Homeland Security Careers

Maintaining the safety and security of the nation and its citizens has become more challenging than ever. The growing unpredictability of disasters and an increase in terrorist activities has increased the demand for homeland security professionals. If you want to pursue a career in this field, then you have come to the right place. Take a look at this comprehensive article to learn about the career prospects and the procedures of joining this field.

Homeland Security Careers

A number of career options are available for Homeland Security graduates. These are listed below:

  • Law Enforcement Careers: Individuals can work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Secret Service, and Federal Protective Service. Professionals working with these organizations are involved in securing the country’s borders and are responsible for enforcing infrastructure, transportation, and economic security.
  • Immigration and Travel Security Careers: Individuals can work with the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Professionals working with these organizations are involved in protecting the country’s transportation systems and overseeing lawful immigration to the U.S.
  • Prevention and Response Careers: Individuals can work with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Professionals working in this field protect the U.S. citizens and the nation’s security and economic interests. Individuals working with these organizations are responsible for protecting the nation from a variety of hazards and making mitigation strategies to prevent disasters.
  • Mission Support Careers: These careers involve a wide variety of fields such as fraud detection, public affairs, intelligence, human resources, and procurement. Individuals looking to pursue a mission support career can work with the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Office of Policy and National Cybersecurity Center.

Upon graduating from a Homeland Security Program, individuals can work as Crime Prevention Specialists, Intelligence Agents, Emergency Management Specialists, Cyber Security Analysts, Detectives, U.S. Customs Agents, Border Patrol Agents and Counterterrorism Analysts.

How to Become a Homeland Security Professional?

Note: Please note that this is a generic guideline, therefore it should be used with caution. The process and requirements will depend on the agency you want to work with and the field you want to pursue within Homeland Security.

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step is to obtain a four-year long Bachelor of Science (B.S) in a related discipline, such as Homeland Security or Emergency Management. While enrolled in the undergrad programs, students should also try to gain internship experience in one of the functional areas of Data Science, Information Technology, or Intelligence Analysis.

Step 2: Consider Pursing a Master’s Program

After completing the Bachelor’s program, individuals should consider obtaining an advanced level Master of Science (M.S) in a related field, such as Counter Terrorism or Homeland Security. The 2-year long program covers a variety of modules such as Domestic Terrorism and Political Violence, Intelligence Analysis, Foreign Fighters and Cyber Threats & Security.

Step 3: Start the Job Hunt

The Department of Homeland Security offers a range of career opportunities in a variety of fields. After graduating, individuals should start looking for job announcements on USAJOBS, which is a central database managed by the Office of Personnel Management.

Step 4: Apply for the Position

If the candidate meets the eligibility requirements mentioned in the job ad, then he/she should apply right away. If the application is shortlisted, the candidate will be called for an interview.

Salary Data of Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Since the salary data of federal and state agents is not publicly available, we will use the data of Detectives and Criminal Investigators as a reference point. According to BLS, the annual median pay for these professionals in 2019 was $83,170.

The median wages for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in the top paying industries where they worked were as follows:


2019 Annual Median Pay

Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)


Postal Service (Federal Government)


Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)


Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools


State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)


How Long Does It Take to Start a Homeland Security Career?

The minimum educational requirement to join this field is to get a bachelor’s degree, which can be completed within four years. In order to make yourself more marketable to prospective employers, you can also earn a 2-year long Master’s degree in Homeland Security or a related field. So all in all, it can take up to 6 years to kick-start a career in this field.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Can past offenders apply for homeland security careers?

A:Yes. There is no stated prohibition for individuals who had been offenders in the past to apply for the homeland security careers. The hiring agency will definitely consider the past record, but it depends on the extent of past felony.

Q:What program should I study to pursue a career in Homeland Security?

A:To pursue a Career in Homeland Security you may opt for Bachelor's in Social & Criminal Justice - Homeland Security. Upon the completion of this degree, you can get enrolled in a master's program as well. Distance learning programs offered by accredited universities like Grand Canyon University can enable you to accomplish your educational goals from any location in the world.

Q:Can veterans get preference in the homeland security employment?

A:In some instances, you may be eligible for preference and special consideration for the Homeland Security employment or similar federal and civil services. If you are a veteran. you may contact the US Jobs department for further and more discrete information.

Q:I am interested in studying the Homeland Security programs but I need to know about the Homeland Security career opportunities. Can you please guide me?

A:Homeland Security career opportunities in the mainland United States and also offshore states such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico are also quite significant. Some of the most lucrative jobs in this field are in the Homeland Security Base Program, Agricultural Biosecurity, Geospatial Intelligence, Information Security, Forensics and Public Health Preparedness.

Q:Why is the MBA Online Executive program usualy more expensive than the traditional online MBA program?

A:The MBA Online Executive program is intended for the professionals of managerial level. A premium level of service is provided in terms of facilities, faculty and support staff. Due to this exclusivity involved in the program, it is higher than the traditional online MBA program.

Q:How to become a Homeland Security Officer?

A:The first step to become a Homeland Security Officer is to get enrolled in the Associate of Arts in Homeland Security degree, offered by an accredited university or college such as Keiser Univeristy Online. The 2 years associate degree sets the foundation for pursuing the bachelor's level degree in this field. After graduation, students can apply in various agencies such as the US Secret Service . However, students who wish to maximize their career opportunities and get hands on leading job positions in agencies like FBI, must opt for advanced level degrees such as the Master of Business Administration - Homeland Security.

Q:My search about degree in Homeland Security jobs mentioned Emergency Management. What is the job description for this profession?

A:Emergency Management would be mentioned when searching for degree in Homeland Security jobs. Emergency Management requires professionals to coordinate crises and disaster management, plan disaster response training and devise emergency procedures. These professionals are also required to assist in hostage crises, wartime, nuclear accidents and natural disasters. Students interested in this profession are advised to search our website for a list of institutions offering this qualification.

Q:My search on what are some Homeland Security jobs led me to Advocacy and Mediation course. Can you brief me about it?

A:The course Advocacy and Mediation that you came across while searching on what are some Homeland Security jobs, is a part of the curriculum for Homeland Security studies. In this course the students get to study the benefits of resolving the issues for the sake of human services and as a part of advocacy.

Q:As I read about the jobs for Homeland Security majors, there was mention of the course on Forensic Toxicology. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is quite common to get to see the mention of the course on Forensic Toxicology while going through jobs for Homeland Security majors. This course is worth 4 credits in total. It is designed to provide the students with ample understanding of the physical as well as the psychological factors that may result in dependence of drugs.

Q:If i have a previous criminal record, even for a very minor offence can i still pursue careers in homeland security?

A:Yes i believe even individuals with a previous criminal record can have a career in homeland security. The recruiting or hiring agency will of course have the last say in the matter, depending on the scale of the criminal record. If all it involves in a minor offence, concessions may be made.

Q:What are some of the careers with homeland security? Are there diverse options available?

A:There are some excellent job options available if you decide to join the homeland security. These career options fall in four broad categories which have several sub categories. These general categories include mission support, law enforcement, immigrations and travel security and prevention and response. Having a Career with Homeland security will not only be financially rewarding but you will also have the satisfaction of serving your country.

Ask your Question

* All Fields are Required
Call Now(877) 721-2529