What Jobs Require Top-Secret Clearance?

Many jobs in the private sector require a top-secret clearance. According to the Human Resource Association, employees with top secret clearances make up to 60% more than those without.


This level of security clearance is granted after a reliability status investigation, standard checks and open source checks have been conducted. This process can take a few months to a year.

The Background Investigation

Top-secret clearance is the highest level of security clearance available to federal employees. This clearance grants the ability to view information classified as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). This level of clearance is necessary for those working in federal agencies dealing with intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy and military issues. Civilian contractors working for companies, non-profits and research organizations under contract with the government will also need to obtain a Top Secret clearance to be allowed access to confidential or sensitive information on a need-to-know basis. 광주흥신소

Those seeking Top-secret clearance will undergo an extensive background investigation, which is longer and more detailed than those for Confidential or Secret levels of clearance. The investigation will cover all aspects of the applicant’s life, including criminal and civil court records, credit checks, education and professional qualifications, employment history and references. Interviews will be conducted with those who know the applicant, as well as with spouses or co-habitants where applicable. Foreign travel and significant financial holdings are typically scrutinized more closely.

During the investigation, it’s im 광주흥신소 portant to be as truthful as possible. Falsifying information on the clearance application can lead to delays in the process or even rejection of the clearance entirely.

The Personal Interview

Some positions with the federal government and some jobs at private companies that work with the government require individuals to hold Top-secret clearance. If you have a job that requires a clearance, your employer will help you with the investigation process to get it.

After completing your SF-86 form or e-QIP and providing the investigator with all of the information requested, you will have an interview. The interview is a critical step in the process, and it is important to be honest with the investigator. If you are defensive or refuse to answer the investigator’s questions, it can delay your clearance or even result in your being denied a clearance.

The investigator will usually go over every question that you filled out on the SF-86 with you, but the interview may also include questions that are not on the form. The investigator will ask you questions about your family members, friends and co-workers. They will interview all of the people you provide them with contact information for and also may check with law enforcement in areas where you have lived or worked.

The goal of the investigator is to find out if you could compromise national security with your access to classified information. They are trying to make a determination of whether you are trustworthy and can keep secrets.

The Polygraph Examination

For many, the polygraph test is one of the most intimidating aspects of the clearance process. The polygraph, also known as a lie detector, is the most widely used method of detecting deception in the United States.

The polygraph examination is part of the TS SCI vetting process and is required for positions that have access to classified information. Depending on the sensitivity of the position, the Tier 5 investigation may include a Counter Intelligence (CI), Lifestyle, or Full Scope polygraph.

During the CI polygraph, the examiner asks questions that focus on your involvement in activities that could impact national security, such as theft of government property or unauthorized disclosures of classified information. In addition, the examiner might ask about your drug use, including whether you have ever misused or illegally obtained prescription drugs.

The lifestyle polygraph typically includes more personal questions than the CI and full scope polygraphs, such as where you have lived for the last decade and any other employment or employment-related activities. It might also cover any financial obligations or bankruptcies as well as your military service. Regardless of the type of polygraph you take, it is important to be honest because lying during the exam will not help your case and can actually disqualify you from obtaining a clearance. The results of the polygraph are recorded on a chart and will be reviewed by adjudicators before they make their decision.

The Adjudication

Anyone whose job requires access to classified information or restricted areas must hold a security clearance. The categories are federal and military jobs, government contractor positions, and roles with access to Restricted Data (RD) or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). Government agencies decide who can have these types of positions, based on their internal rules. For those who require a Top Secret clearance, trained Personnel Security Specialists (adjudicators) conduct Tier 3 or Tier 5 PSIs and adjudicate them using 13 guidelines set by the Director of National Intelligence.

Adjudicators consider many things when determining whether someone should be cleared or denied. Generally, the more concerns an applicant has in one of these guidelines, the more difficult it will be to obtain a clearance. But, no single concern is enough to deny a person a clearance; the adjudicators will look at the seriousness, frequency, and recency of each. They will also review any extenuating circumstances and consider the likelihood of recurrence.

If a clearance is denied, the individual will receive an unfavorable Statement of Reasons (SOR) from their agency. They will then have the opportunity to respond to the SOR in writing and request a review of their case by an administrative law judge or other adjudicating official. The process is different for federal civilian employees, military personnel, and those with TS/SCI clearances, though each will have an opportunity to review the unfavorable decision.