Homeland security professionals have the weight of the nation on their shoulders. They are tasked with protecting the U.S. from threats ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks by anticipating potential problems and preparing plans to manage them. Careers available in the field are diverse, including positions as computer specialists, law enforcement officers and first responders.
Homeland Security Salary and Job Outlook
As homeland security is a diverse and relatively new field, there is little centralized data available on salaries and projections for related jobs. O*NET uses data for detectives and criminal investigators as a proxy for intelligence analysts and immigration and customs inspectors; however, this data should be reviewed with caution as these jobs have different educational requirements and job responsibilities. According to this data, individuals in these jobs are grouped together with detectives and criminal investigators, earning a median salary of $79,790. Jobs growth is projected at 5 to 9% from 2016-2026, with an anticipated 7,500 new and replacement openings nationally during this period.
Homeland Security Job Description
There are a wide range of career opportunities in the DHS for individuals who want to serve and protect their country, including positions in mission support, law enforcement, and cybersecurity. These opportunities are offered through many government departments and agencies that fall under the Department of Homeland Security umbrella, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Customs and Border Protection. Emergency management is a common work area, which involves emergency disaster planning in the event of large natural or terrorist threats. Another common area of employment is gathering intelligence, which may involve significant work in the field, and analyzing intelligence, which involves extensive technical aptitude. In addition to federal jobs, the DHS also employs a large number of contractors for various roles.
With a Homeland Security degree, you can get jobs in many different areas related to law enforcement and intelligence. Some examples of jobs you can get with a homeland security include:
- Air Marshal
- Border Patrol Agent
- CIA Analyst
- Counterterrorism Enforcement Agent
- Criminal Investigator
- Customs and Border Protection Officer
- Emergency Preparedness Specialist
- Emergency Management Director
- ICE Agent
- Import Specialist
- Intelligence Analyst
- Intelligence Research Specialist
- Mission Support Assistant
- Secret Service Agent
- Staff Assistant
- Transportation Security Officer
- Transportation Security Screener
Homeland Security Training and Courses
Homeland security degree programs at universities and colleges aim to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge and analytical skills in the areas of emergency management, intelligence, border security, and counter-terrorism. Students gain an understanding of the modern challenges of transnational security, terror groups, and cyber warfare through a mix of theoretical and applied knowledge. By the end of a homeland security program, graduates will know how to identify and neutralize domestic and international threats and how to perform homeland security investigations. In addition, students in graduate-level programs will learn the managerial skills necessary to lead teams and departments while identifying and neutralizing threats to US security. Those who are interested in particular areas of homeland security may consider more specialized training like a emergency management degree or a cybersecurity degree.