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Civil Servants Keep the Country Safe

Students at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, in Ala., survey a simulated accident scene that poses a radiological threat. The course focuses on response plans and procedures for incidents such as a terrorist event. (Photo: Shannon Arledge, CDP/FEMA)
Students at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, in Ala., survey a simulated accident scene that poses a radiological threat. The course focuses on response plans and procedures for incidents such as a terrorist event. (Photo: Shannon Arledge, CDP/FEMA)

Contrary to what you may think, civil servants aren't just pencil-pushing bureaucrats. They are people like Paul Polski, who has spent the past 12 years at the Federal Aviation Administration developing technologies to detect concealed weapons before they can be brought onto commercial aircraft, or Defense Department employee Jared Feinberg, who has also worked at the State and Treasury Departments and is using his diverse background to help track the flow of money to terrorist groups.

Then there are people like the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Catherine Montie, who developed the playbook for how the government will secure our nuclear facilities in the event of a terrorist attack.

So how does this affect you and your job search? Not only is the United States already short on federal experts in areas such as biodefense, but over the previous five years more than 55 percent of the entire federal workforce became eligible to retire. That means more job openings for people like you. So if you're looking for a job that relates to protecting the homeland but don't want to be a police officer or soldier, Uncle Sam still could have the position for you.

The array of jobs in government to choose from is incredibly diverse. If language is your strength, US intelligence agencies are looking for people with a whole range of linguistic skills. These include foreign language interpreters, translators and linguists. If your background is in science, agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention need talented people to help develop new methods to defend the nation against biological terrorism. The Central Intelligence Agency wants the nation's best analysts, scientists and engineers, and the National Institutes of Health will continue to need biodefense researchers.

The FBI not only is continuing to investigate violations of federal criminal law, but also is assuming a greater leadership role in protecting the United States from foreign counterintelligence and terrorist activities. In addition to hiring linguists, the FBI is hiring special agents and is actively recruiting women to fill some of those positions. The FBI also has recently established a Reserve Service Program for temporary reemployment of former full-time FBI employees. Lastly, the FBI is intensifying its initiatives to reach out and protect America's ethnic populations from hate crimes.

So, if you want to protect the United States from forces within or outside the country but don't want to don a uniform to do it, one question remains: What are you waiting for?

Explore hundreds of thousands of jobs today in the Military & Veteran Career Center.

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