Security Clearance Jobs in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Huntsville
Best Southeast Cities for DefenseBy Tranette Ledford and ClearanceJobs Average Security-Cleared Earnings Location Salary Alabama $79,990 Florida $81,034 Source: 2010 ClearanceJobs Compensation SurveyTampa, FLIt isn’t just the tourists ﬂocking to the nation’s southeastern region.Several Florida cities are consistently pulling in defense and high-techbusinesses, while in Alabama, Huntsville is following suit. Aerospacein Florida represents a $4.5 billion industry and employs some 23,000workers. But the high-tech industry throughout the southeast keepsexpanding, offering good job prospects in computers, semiconductortechnologies, biotechnologies and research associated with universities.All this frames up a healthy job market for security-clearedprofessionals and healthy salaries. According to the ClearanceJobs 2010Compensation Survey, 17 percent of security-cleared professionalsworking in Florida have a current polygraph and earned $81,034, justahead of Alabama, another top southeastern defense state.Tampa/St. PetersburgThe Tampa region serves as the on-ramp for Florida’s high-tech corridor. It runsfrom Tampa through Orlando and on to the state’s space coast, in all, passingthrough 23 counties. Military activity is strong here, as Tampa hosts MacDillAir Force Base, home to U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. CentralCommand. Together, the defense and high-tech industries converge to form arobust job market.
NASA serves as the region’s aerospace centerpiece. Orbiting around it arecompanies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Eaton, Raytheon and Aerosonic, allbringing in major contracts and great positions. Their activities continue todrive the demand for security-cleared professionals in aerospace engineering,systems engineering, intelligence analysis, Web and software development andprogram management. Key Opportunities in FloridaThe Florida Research and Economic Database reports that physicists andcomputer and information systems managers are now the region’s highest-paid • Contract Administratorworkers. They earn annual incomes of around $115,000, while engineering • Intelligence Analystmanagers and aerospace engineers generally earn between $97,000 and$105,000. • Software Engineer • Operations SupportTampa’s aerospace industry is heavily linked to IT, which employs an estimated57,000 people earning an average of $60,000 per year. This sector is seeing • Mechanical Engineernew growth, not only in computer technologies but also in the emerging • Project Managerﬁelds of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology.The University of South Florida, which generates more than $500 million in • Operations Research Analystcontracts each year, houses the largest MEMS facility in the southeast, as well • Program Analystas the Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Research Center.Other opportunities for security-cleared job seekers include the Tampa Port,the closest major U.S. port to the Panama Canal and one of the largest portsin the nation. It serves as a major ship-building and repair center, employing22,000 workers and impacting 100,000 jobs throughout the region. TECOEnergy and Tech Data Corp are headquartered here, while Verizon, Honeywelland AT&T Global are among the area’s largest employers.As for quality of life, Tampa and St. Petersburg rank third in the nation for lowbusiness costs, with a lower-than-average cost of living and a median homeprice of $222,000. The region also has one of the largest communities ofveterans in the nation, with hospitals and services to match the population.OrlandoWhile it isn’t home to any major military installations, Orlando’s draw is the skyabove it. Virtually all of the major defense ﬁrms do business here, connectedfor the most part, to the aerospace industry and the technology shift tomodeling and simulation.Major employers include the Kennedy Space Center, Northrop Grumman,General Dynamics, SAIC and Raytheon. But security-cleared workers also havea competitive edge in companies like EG&G Technical Services, which providessystems engineering and technical assistance in the development of weaponssystems, military vehicles and aircraft, and security systems.Recent salary reports from Florida’s Department of Labor indicate that thosein engineering and scientiﬁc management positions are currently earning anaverage of $116,000, while computer and information systems managers earnjust slightly less. Hot jobs in Orlando continue to center on technical skills.Software engineers, systems engineers and IT managers commonly earn around$85,000, while those in non-management positions with mid-level IT skills suchas programmers, earn between $60,000 and $70,000.
