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How and Where to Find Civilian Security Contractor Jobs

Were you once a serving soldier looking to make a living as a civilian? Or you have experience as a private security contractor? If YES, here are the best places you can find civilian security contractor jobs.

Also sometimes referred to as civilian security contractors, these experts are known to ensure the safety of people and places. Individuals and organizations tend to hire civilian security contractors to serve as a proactive layer of protection.

Note that the ability to focus and see the big picture is a necessary trait of an effective civilian security contractor. Experience in the military or post-secondary law enforcement education is a plus, but most states require civilian security contractors to undergo a specific licensing process.

The job duties of a civilian security contractor tend to vary according to job and industry. Sometimes hired by the military to assist with its operations overseas, a civilian security officer may assist with base security or accompanying officials into hostile territory.

Some civilian security contractors serve as protection for civilians. Referred to as Close Protection (CP), a civilian security contractor also plans escape routes, scout exits, and surveys blind spots in advance of accompanying an individual who needs protection.

It isn’t unusual for a civilian security officer to sit for hours and does nothing more than watching the door of a room to ensure no one enters who isn’t authorized. Nonetheless, the primary job duty of this position is to look for things that are out of the ordinary and take proactive measures to maintain a safe environment.

Common work locations for civilian security officers include shopping malls, banks, and casinos. Watching surveillance cameras, guarding people who are transporting money or other valuables, and patrolling parking lots are some duties of this position.

Once you have a high school diploma, you can become a civilian security contractor with minimal training. Most states require a background check and a civilian security contractor license. Licensure varies by state. For instance, in Illinois, you will need 20 hours of classroom training and an additional eight hours of practical training, usually provided by the employer.

Most states also require an annual refresher course. If weapons are required for the job, you are expected to get a permit to carry them.

Taking post-secondary courses in law enforcement can boost your credentials and give you the edge when seeking higher paying positions. Additionally, military experience provides an experiential foundation for work as a civilian security contractor.

How to Find Civilian Security Contractor Jobs in the United States

Experience in the military or law enforcement will help boost your credibility as a civilian security contractor. If you intend to work in higher level jobs or lead a civilian security agency, previous experience along with references will add to your profile as a civilian security contractor. Nonetheless, here are simple steps to find a civilian security contractor job in the United States;

  1. Be a U.S. citizen. Almost all high-paying U.S. defence contracting jobs are held by U.S. citizens.
  2. Get a security clearance. Note that nothing is in more demand within the U.S. defence contracting community than someone with a security clearance. This is especially so since 9/11.
  3. Tailor your resume. All the regular resume rules apply, but if a job appears to support security operations directly, make sure you list your security experience in detail. If the job you are targeting doesn’t directly support security operations, focus on your skills and knowledge.
  4. Be a problem solver. Ensure to emphasize on your problem-solving skills because those will translate into nearly every job in the defence industry. Make sure you include at least one example in your resume or cover letter and be prepared to cite several examples during a job interview.
  5. Serve in the U.S. military. The good news is that if you are reading this article, you likely can already check off this requirement. Most U.S. security contracts are managed by former military officers, commonly lieutenant colonels or equivalent.
  6. Know your stuff. You are expected to establish technical credibility. While it is true that former battalion commanders typically are the program managers for security contracts, it is also true that even civilians are typically doing the more detailed work.
  7. Be willing to relocate. If you don’t care about your location, then you will have a much easier time finding a job working in the defence contracting arena.

Where to Find Civilian Security Contractor Jobs

First, you have to understand that civilian security contractor jobs are not listed and advertised like normal jobs. To find a civilian security job in the United States, you have to invest in networking.

It is also imperative you attend job fairs, sign up on websites where contractors discuss contracts and talk to contractors on military bases.

Tell them you are looking for a job in the defence contracting world. If you can, check in with them once in a while to see whether they are hiring.


There is still a lot of money in defence work, and the positions are relatively low-risk. Civilians and even veterans simply need to do their homework when it comes to picking a firm to join.

An average growth in civilian security contractor positions is expected. You can expect a 6 percent growth in available positions. Gaining expertise in video surveillance will add to your chances of obtaining a job in this field.