Homeland Security Officer: Career Profile
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Its mission is to secure the nation from the many threats we face. DHS is primarily responsible for protecting the nation from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters. It makes sure that all US borders, seaports, and airways are secure. They also analyze, research, and develop innovative security technology that would help in performing their jobs during natural disasters or terrorist attacks. They also analyze intelligence reports to prevent, deter, and detect any threats to the homeland.
A career in homeland security gives an opportunity to protect and serve the country and its citizens.
Homeland security is a new career, but there is a vast employment option available. Several different agencies employ homeland security officers including the US Capitol Police, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the US Secret Service, the Federal Protective Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Transportation Security Administration and Park Services. Each department offers the opportunity to work in intelligence operations, either as an undercover agent or an active duty officer. New career opportunities for security officers are created each time.
Ideally, a homeland security officer should have excellent communication skills and computer savvy to be able to deal with the latest technology. A homeland security officer should also be a reliable individual with good judgment and has the ability to stay calm during chaotic situations.
A homeland security officer is required to have a four-year college degree in criminal science, forensics, computer science, accounting, etc. He may also need to have a specialized homeland security degree, depending on the field.
As part of the application process, each agency of DHS has a different series of tests that an applicant must complete. The first part of the application process for a homeland security officer is the physical fitness portion. Thus, an applicant must be in top physical condition to effectively carry out the rigorous duties of the job. The applicant must also go through a rigorous training camp or academy, which can go from six weeks to ten months, depending on the requirements of the agency you are working for. After passing the training, the applicant must pass another final test to be permanently hired.
When hired, the new homeland security officer will be assigned in an area where he is needed most. Although he cannot choose his first assignment, his family can join him from this point onwards. Working schedule also varies. He may be asked to work on a long shift and rotating schedule during odd hours. Homeland Security Officers receive good benefits and job security.