ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Earn More Money with a Security Clearance

Updated on December 24, 2010

Security clearances can increase your earning potential and give you a significant advantage when attempting to get hired with a government contractor or one of the many Federal Agencies that regularly work with confidential, secret or top secret information.  Research has shown that an established security clearance can increase your salary between $5,000 and $15,000 and in some cases even more.

What is a Security Clearance?

A security clearance is the process of determining a person’s trustworthiness and reliability before entrusting him or her with sensitive material that can cause grave damage to national security if disclosed to unauthorized sources.  Having a security clearance does not mean that you will have free-reign on all sensitive material in existence but it will grant you access to information on a need-to-know basis so that your job can be done in an effective manner.

What are the Different Clearance Levels?

The most common security clearances are at the levels of confidential, secret and top secret. 

Top Secret – A top secret clearance allows access to information that could be expected to cause grave damage to national security if made available to the general public.  A top secret clearance is re-investigated every 5 years.

Secret - A secret clearance allows access to information that could be expected to cause serious damage to national security if made available to the general public.  A secret clearance is re-investigated every 10 years.

Confidential – A confidential clearance allows access to information that could cause damage to national security if made available to the general public.  A confidential clearance is re-investigated every 15 years.

How Do I Apply For a Security Clearance?

One of the most prevalent question concerns whether or not an individual can obtain a security clearance on their own.  The answer is no.  In order to obtain a security clearance an individual must be sponsored by either a federal agency or a business entity authorized to do business with the federal government.  The good thing about this is that the federal agency or business entity will cover the cost associated with obtaining the clearance, which can be quite expensive.

The Security Clearance Process

The security clearance process begins after a candidate receives a conditional offer of employment and completes the necessary security questionnaire (SF-85 or SF-86).  One the packet is submitted and received by the Office of Personnel Security and Suitability, it is reviewed for completeness and entered into a case management system.  National agency checks and fingerprint checks are then conducted and a background investigation is initiated.  Depending on the clearance level, a face-to-face interview may be conducted with an investigator.  In addition to the face-to-face interview, the investigator will talk to former and current neighbors, employers, classmates and references.  Once the investigator has completed the investigation, the information is compiled in a report and sent to an adjudicator who will weigh the results and determine whether or not a security clearance will be granted.

The U.S. government’s backlog of security clearance applications can cause delays in the process.  Display plenty of patience while going through the process and remember that the reward of a higher salary and job security will be well worth the wait.

News Story on Security Clearance Earning Potential


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)