Secretary Kelly Wants You! Insights For Homeland Security Jobs
President Trump announced his commitment to hire 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and 5,000 Border Patrol agents. Secretary Kelly followed suit and said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will add to the ranks “as fast as we can.” So homeland security is a growth industry and needs qualified people to fill important positions.
Now you may be thinking that sounds great how do I join? Or yet, I’ve been trying and cannot break into the ranks. To avoid being misleading, the process is not easy but it’s worth the effort. If you are persistent and have the basic qualifications, there is an opportunity for you within DHS.
In case you are unaware, DHS has a very broad mission. DHS is responsible for safeguarding the American people and the homeland. To accomplish this enormously important mission, it takes 240,000 employees from 22 different departments, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), ICE, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Citizenship and Immigration Services to name a few. If you are serious about joining DHS, getting to know the depth of the department is strongly encouraged. Start here. Here are two questions that you may want to research in your quest to join DHS: Do you know how ICE is organized? What are the two major organizations under ICE?
To provide some encouragement for the DHS employment journey, here are a few insights. There are going to be thousands of current DHS employees competing for those 15,000 new positions. What that means for DHS job hunters is there will be a ton of movement and openings throughout various agencies within DHS. For those that desire to join DHS, this presents a great opportunity as new jobs will be constantly opening over the next few years. So now is the time to capitalize and become an aggressive DHS job seeker.
Be open to gaining an entry-level job. For example, view a screening job with TSA as a platform to maneuver into a more desirable position. Not that being a TSA screener is a bad job — it’s certainly not. In fact, screeners are critical for DHS. But if you have a desire to do other things, do not shy away from applying for a seemingly less appealing job. The goal is to get onboard!
Start with USAJobs.gov. This is your one-stop site for finding employment with DHS. You can scope your queries by location, job series, agency etc. Again, be open to anything. Your goal is to get onboard. Once you’re in, you become more competitive as a government employee and you can start moving upward or laterally.
This goes without saying, but network for the type of job you are seeking. Chances are you already know someone that works for DHS or you know someone that knows someone. At the very least, the next time you are flying, stop and talk to a TSA or CBP employee. Ask them how they got hired. The point is making it a priority to get connected within the DHS community will serve you well. At the very least, get connected on LinkedIn. Do not hesitate to connect with DHS folks, ask for advice, and declare your goals. Most DHS employees will want to help.
The threats against our great Nation are real and present. DHS is in need of quality people willing to serve. Now is the time to apply!
If you have questions or would like more insights please comment.