Do Federal Jobs Require Security Clearance?

You may be wondering if all federal jobs require security clearance. The answer is no, not every federal job requires security clearance. However, not just anyone can get a federal job. Candidates must go through what’s called the “suitability adjudication process” to determine if they are qualified. In order for someone to be suitable for federal employment, he or she must:

  • Meet the qualifications listed in the job announcement.
  • Pass the suitability determination process.
  • Be able to carry out their duties as a federal worker with the appropriate levels of effectiveness, efficiency and integrity.

If you want to apply for federal employment, it will help if you understand your eligibility. Federal jobs fall into several categories, including but not limited to: open to the public, federal employees, former overseas employees, military spouses, National Guard and Reserves, senior executives, veterans, Peace Corps and Vista alumni, and individuals with disabilities among others.

If you’re a United States citizen, you are automatically eligible to apply for jobs in the “open to the public” category. Are you a current or former federal employee? In that case, you could apply for a job in the “open to the public” or “federal employee” categories.

Criminal Records & Federal Employment

“Can I get a federal job if I have a criminal record? Yes, it is possible to work for the government if you have a criminal record. Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from federal employment. When you apply, the hiring agency will look at your background and determine if your criminal history should bar you from federal employment. The hiring agency will consider: the position you apply for, the nature of the offense, how long ago it happened, and if you are rehabilitated. On the other hand, if you are applying for a federal job that requires security clearance, your application can be denied under Guideline J of the Adjudicative Process, which specifically addresses criminal conduct.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “Each case must be judged on its own merits, and final determination remains the responsibility of the specific department or agency. Any doubt concerning personnel being considered for access to classified information will be resolved in favor of the national security.”

Obtaining security clearance can be a difficult task. If you need assistance with a security clearance application, denial or appeal, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP.