Information on Salaries for Homeland Security Professionals

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Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, one of the fastest growing professional areas in the United States has been homeland security.  As Americans from all walks of life recognize the need to help improve the country’s defenses, a demand for a wide variety of homeland security careers has been created.  These range from intelligence analysts and law enforcement officers to emergency management professionals and analytical chemists.

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Not only has the number of positions in these professions grown, but, as more public and private organizations have recognized the need for homeland security specialists, the salaries have also burgeoned.  Professionals who wish to combine their love for their country with a rapidly expanding number of employment opportunities with lucrative salaries will find homeland security is an ideal fit.

Immigration and Customs Salaries

Then nation’s borders are critical to its security, and the professionals who patrol and monitor them receive abundant salaries. While the law enforcement agencies of some border states may be involved in securing borders, the primary agency responsible is U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  New border patrol agents may enter the CBP with a GL-5, GL-7, or GL-9 pay rating.  Border patrol agents may end their careers at the GL-11 or GL-12 pay grade. In 2012, the annual salaries for these pay grades were:

  • GL-5:  $40,355-$50,167
  • GL-7:  $45,940-$58,104
  • GL-9:  $51,233-$66,102
  • GL-11:  $59,987-$77,981
  • GL-12:  $71,901-$93,470

Initial pay grades are typically dependent upon the educational and professional credentials of the entering agent; advanced degrees, law enforcement or military experience may assist in qualifying for higher pay ratings.

Intelligence Officer Salaries

Intelligence officers are found within most large law enforcement and national security organizations.  Possessing a strong academic or professional background is essential to quick promotion and elevated salaries. Candidates who possess exceptional intellectual capacity may also find employment opportunities and management positions quickly.

Intelligence analysts may enter the profession from GL-7 up to GL-12.  While the majority of intelligence analysts end their careers at the GL-14 level, some exceptional analysts have assumed management positions with GL-15 pay ratings.  In 2012, the salary ranges for these included:

  • GL-14:  $101,035-$131,343
  • GL-15:  $118,846-$154,501

Emergency Management Director Salaries

Homeland security professionals who excel at disaster preparedness, response and recovery naturally gravitate towards the emergency management specialties.  These specialists may work in a variety of fields including training, communications or logistics.  The most exceptional of these ascend to management or executive positions.

In 2012, the national average annual salary for emergency management directors was $64,730.  The lowest ten percent of EM directors earned less than $30,760, while the highest ten percent earned more than $107,810.

The largest employers of EM directors were local governments who paid salaries of $58,770 on average.

Police and Detective Salaries

One of the largest professions for homeland security specialists is that of law enforcement. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost 632,000 police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers earned annual average salaries of $57,770 in 2012.  The highest ten percent in this profession earned more than $89,310, while the lowest decile earned $32,350.  The largest employers of police officers were local governments, which paid annual salaries of $57,670 on average.

Police supervisors and detectives who coordinated the activities of rank and file police earned considerably more.  In 2012, the national average salary for these professions was $82,060.  The lowest ten percent earned less than $47,240 while the highest ten percent earned more than $125,620.

Emergency Medical Professionals

Following a disaster or terrorist attack, some of the first people on the scene are emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics.  While most of these individuals are not accredited physicians, they often possess well-developed skills in emergency medicine that permit them to stabilize injured individuals so that they may be transported to medical facilities.

In 2012, the average annual salary for EMTs was $34,370.  The most qualified and experienced EMTs and paramedics earned salaries greater than $53,550, and the newest and least qualified could expect salaries lower than $20,180.

The largest employers of EMTs and paramedics are ambulatory health care services, which employed almost 113,470 in 2012, at an annual salary of almost $31,140. Local governments also employed a large number of these professionals; the 68,700 working for local governments averaged almost $39,300 in annual salary for 2012. The highest paying regions for this profession included the District of Columbia, which paid an average of $52,930, and Alaska, which paid its EMTs about $51,570 in annual salary.

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