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Several federal agencies are involved in our nation's homeland defense including the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These agencies are both housed within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Together these agencies employ more than 21,000 employees in our nation and around the world. Positions span professional, administrative support, technical and trade positions. Local and state law enforcement agencies support the work of these professionals.
  • The educational and training requirements for jobs in the federal government mirror those in the private sector for most major occupational groups.
  • Many jobs in managerial or professional and related occupations require a four-year college degree. Some, such as engineers, physicians and surgeons, and biological and physical scientists, require a bachelor’s or higher degree in a specific field of study.

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For jobs requiring access to sensitive or classified materials, applicants must undergo a background investigation in order to obtain a security clearance. This investigation covers an individual's criminal, credit and employment history, as well as other records.
Advancement for most workers in the federal government is currently based on a system of occupational pay levels, or 'grades', although more departments and agencies are being granted waivers to utilize different pay and promotion strategies.
Workers typically enter the federal civil service at the starting grade for an occupation and begin a 'career ladder' of promotions until they reach the full-performance grade for that occupation.