Proximity to Disney World and other attractions have always made Orlando a “Without a doubt, Huntsville is agreat place to visit. But for those who want to live there, the housing market is defense industry city with plentyextremely good. Prospective buyers can expect to ﬁnd homes in the $170,000range. of opportunity.” —Evan LesserHuntsville Founder and Director of ClearanceJobsHere, it’s all about rocket science. The military and defense community inHuntsville includes the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal, the city’s top employer,with more than 25,000 workers, and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, thesecond-largest employer with more than 7,000 workers.Security-cleared job seekers won’t need to ask which major defensecontractors do business here. Virtually all of the familiar names are present– Boeing, SAIC, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton,Raytheon, BAE Systems and Honeywell. Key Opportunities in Huntsville • Flight Test Engineer • GIS Analyst • Systems Engineer • Electrical Engineer • Model & Simulation Engineer • Program Manager • Safety EngineerHuntsville, AL • Structural EngineerThe Huntsville Chamber of Commerce reports that the aerospace industry is • Unmanned Aerial Systems Leadmade up of more than 90 companies employing more than 11,000 workers,with security-cleared personnel at a premium. Those interested in taking off • Facility Security Ofﬁcerfor Alabama will ﬁnd Huntsville rich in technology, research and developmentopportunities. Redstone Arsenal handles the majority of the Army’s foreignweapons sales, while more than 300 ﬁrms have business interests in the globaland domestic markets for electronics and computer technologies. Huntsvilleis also home to Cummings Research Park, a conglomerate of 225 ﬁrms doingbusiness in technology, research and development, in what is now the nation’ssecond-largest research and technology center.When compared to the economic struggles faced by some cities, Huntsvillehas had a Teﬂon coating. Just as in the previous year, Huntsville continuesto receive accolades for job growth and opportunity. Money Magazine ranksHuntsville sixth in the nation for jobs, while Forbes ranks it among the top ﬁvecities for defense jobs. The city itself employs some 8,000 people throughoutits various agencies, and actively advertises Huntsville as a place with moreavailable jobs than people to ﬁll them.“Without a doubt, Huntsville is a defense industry city with plenty ofopportunity,” says Evan Lesser, founder and director of ClearanceJobs. “While
systems and aerospace engineers are the most common open positions in Highest Cleared Earnings Bynorthern Alabama, there’s also a range of support roles including networkand security administration, ﬁnance and budget gurus, and seasoned contract Job Category Nationwidemanagers for new business development. Best of all, the majority of jobs in ’10 EarningsHuntsville only require a Secret clearance, opening the door for many more Program, Project Manager – $125,784cleared workers.” Engineering IT Databases – Admin, Architect, $118,482Huntsville’s population is still relatively small, with just over 395,000 residents or Dataenjoying a cost of living that’s lower than the nation’s average. As of October IT Program/Project Management $111,6422009, the median home price was $132,000, with the average income IT Software Programming $106,766at $66,000. Huntsville is legendary for its friendliness, both socially and Telecommunications Engineering $105,139environmentally. If there is a drawback, it’s the airport. Huntsville still holds Electrical Engineering $104,982the rank of a small town and has a limited number of direct ﬂights to major Aerospace/Aviation Engineering $103,733cities. But that may be by design. Given the job market and the economy, fewresidents are looking to go anywhere. ★ ★ ★ Program/Project Manager $103,444 IT Network/Systems Security $99,158 Intelligence Analyst, Linguist, or $90,222 Interrogator Human Resources Generalist/ $87,311 Recruiter IT Hardware – Admin, Architect, $85,994 or Support IT – Testing/QA $85,733 IT – Telecommunications $85,661 Logistics – Supply, Procurement, $85,545 Acquisition Law Enforcement $76,626 Facility/Personnel Security $68,289 Administrative – Clerical or $65,612 Secretarial Source: 2010 ClearanceJobs Compensation Survey4101 NW Urbandale Drive • Urbandale, Iowa 50322 • 1.877.386.3323 • www.clearancejobs.com