department of Defense (including the Army, Navy and Air Force) estimates it will hire 43,514 new employees.

Department of Homeland Security – Projected Hires FY 2010-2012

Security and Protection

Asylum Officer

155

Police Officer

470

Transportation Security Officer

34,500

Intelligence Analysis

390

Security Administration

825

Compliance and Enforcement

Adjudication Officer

2,250

Border Patrol Agent

9,800

Criminal Investigation

1,410

Customs and Border Protection

4,950

General Inspection/Investigation/Compliance

3,000

Immigration Enforcement

1,150

Import Specialist

125

Administration and Program Management

Human Resources

430

Management Program Analysis

1,850

In the Security and Protection category, the majority of the projected 52,077 new hires will be for airport screeners, police and correctional officers, and intelligence analysts. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are the key hiring agencies for these occupations.

More than a third of surveyed federal agencies listed needs in the Compliance and Enforcement category.  The Department of Homeland Security projects the greatest need, with 22,685 new hires.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will conduct extensive hiring in the next three years. Key occupational areas that will be the focus of hiring in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area include contracting and information technology specialists at all grade levels.

Hiring for the following positions will be for locations nationwide at various grade levels: border patrol agents, customs and border protection officers, agriculture specialists, pilots, adjudication officers, attorneys, intelligence analysts, criminal investigators, deportation officers, immigration enforcement agents, cybersecurity specialists, chemical safety inspectors and transportation security officers (www.wherethejobsare.org).

The projected growth in mission-critical hiring—a 41 percent increase compared to the previous three Fiscal Years—reflects, in part, a need to replace retiring baby boomers and those leaving federal service for other reasons. Government agencies are adding new positions to meet an increased demand for services fueled by factors such as two prolonged wars, pressing homeland security needs and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Sources:

Webster, Henry Clay  “Best Jobs 2011: Emergency Management Specialist”, US News and World Report, December 6, 2010.  Available: money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2010/12/06/best-jobs-2011-emergency-management-specialist

Where the Jobs Are, “Mission - Critical Opportunities For America”, 3rd edition - 2009. Available: wherethejobsare.org/WTJA/about/WTJA09.pdf

US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment by Industry, Occupation, and Percent Distribution, 2008 and Projected 2018. 43-5031 Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatchers. Available: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ep/ind-occ.matrix/occ_pdf/occ_43-5031.pdf

US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment by Industry, Occupation, and Percent Distribution, 2008 and projected 2018. 932000 State and Local Government, Excluding Education and Hospitals. Available: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ep/ind-occ.matrix/ind_pdf/ind_932000.pdf