HOW MUCH WILL I BE PAID WHILE I WORK AS AN ACCESS CONTROL SPECIALIST?
You will be paid two separate hourly wages. One is your actual hourly rate and the other is a Health & Welfare payment. Both of those added up will be $20.03/hour if your’re working at Ft. Meade, MD
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ME TO RECEIVE MY CLEARANCE?
It all depends on the Office of Personnel Management. OPM has a backlog of over 500,000 investigations and Top Secret clearances are expected to take up to 2 years. However, the contract you are applying to is classified as “mission essential” and because of that, your clearance processes usually goes a lot faster. Right now the average is 7-9 months, although CenCore makes no promises or guarantees on if or when your background investigation will conclude.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO APPLYING FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM?
To apply you must fill out an application found on our webpage and send it as well as your resume to CenCore (details are provided on our webpage). After that you will follow these steps:
- Phone Interview
- Take the Security Officer Exam
- Take Drug/Physical Tests
- Receive and fill out SF86 (clearance paperwork)
- Send to CenCore for review and submission
- Wait 7-9 months for your clearance background investigation to conclude
WHAT IS THE “HEALTH & WELFARE” PAYMENT?
WHAT IS THE “SECURITY OFFICER EXAM”?
Per the requirements of this contract, each candidate will have to take a Security Officer Exam (SIGMA test). The test is quite simple. It tests basic spelling, grammar and if you know how to read a work schedule. Trust me, you’ll do just fine.
WHAT DOES THE PHYSICAL TEST CONSIST OF?
This is not a physical fitness test at all? Just simply a normal physical you would receive as a pre-employment test at a doctors office. Don’t worry, you won’t have to run on a treadmill or carry bags of sand.
WHO PAYS FOR THE DRUG/PHYSICAL TESTS?
CenCore will foot the bill for your drug/physical exams. We will provide you with an authorization form that will note what tests should administered as well as where to send the bill, which is to us.
WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR ME TO TURN IN MY SF86 (SECURITY PAPERWORK)?
Due to the amount of time it takes to receive a clearance we want you to finish your SF86 as quickly as possible but, we understand that it takes time to gather all the information required. Because of this we give you 3 weeks to complete your SF86. CenCore may give you more time but, we try to stick to the 3 weeks as much as possible.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO TURN IN THE CORRECTIONS TO MY SF86?
Often times, candidates will miss a page to sign, dates, gaps or other small errors when compiling their SF86. If that is the case for you, CenCore will send your SF86 back to you with a list of corrections that need to be made. Typically, you will have one (1) week to complete those corrections but we will give you a new timeline when we send your SF86 back to you.
AFTER MY SF86 IS SENT IN TO OPM, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
This is a great question. To be short, three things: waiting, taking a Full Scope Polygraph, waiting, OPM conducting your background investigation, more waiting. Once OPM receives your SF86, it typically takes 7-9 months to hear back about their decision on your clearance. This is a general timeline, because the clearance background investigation is out of our hands, CenCore, LLC makes no guarantees on if or when you receive a clearance.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL MY POLYGRAPH?
Most people don’t “pass” their first but few actually “fail”. Most will have “inconclusive” results and that is why you will need to be there for a few days, so you have the opportunity to take the polygraph again before you come back home. If you do fail, then you will no longer be able to process with CenCore for your clearance and will have to wait a year before re-applying.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY POLYGRAPH?
CenCore cannot give you tips and tricks to pass a polygraph. That is unethical and illegal. However, you will receive a flyer on how to prepare yourself by the agency. CenCore, LLC does not suggest “googling” anything to help you pass your polygraph however, many agencies provide material on what to expect. Use those sources and those sources ONLY!
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I TAKE MY POLYGRAPH?
One word, wait. Most likely, you will be scheduled for your polygraph, about 3 months after your SF86 arrives at OPM. After you take your polygraph you will go back to your normal life and wait for your clearance investigation to conclude.
HOW WILL I FIND OUT IF I HAVE RECEIVED A CLEARANCE?
Our FSO (Facility Clearance Officer) or AFSO (Assistant Facility Clearance Officer) will reach out to you if you are granted a clearance. Once you clearance is granted, we will schedule your first day of work!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM “DESPONSORED” OR DENIED A CLEARANCE?
Very few people will be “denied” a clearance. If you are denied, you can reapply one year after your denial date. If you are “desponsored”, you may reapply for other agencies or other contracts right away. Although we will not be able to process you, you may seek other employment immediately.
HOW EXPENSIVE IS THE HOUSING IN THE DC/FT. MEADE AREA?
This totally depends on what situation you are in and requiring. You can get a studio apartment in downtown DC and pay about $2,500/month. We suggest you move closer to Ft. Meade, MD where you will be working. If you are single and want to share a room you can find housing as low as about $400/month. If you want a two bedroom apartment all to yourself, it will cost about $1,600/month. Our agent will help you find affordable housing close to the worksite to keep your commute as short as possible.
WHAT TYPES OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO ME AFTER I COMPLETE THE NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM?
CenCore is heavily involved with the agencies that make up the Intelligence Community. We do a lot of intelligence analysis, IT and IS, cyber security, information assurance and security, both armed and unarmed. We also work with strategic partners (both government agencies and contractors) to provide you with the best possible opportunities to launch your career within this hard to penetrate industry. For more information on current available positions please reach out to us or check out our careers page.