The announcement by First Lady Michelle Obama, came February 10th, following an agreement between the White House Joining Forces initiative and more than 100 construction companies. While many of the requirements for these jobs are tailored to military skills and specialties, numerous federal projects require cleared personnel. The range of opportunities is good, and so are the salaries. Take a look at the top paying opportunities for clearance careers in construction.
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1. Construction Engineering Web Services Project Manager
These jobs focus on a mix of management and technical skills. On the admin side, experience in planning, staffing and budgeting is required. On the tech side, companies like to see software development skills and high performance computing related to construction. Qualifications generally call for a bachelor’s degree in a technical, scientific or business administration field and about 10 years of experience in areas that include web applications and hosting, familiarity with big data computer architectures and good communications skills. A master’s degree is always a plus. Salaries vary by company, geography and skill levels, but having a clearance, a college degree and related military skills can mean six figure incomes.
2. Construction Surveillance Technician (CST)
Opportunities for CSTs exist at both CONUS and OCONUS locations. Duties for CSTs working for federal contractors include the ability to provide surveillance of uncleared workers during construction, inspection of equipment and materials in controlled access areas, and the ability to analyze designs, structures and blueprints. Additional assets include experience in any of the following areas: DoD security procedures, construction security surveillance, industrial security, counterintelligence, quality assurance, and previous operation of imagers and metal detectors. Cleared candidates with knowledge of construction disciplines (civil, architectural, mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering principles) also have an edge. Clearance requirements range from TS/SCI security clearance, Top Secret/SCI with Full-scope Polygraph, Top Secret/SCI with CI Polygraph and Top Secret/SCI. Cleared CSTs earn average salaries of $75,000.
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3. Construction Manager
Numerous federal construction contract awards require cleared personnel for building projects across DoD, intelligence sectors, military bases and federal law enforcement. The work can involve everything from new construction to installation optimization, expansion and reuse. Construction managers review projects to assure conformance to regulations, assist in evaluating Requests for Information (RFIs), help develop project schedules, manage the coordination between construction and operational requirements and may contribute to reports and presentations. The most desirable candidates have an undergraduate degree in engineering, architecture, construction or management, at least four years of previous experience, and maintain a TS/SCI level clearance. Companies like Parsons, with revenues close to $3 billion, are involved in more than 4,500 projects in all states and dozens of countries. Salaries average $94,000, but can range from $72,000 to $108,000.
4. Construction Business Development Manager
This field is growing as companies work to expand. Cleared personnel are responsible for developing business strategies for new and renovation government construction, and conducting market and industry research and analysis for short term and long term plans. Development managers also must be able to identify and target new markets, so relationship building is critical. In the federal sector, knowledge of military construction is a plus, along with a technical undergraduate degree, plenty of experience and strong communications and analytical skills. Cleared candidates with all these assets are earning average salaries of $98,000 to $142,000.
5. Project Manager
In essence, project managers serve as general contractors and hiring managers prefer those who have some experience or can demonstrate knowledge of federal construction projects. In the Washington, D.C. area, experienced personnel with a security clearance earn between $66,000 to $70,000, and career growth potential is high.
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