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NSA Police Officer Career Guide

NSA (National Security Agency) police officers protect those individuals who defend the United States. These federal employees work on or around the NSA facility at its complexes in Fort Meade, Maryland. They work closely with NSA employees and the federal government to enforce federal statutes. This guide explores what NSA police officers do, how to become one, and the job outlook for NSA police officers in the future.

NSA Police Officer Career Description, Duties, and Common Tasks

First and foremost, NSA police officers aim to protect everyone who serves with the NSA. Specific responsibilities of NSA officers include:

  • Asset protection
  • Counter terrorism
  • Critical incident management
  • Emergency mitigation
  • Firearms training
  • Patrol NSA property
  • Range management
  • Vehicle and facility inspection

How to Become a NSA Police Officer: Requirements and Qualifications

All NSA candidates 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. Successful applicants will also be subject to a comprehensive background investigation, including a polygraph test. Since the job will require the use of firearms, applicants should not have been convicted of a crime including domestic violence. 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 from a military, a government, or a private sector background. They also offer internship opportunities for college students wishing to pursue a career in National Security.

Before being hired, prospective NSA police officers will be scheduled for the National Police Officer Screening Test (POST), the NSA Police Physical Efficiency Battery (PEB), and an operational interview. The PEB includes a timed run, timed push-ups, and timed sit-ups. At that point, contingent employment may be offered, as long as the medical examination and the full background check are successful.

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 they learn about law enforcement techniques, which will help them as they enter the workforce later as full-time officers. The training program will include written tests, firearms instruction, and physical examinations.

Other Helpful Skills and Experience

Military experience or prior experience in law enforcement will be an advantage to anyone interested in becoming an NSA police officer. A degree in criminal justice will also give prospective NSA police officers an advantage over other applicants. Good communication skills, physical fitness, excellent judgment skills, and developed leadership skills are beneficial to those interested in law enforcement.

Examples of Possible Job Titles for this Career

  • Police officer

Career Opportunities and Employers

NSA police officers work for the National Security Administration, which is located in Fort Meade, Maryland. Police officers who have worked for the NSA may also go into a career in investigation in the security sector or the intelligence analysis sector of the NSA. They may also go on to work for a variety of other law enforcement agencies or police departments with experience as an NSA police officer.

NSA Police Salary and Outlook

NSA police officers can expect a starting salary of $48,363.1 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $56,980 per year for all police and detectives in 2012.2 The outlook for NSA police officers is heavily influenced by federal budgets, so positions will 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About This Career

How long does the application process generally take?

The NSA asserts there is no typical timeframe in which the application process is completed. However, applicants should expect a lengthy process compared to a typical job application process in the private sector, due to the necessity for all candidates to receive top secret clearance.

What kind of schedule do NSA police officers typically work?

NSA police officers should expect a non-traditional work schedule. They will be expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Should I pursue a degree in criminal justice in order to become an NSA police officer?

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.

Additional Resources

  • National Security Agency – A government organization that provides the physical security and civil liberties of the United States.

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1. National Security Agency: https://www.nsa.gov/
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm