6 Best Jobs In Defense And National Security

Jobs In Defense And National Security

A profession in defense and national security is something that a lot of people aspire to join. Apart from the thrill associated with most jobs in this niche, most of them also offer great job security and high pay. Also, if someone qualifies for one national security or defense-related job, they are suitable for other similar positions.

If you’re inclined toward this niche of work, here is a list of some of the best jobs in defense and national security you can apply for.

1. FBI Agent

As an FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agent, your duties include looking into crimes and spotting threats against the United States of America. These experts are unquestionably one of the most important resources for the national security of the USA.

Interviewing suspects and witnesses, gathering evidence, and evaluating that evidence to ensure national security are all job duties of an FBI agent. Additionally, they can arrest people, hold people in custody, examine computer databases, obtain fingerprints, etc.

Candidates must be citizens of the United States to become FBI agents. This employment type also has an age restriction of twenty-three to thirty-seven years old. Like other national security and defense careers, a masters in homeland security is a good stepping stone to land this career and advance. As per Payscale.com, the average annual income of an FBI agent is approximately $65,888.

2. CIA Directorate of Operations Agent

Agents of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, formerly known as the Defense Clandestine Service, conduct covert operations to obtain intelligence. These professionals undertake high-stake challenges and are adaptable, independent, and self-assured.

Additionally, they can work in groups or operate independently, depending on the assignment given to them. As with most national security positions, pay is based on experience and aptitude.

A four-year bachelor’s degree is required to apply for this position. Candidates must also uphold the greatest standards of honesty and excellence, putting the CIA before themselves. They should also be prepared to live covertly, work undercover, and keep secrets from their immediate family. A directorate of operations agent typically makes roughly $71,600 annually.

3. Cybersecurity Analyst

A cybersecurity analyst’s responsible for spotting potential risks and dangers in network and data systems and putting cybersecurity measures in place to guard against any potential weak spots.

These specialists work on large networks, network hardware and software, and IT infrastructures. A cybersecurity analyst must work to thwart cyber-attacks that could endanger American national security and act quickly in an emergency.

Furthermore, each agency has different work criteria. For instance, a law enforcement bachelor’s degree is often required for the Homeland Security Cybersecurity position. Candidates with a master’s degree in this subject are more sought-after. A cybersecurity analyst can earn $79,000 annually.

4. Intelligence Analyst

On the surface, an intelligence analyst’s position might not seem to be all that important. These professionals are crucial to the security of the USA, nevertheless. After all, these experts work hard to safeguard the United States of America from potential threats in a specific role.

Intelligence analysts cooperate with intelligence organizations from other nations and work within the United States to identify and thwart terrorist plots and attacks. They gather and review information using surveillance systems, intelligence networks, and law enforcement databases. Once this information is reviewed, it is presented to the relevant authorities so they can draft a plan and take action.

In most cases, government organizations like the DOD, CIA, FBI, NSA, and other departments that deal with defense and national security employ intelligence analysts. As per Glassdoor.com, intelligence analysts earn approximately $64,563 annually.

5. Intelligence Officer

Undoubtedly one of the most sought-after positions in national security and defense is an intelligence officer. These professionals research for military operations to compile data on terrorist cells, individuals, and networks that pose a threat to the US.

The FBI, CIA, DOD, and NSA, typically employ intelligence officers. Additionally, they work both internationally and domestically to stop terrorist attacks everywhere. Moreover, people working as national security intelligence officers have extensive military backgrounds, including time spent in the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, and Marines.

The criteria for becoming an intelligence officer include having officer training and a bachelor’s degree, as well as being over 18 and a citizen of the United States. Furthermore, wages for intelligence officers normally range between $100,000 to $70,000 annually, depending on the job role and amount of experience.

6. Cryptologist

Cryptography is a necessity in national security careers for security and national intelligence. It is essential to many if not all, security departments operating within and outside the US. By decoding and deciphering foreign languages, ciphers, and encoded messages, national security cryptologists assist other security personnel in combating terrorist cells and organizations. A cryptologist can understand and decipher codes, languages, and other techniques covert organizations employ to hide terrorist information and operations.

That said, no particular degree prepares students for cryptology. National security cryptologists come from various educational backgrounds, including foreign languages, psychology, social sciences, programming, computer science, and more.

These professionals are highly gifted, driven, and brilliant problem solvers. National security cryptologists typically earn starting salaries of roughly $60,000. However, due to the secrecy of their employment, the upper limit for a cryptologist’s salary is unknown.


Everyone has, at one point or another, considered working for the government in some capacity. The type of government job you choose is often influenced by your education and training as well as your personal interest in the field. However, many other national security and defense jobs are just as rewarding and challenging. So, consider the career options mentioned in this article and choose one that fits your academic credentials and interests. At the end of the day, you will surely find something that you are good at!


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