Security Clearance Jobs in San Diego and Los Angeles


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Best West Coast cities for jobs with security clearance in defense and intelligence.

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Security Clearance Jobs in San Diego and Los Angeles

  1. 1. Best West Coast Cities for DefenseBy Tranette Ledford and ClearanceJobs Average Security-Cleared Earnings Location Salary California $98,968 Source: 2010 ClearanceJobs Compensation Survey “San Diego definitely holds opportunities for security-clearedLos Angeles, CA personnel in non-uniform positionsThe gold rush isn’t really over in California. New businesses and job at our military installations, as wellseekers continue to head west to live along the Pacific Coast. But the as within business and governmentstate’s sunny climate and mix of ocean views, mountains and deserts is agencies tied to defense activities.”only part of the draw. The defense job market also looks good – and to —Jo Marie Diamondrecruiters in this industry, so do security-cleared professionals. Operations Director, DEFCOMMA study released by the California Space Authority in April 2009, showsCalifornia leading the nation and the world in space-related economiccontributions. According to the organization’s executive director, AndreaSeastrand, California accounts for 44 percent of the nation’s space market, 21percent of the global market, and contributes more than $76 billion in totaleconomic impact. Job seekers may be just as interested in the fact that thestate’s partnership with the military serves as the bedrock of California’s spaceindustry, which has led to more than 370,000 jobs.The wealth of opportunities runs wide for security-cleared job seekers. Threeof the 10 NASA centers are based in California, and the state’s public andprivate universities have heavy concentrations of engineering and researchpersonnel, as they frequently partner with the Department of Defense andthe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. With 2010 earnings totaling$98,968, California-based security-cleared professionals top the list as thehighest-earning geography, according to the ClearanceJobs 2010 CompensationSurvey. Up and down the coastline, high-paying opportunities abound.San DiegoBoasting the largest concentration of military activity in the nation, San Diegois home to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, which alone, brings inmore than $1 billion in salaries and contracts. North Island Naval Complex and
  2. 2. Naval Station San Diego are also on the area’s military installation map, all ofwhich work to lengthen the list of employers looking for transitioning servicemembers with three distinctive assets – their service, their skills, and most ofall, their security clearances. Key Opportunities in San DiegoThroughout San Diego, the aerospace industry is thriving, with major • Aerospaceemployers that include Goodrich Aerostructures, SAIC and General AtomicsAeronautical Systems. Manufacturing opportunities continue to proliferate • Ship Buildingin ship building, satellite communications systems, electronics, robotics, • Satellite Communicationspropulsion systems and computers designed for use by the military. To fill thedemand for workers, Computer Sciences Corporation, Northrop Grumman, • ElectronicsWallach, Boeing, Raytheon, Hewlett Packard and Epsilon Systems all actively • Roboticsrecruit from the pool of security-cleared candidates. • Propulsion SystemsAccording to Jo Marie Diamond, Operations Director for DEFCOMM, a defense • Military Computingand space technology consortium, “San Diego definitely holds opportunities forsecurity-cleared personnel in non-uniform positions at our military installations,as well as within business and government agencies tied to defense activities inaerospace, technology, manufacturing, production and management.”While the big story for security-cleared job seekers may be the employment “Cleared, transitioning serviceopportunities, the city has been in the spotlight more for its troubled housing members may want to look atmarket. San Diego was ground zero for the disastrous subprime mortgages that opportunities in Redondo Beachresulted in a massive drop in home prices and foreclosures. Even as recently asJanuary through June of 2009, there were more than 30,000 foreclosures. But and Palmdale, home to Plan 42,there are whispers of recovery and housing prices have started to inch back which houses Boeing and Lockheedup. Currently, listing prices are running between $275,000 and $300,000, waybelow their numbers a few years ago. Other perks? San Diego has a low crime Martin’s advanced researchrate and