Government overseas contract jobs usually require some type of security clearance classification. The available positions are highly diversified and offer a wide range of professions and skills. Jobs are available throughout the world in some very desirable places as well as high-threat locations.
Obtaining Security Clearance
Candidates with current and active security clearance are eligible to apply for various government overseas contract jobs. Candidates must be United States citizens. The majority of open positions have a prerequisite that the applicant already have security clearance. This mandate ensures security sensitive projects are quickly filled. The majority of jobs are immediate hire and applying for security clearance can be both be time-consuming and disrupt to the flow of eligible candidates.
Candidates without any type of security clearance cannot obtain it by themselves. A current or prospective employer must file for you. Some clearances may take up to two years to obtain. Monster.com offers an excellent primer on the steps needed in order to obtain a security clearance.
Where to Start Searching
US Agencies and Contractors wishing to fill federal contract overseas jobs are required to possess Facility Clearance (FCL) and have a Facility Officer (FSO) on staff. Many of the government agencies hire through government websites such as USA Jobs. Contractor positions and companies with government contracts to supply personnel to various government facilities throughout the world may hire contractors who apply through the individual company's website or may utilize a recruiting firm that specializes in filling government contract positions.
Trained professionals in various industries such as medical, IT, construction, communication and others can find overseas government contract jobs that serve with the US military in Afghanistan and other active military locations. Other countries that may offer various contractor positions include India, Brazil and United Arab Emirates.
Use the official government jobs portal USA Jobs' search function to search for jobs by location. In addition, the contract positions are found under the temporary category when checked underneath the section, Type of Work. Most of these jobs last for one year or less.
ClearanceJobs.com is an excellent place to search for government contract jobs located overseas. All of the staff members are former defense contractors, so they are familiar with how things work. In addition to working directly with federal agencies, the company also works with federal contractors.
Cleared Connections has job postings from employers (authorized US federal agencies and contractors with FCL and FSO) that specialize in security clearance jobs. Candidates can find federal jobs for various government agencies, such as Homeland Security, top secret and intelligence jobs with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), NSA (National Security Agency) and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and many other agencies. Candidates can also find jobs, such as Intelligent Analysts, Defense Engineers, Linguists and other professions.
Man Tech is one of the best known federal contractors and provides IT solutions for various government and military branches for national security issues. Man Tech not only hires transitioning military personnel and professionals with current security clearance, but also is one of the few companies that works with non-cleared qualified professionals to achieve any needed clearance.
Some departments with open positions include:
- C4ISR: Ground, airborne and space systems includes C2 infrastructure
- Cyber Security: Integrated security support, computer and network design, implementation, and operations
- Systems Engineering: Application of systems engineering for large-scale system development and acquisition programs
- Global Logistics: Logistics and maintenance support for US military
General Dynamics Information Technology
GDIT (General Dynamics Information Technology) states that it "provides information technology (IT), systems engineering, professional services and simulation and training to customers in the defense, federal civilian government, health, homeland security, intelligence, state and local government and commercial sectors." Careers can be found on the website that range from an IT Engineer to an Armorer.
KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root) supplies workers around the world for the gas and oil industries and various American and foreign government agencies. The various contract positions provide support for civil infrastructure, government and defense as well as for power and industrial sectors.
Government Agencies with Open Positions
While job openings are constantly fluctuating, many of the agencies have ongoing openings overseas. Some of the government agencies and services seeking to fill overseas contractor jobs in various places throughout the world include:
- CIA: The CIA relies on government contractors for many overseas positions.
- NSA (National Security Agency): The NSA has opportunities in a wide range of fields open to transitioning military and clearance professionals. The NSA also offers students several venues of employment with various co-op, internships and scholarships.
Many large and small companies have government contracts that create jobs overseas for contract workers. Some of these corporations do specific work for the military as well as other departments within the American government. The following companies are leading government contract services and offer contract jobs for both domestic and overseas projects:
- BAE Systems: The "US subsidiary of the British defense giant BAE" provides a wide range of security, defense and IT jobs worldwide.
- Booz Allen Hamilton: Booz Allen Hamilton provides IT support, cyber technologies, engineering services and infrastructure solutions.
- L-3 Harris: L-3 provides national security solutions, electronic systems, C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) solutions and Aircraft Modernization and Maintenance (AM&M).
- Northrop Grumman Corp.: Candidates can find jobs in advanced aero, electronic and information systems.
- SRA International Inc.: This company offers IT solutions to government missions in defense, intelligence services and other departments.
Networking with Other Professionals for Jobs
There are many social medias for networking, but the most popular one for professionals is LinkedIn®. There are specific groups dedicated to government contract workers overseas that can often give you an inroad to premium jobs, such as Professional Overseas Contractors.
The Chance to Explore New Cultures
Working overseas as a government contractor can offer a life-changing experience while learning firsthand about other cultures. It may be time consuming to find this type of work,but it can be an amazing opportunity to spend a short amount of time working abroad.