Security Clearance Requirements: What you need to know

Security clearance will help to approve the reliability of a job applicant, before allowing them access to national confidential information. The selection process required for getting a security clearance is usually for someone, who has been hired or promoted to a job position that necessitates access to classified information. In a typical circumstance, the employee is fingerprinted and will need to provide some personal information. This is the starting point of the investigation to determine the suitability of the candidate for the job.

Requirements for security clearance

Standard elements of obtaining security clearance include employment checks, education history, past employment verification, local agencies and organization affiliations. Some of the processes will also include credit checks and felony checks. It may also include checks on the candidate's spouse or immediate family members. Some agencies may also necessitate polygraph examinations, as part of the security clearance process. In some cases, a security clearance can be denied in case of heavy debts, poor health and mental conditions or having a criminal record. A high-level security clearance process can be quite lengthy, sometimes even taking more than a year.

If any job requires access to confidential government documents, you must hold security clearance. Security clearance jobs are meant for those, who are looking to get an intelligence job or a federal government job that requires high levels of confidentiality. These jobs may include intelligence analysts, defense contractors and engineers, private polygraph examiners, military personnel and even government-employed linguists. Some other positions that require security clearance include security officers, secretaries, system administrators, computer personnel and librarians, who may be able to easily access classified systems and documents.

How to get security clearance?

If you come across a job that requires security clearance and you don't have it, then you will need to know the steps involved in how to get security clearance, in order to apply for that job. Here's what you need to know.

You cannot get security clearance on your own. Your current or prospective employer needs to do this, on your behalf. It is a time consuming process and can be quite expensive, so companies will only do it, if it is absolutely necessary. In many cases, it can take up to two years to get security clearance, as there are a vast number of background checks that are already in progress. Your employer can also order driver records online, to verify various details about past records.

You must keep in mind that the process of getting security clearance can be very intrusive, as it may involve polygraphs, very personal questions and discussions with close friends and family. All security clearance applicants will be put through an application phase. This involves US citizenship verification, filling of Personnel Security Questionnaire (SF–86) and fingerprinting. The Defense Security Service will then conduct a thorough background check. The last part involves the adjudication phase, where the investigation findings are reviewed and examined, based on 13 factors that have been determined by the US Department of Defense. Some factors include criminal records, mental illnesses and substance abuse. Government security clearance is either denied or granted, when all the processes have been completed.

At the end of the day, security clearances have become essential for many positions of relevance, and as an employer whose employees require relevant security clearances; you must exert all the necessary steps to meet those requirements. If you want to check up on more details about security clearances and background checks, you can log onto the website and choose between multiple options. If you need any further assistance or have any additional questions, you can contact their customer service representatives between Monday and Friday from 9am to 5pm at 1-877-753-6667.

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