according to a report by Northwestern National Life, it ranks in the development facilities.”top three cities in America for quality and cost of health care. —Jack Kyser Founding Economist, Kyser Center for Economic ResearchLos AngelesLos Angeles doesn’t have the wealth of military installations that San Diegoboasts, but it does host Los Angeles Air Force Base, home of Space and MissileSystems Center, along with Edwards Air Force Base and NASA’s Dryden ResearchCenter nearby. The relationship between private sector businesses and thedefense community continues to offer a diverse collection of job opportunitiesin the defense and aerospace industries.City, county and federal government agencies continue to rank at the top ofthe list of Los Angeles’ largest employers, and those that deal with networkadministration and security and homeland security often look for security-cleared personnel. Other private-sector companies like Boeing and NorthropGrumman also remain on the list of L.A.’s biggest employers and actively seekout candidates with a clearance. Northrop Grumman’s recent decision to moveits headquarters to Washington, D.C. may see some jobs leaving the area, butthe company is continuing to hire in the region.According to the Aerospace Industries Association, opportunities for security-cleared personnel look good for 2010. Boeing, for example, the world’s largestaerospace company and a major contributor to the area’s aerospace industry,provides jobs for more than 15,000 workers in Los Angeles County and anadditional 14,000 throughout the state.
  3. 3. Sitting on the perimeter of Los Angeles, the small city of El Segundo is a Key Opportunities in Los Angeleshotbed of defense activity. The five-square-mile community is dubbed theAerospace Capital of the World, home to major defense employers likeComputer Sciences Corporation, Raytheon, Douglas Aircraft, Hughes Aircraft, • Research and DevelopmentBoeing and Northrop Grumman. Other nearby communities are also emerging • Aircraft and Aerospace Engineeringas hubs for defense jobs requiring a clearance. • Program and Logistics Management“Cleared, transitioning service members may want to look at opportunities • Systems and Software Engineeringin Redondo Beach and Palmdale, home to Plant 42, which houses Boeing andLockheed Martin’s advanced research development facilities,” said Jack Kyser,Founding Economist, Kyser Center for Economic Research. “These communitiesin and around Los Angeles focus on defense research, aerospace and relatedtechnologies.”Opportunities that require a security clearance include positions in researchand development, aircraft and aerospace engineering, program and logisticsmanagement and systems and software engineering.In its forecast for 2010, the Los Angeles County Economic DevelopmentCorporation anticipates an increase in federal purchases due to the wars inAfghanistan and Iraq. This will positively affect companies doing business indefense-related manufacturing and technology, particularly those related tosatellite technology.Los Angeles, CADespite some of the downturns elsewhere in the state’s business community,the lure of a security clearance hasn’t lost its draw. According to Evan Lesser,founder and director of, Los Angeles and neighboring townslike El Segundo to the south, and Azusa to the north, are hotbeds of activityfor cleared aerospace professionals. “Known defense giants like NorthropGrumman have had a long-term established presence in Azusa. Most of theopen jobs are for security-cleared systems engineers, but support staff rolesalways follow close behind. Heading down to El Segundo, Raytheon dominatesand we see regular clearance jobs for everything from logistics professionals,finance analysts, QA leads, and network administrators. There’s alwaysdemand.”
  4. 4. Los Angeles frequently gets low marks for its air quality and housing prices Highest Cleared Earnings Bythat hover close to $400,000. But on the up side, there are still good deals tobe found throughout the L.A. suburbs, along with miles of beaches, sea side Job Category Nationwideresorts, hiking trails, parks and architectural landmarks. Known most as the ’10 Earningsnation’s entertainment capitol, Los Angeles still casts a heavy spotlight on job Program, Project Manager – $125,784opportunities for cleared personnel, particularly those with technical skills and Engineeringa military background. ★ ★ ★ IT Databases – Admin, Architect, $118,482 or Data IT Program/Project Management $111,642 IT Software Programming $106,766 Telecommunications Engineering $105,139 Electrical Engineering $104,982 Aerospace/Aviation Engineering $103,733 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 •