NSA Police Officer: Career Guide
National Security Agency (NSA) police officers provide security on the NSA campus in Fort Meade, Maryland. They work closely with NSA employees and the federal government to enforce federal statutes and ensure the security of NSA buildings. NSA police officers work for the National Security Administration (NSA), which is located in Fort Meade, Maryland. Police officers who have worked for the NSA may later use this experience to pursue careers in other federal security and intelligence positions, or for law enforcement agencies or police departments. This guide explores what NSA police officers do, how to become one, and the job outlook for NSA police officers.
Career Description, Duties, and Common Tasks
NSA police officers are tasked with providing security services for NSA employees, visitors, and assets. Specific responsibilities of NSA officers include:
- Asset protection
- Patrolling NSA property
- NSA firearms range management
- Vehicle, personnel, and facility inspections
- Counter terrorism
- Emergency mitigation
Steps for Becoming a NSA Police Officer
Candidates for employment with the NSA must hold US citizenship and possess a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, plus at least two years of post-high school education, honorable military service, or two years of relevant work experience. Additional requirements include being at least 21 years old, being in excellent physical condition, having good vision, possessing a valid driver’s license, and being able to work long, unconventional hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. The NSA often employs individuals with backgrounds in military or other government service. There are internship opportunities for college students wishing to pursue careers in national security. To become an NSA police officer, complete the following steps:
- Attend coursework and/or gain experience in a related field.*
- Apply for an open position on the NSA Careers website.
- Take and pass the National Police Officer Screening Test (POST).
- Take and pass the NSA Police Physical Efficiency Battery (PEB), including a timed run, timed push-ups, and timed sit-ups.
- Attend an operational interview.
- Successfully complete a drug test, polygraph exam, and background investigation.
- Get hired as an NSA police officer.**
- Participate in the 12-13-week Uniformed Police Training Program as a new hire.
- Get on-the-job training as an officer.
*See specific job description for exact requirements.
**A contingent employment offer may be made to candidates who pass these tests pending the results of the required medical examination and background check.
NSA Police Officer Job Training
NSA police officer new hires participate in a Uniformed Police Training Program, which lasts 12 to 13 weeks. During this period, candidates are challenged physically and learn about federal law enforcement techniques. The training program includes written tests, firearms instruction, and physical examinations.
Other Helpful Skills and Experience
Military experience or prior experience in law enforcement is an advantage for those interested in becoming NSA police officers. A degree in criminal justice will give prospective NSA police officers an advantage over other applicants. Good communication skills, physical fitness, excellent judgment skills, and developed leadership skills are also beneficial.
Possible Job Titles for This Career
- NSA Law Enforcement Officer
- Police Officer
NSA Police Salary and Job Outlook
NSA police officers are paid according to the federal General Schedule (GS), which bases pay on experience, education, and position. You can review the GS pay tables through the Office of Personnel Management. The outlook for NSA police officers is heavily influenced by federal budgets, and positions most often become available due to officers retiring or leaving the NSA for other reasons. Job openings are posted on the National Security Agency website.
Police Career Advice
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Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How long does the application process generally take?
Answer: There is no typical timeline for completing the NSA hiring process. However, applicants should expect a lengthy process as all candidates must be cleared for Top Secret/Special Intelligence clearance.
Question: What kind of schedule do NSA police officers typically work?
Answer: NSA police officers will be expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Question: Should I pursue a degree in criminal justice in order to become an NSA police officer?
Answer: While a degree is not required to start a career as an NSA police officer, a degree in criminal justice will certainly make candidates more marketable, giving them an edge over their competitors. Most applicants to the NSA hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
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