How to Get a Top Secret Clearance?

For one reason or another, you are trying to gain a top secret security clearance. One of the most popular questions out there is how to get a top secret clearance.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most common top secret clearance process in each category below. Remember, this is just an overview and things can change over time.

If your job requires a top secret security clearance and you are not receiving assistance in obtaining the aforementioned security clearance, speak to a superior. Your job should be your first resource.  

Military Security Clearance

The two main top secret clearance requirements include only one of which you must have within the military. A government agency must sponsor you to this top level of security clearance. The other? You must be a U.S citizen.

This means that if you are using enlistment in the military to gain citizenship to the United States, this will be one of many potential top secret clearance disqualifiers that you will have to deal with.

There are workarounds for it, but the acceptance rate is very low and there are many efforts of which to close these “loopholes”.

The military member who is seeking top secret clearance is often in need of it to procure the necessities for their job. This may mean working in areas with high-grade weapons or where specialty computer equipment is installed.

Oftentimes, top secret clearance is simply required to make sure that anyone in even the slightest of sensitive areas is “on the level” and can be trusted if they see or overhear something.

Most forms of clearance, top secret or not, require some background nudging. This may mean that friends or relatives are contacted. You may receive a request for your credit report to be pulled. Denying this is almost the best way to be denied clearance–regardless of what type you are searching for.

Can you get a top secret clearance with bad credit? It really depends on the rest of your report. If you are in a position that may tempt you to exchange national secrets for money? You’re most likely not receiving that clearance until you clear up your credit.

However, there are some for which this is overlooked. This is especially true if you have a history of keeping certain levels of security clearance prior to your poor credit rating.

The government may ask you questions in regard to your credit rating. In many cases, they are willing to understand poor luck. If it’s a matter of poor judgment, this could be another thing that keeps you from getting your necessary security clearance.

Civilian Security Clearance

With regard to civilian security clearance, it is relatively rare that a non-government job will ask for your security clearance outside of the technology world. However, if you work at a government job you may be required to go through much the same process as above.

It’s a lot of poking around in your background and making certain that you’re an upstanding person. If you have a lot to lose, you may be overlooked for the security clearance and, in some cases, the position altogether.

Civilians with high access security clearance are usually there due to their tenure and moving up the internal ladder. Jobs which require civilian security clearance aren’t the most common to be found on job boards or at job fairs.

Yes, there are some technology-based jobs and engineering jobs which often come with security clearance necessities, but outside of those areas, they aren’t common and are more likely to be offered to someone internal than they are to someone off the street.

If you are chosen to be sponsored for top security clearance, the one thing we can tell you is to never lie. Even if someone asks if you stole a piece of bubble gum in elementary school, tell them that you do not remember if you are uncertain rather than stating that you did not do it.

This may seem ridiculous, but tiny questions like this are the sorts of things the government uses to identify those with integrity.

What A High Ranking Security Clearance Can Do For You

The primary thing to remember is that the average security clearance only remains for two years after your departure from your job. In many cases, you may lose your security clearance the moment you leave the job. This is not a reflection on you and should not be taken as such.

If you retain your security clearance, it is an excellent way to continue on in a field of government work. Government jobs are usually happy to sponsor someone who has already been “cleared” as those people often remain able to do so.

The government does not forget those it has cleared delicately. As such, these people are often a shoe-in to get their credibility back even if changes have happened in their life.

If you do not retain your security clearance, it is still an excellent thing to have on your resume. The position of top secret security clearance is not something to scoff at, and employers who require honesty and diligence will pick those people from their towering stack of resumes.

Ultimately, it depends on what you intend to do after your top secret security job.

If you intend to pursue further government work (say, you were a contractor and you have decided to move on from your current work to another form of it), it is likely that it will help you stay within the same pay rank, if not gain a higher one.

Obviously, this depends on what it is that you do, where you do it, and the opportunities on the table.

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