How to Join Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for keeping America’s borders secure, preventing terrorism, and enforcing immigration laws. Consider joining Homeland Security if you’d like to work for the U.S. government in law enforcement, immigration, or support services. To obtain a job with Homeland Security, start by getting the necessary education and training. You can then search for positions that suit your skillset and interests, and apply for them online with a detailed resume.


EditGetting the Necessary Education and Training

  1. Do an internship with Homeland Security if you are a student or recent grad. The Department of Homeland Security offers internship and fellowship opportunities to high school students and recent high school graduates through The Pathways Program. They also offer paid and unpaid internships with specific departments within the DHS, such as Health and Science, Intelligence and Analysis, and Law Enforcement.
    Join Homeland Security Step 1.jpg
  2. Take classes in criminology, criminal justice, and forensics. These are key skills for individuals who want to work at the DHS, as they can be applied to a variety of jobs in Homeland Security. Look for online classes that focus on these topics or enroll in courses at your local college or university. Obtain documentation that you completed the classes or courses so you can include this information in your application.[1]
    Join Homeland Security Step 2.jpg
    • Make sure you have your high school diploma or GED so you can enroll in post-secondary courses at your local college or university.
  3. Enroll in police officer or corrections officer training. Many applicants for DHS positions have training or experience in law enforcement already, usually as a police officer or corrections officer. Enroll in this type of training so you can learn key skills like problem-solving, evidence-handling, data analysis, and investigation training. You will also learn how to safely use a firearm. These skills will help you stand out as an applicant for DHS positions and give you good foundational training for the job.[2]
    Join Homeland Security Step 3.jpg
    • Look for police officer or corrections officer training at your local police academy or college.
  4. Join the military to gain the skills for DHS. Look for a cadet program or military training program in your area. Experience in the military can give you skills like weapons training, conflict resolution, data analysis, and a commitment to serving your country.[3]
    Join Homeland Security Step 4.jpg
    • If you have served in the military, you likely have many of the skills needed to thrive in a DHS position. The DHS often looks to recruit veterans to work for them in a variety of roles. Make sure you include your military experience on your resume so you can stand out as an applicant.

EditSearching for Positions

  1. Look at mission support roles if you want to work in human resources. These roles often involve expertise in fields like budget planning, public affairs, communication, medical studies, science and technology, and fraud detection. There is a wide range of careers at DHS that fall under this category, as these careers work to support missions by Homeland Security in a variety of ways.[4]
    Join Homeland Security Step 5.jpg
  2. Search for law enforcement careers if you want to work in security. These jobs are ideal if you’d like to work to keep the nation’s borders secure. You will also protect heads of state and other government individuals, and get the opportunity to do law enforcement training for new hires.[5]
    Join Homeland Security Step 6.jpg
  3. Consider travel security careers if you’d like to focus on transport systems and immigration. These jobs focus on protecting America’s transportation systems. You will also be responsible for monitoring and enforcing immigration laws, as well as oversee lawful immigration to the U.S.[6]
    Join Homeland Security Step 7.jpg
  4. Look at prevention and response careers if you want to protect the environment. These jobs help to protect the nation’s environment and the general public. You can also work to prepare for and respond to environmental hazards or natural disasters.[7]
    Join Homeland Security Step 8.jpg

EditApplying for Positions

  1. Find open positions on the Homeland Security website: Use the search tools on the page to look for positions by agency, salary, and pay grade. You can also filter your search by job category or type of work, such as permanent or full time.
    Join Homeland Security Step 9.jpg
    • Use the additional search options on the tool to look for positions based on supervisory level, location, and level of clearance.
    • You can also look for positions specifically for veterans using the search tool.
  2. Read the job announcement to confirm you have the required qualifications and training. Review the announcement for details on the types of skills required as well as the duties and tasks associated with the position. There will also be information about salary, benefits, and training requirements. Make sure you have interests, education, and background that are relevant to the position.[8]
    Join Homeland Security Step 10.jpg
  3. Apply for the job on the Homeland Security website. Click on the “How to Apply” section on the job announcement and follow the instructions. You will need to provide personal information and answer questions to determine your skills, abilities, and qualifications.[9]
    Join Homeland Security Step 11.jpg
    • You can also note you are a veteran as part of the application.
  4. Provide a detailed resume. As part of your application, you will need to provide a resume that highlights your work experience and education. Include any volunteer experience, extra-curricular activities, or accomplishments that relate to the position. Try to make your resume at least 2 pages in length so it is detailed and specific.[10]
    Join Homeland Security Step 12.jpg
    • Use a specific format for the resume, such as chronological, skill-based, or a combination of both approaches. Chronological is the most common for federal related jobs, where your most recent experience goes first. A skill-based structure may be more useful if you have gaps in your work experience.
    • Always check the spelling and grammar in your resume before sending it out.
  5. Interview for the position, if contacted. Once you submit your application and you are chosen as a top candidate, you will be contacted for an interview by a human resources specialist. You may need to submit additional materials like writing samples or professional references. You will then interview in person with hiring managers at DHS.[11]
    Join Homeland Security Step 13.jpg
    • Dress professionally for the interview and arrive on time or a few minutes early.
    • Bring a copy of your resume so you have it on hand.
    • Maintain a calm, friendly demeanor. Make eye contact when you speak to others and answer the interview questions as succinctly and clearly as you can.
  6. Pass a security clearance check before you start your job. If you receive a job offer, you will need to pass a security clearance check before you can be hired by the DHS. The screening can take up to 3 months to complete, depending on the level of clearance you are receiving. The DHS will confirm you are a U.S. citizen and that you have a clean legal record. They may also look into other details to confirm you are a good hire.[12]
    Join Homeland Security Step 14.jpg
    • Once you pass the security clearance check, you will be approved for hiring and receive an official start date for the position.

EditSources and Citations

Cite error: tags exist, but no tag was found

Posted in How

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *