NEW YORK, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- DHI Group, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) announced today its ClearanceJobs brand, the leading career marketplace for security-cleared professionals, has released its 2020 Security Clearance Compensation Survey.
Security clearance total compensation averaged $96,515 for 2020. That's just 3.4% higher than the average total compensation reported by respondents in 2018, the last year ClearanceJobs administered a comprehensive salary survey. The majority of respondents (38%) reported modest increases of 3% or less, and just 16% of respondents reported increases above 5%.
Frequent job change is the new normal—73% of respondents had been at their jobs for less than five years and 81% of candidates reported they were at least somewhat likely to change jobs in the coming year. One quarter of respondents had been at their current employer for less than one year.
"Cleared employers continue to feel the effects of a tight candidate marketplace, limited talent pool, and security clearance processing delays," said Evan Lesser, Founder and President of ClearanceJobs. "Employers are simply unable to inject enough new talent into the industry to keep up with the rapidly increasing number of openings. This is a challenge being faced in both the contract and government community. That's why we see cleared professionals in high-demand industries like engineering and software development commanding high salaries, particularly in the D.C. Metro."
The Washington, D.C. Difference: Working in the Nation's Capital Pays
More than half (56%) of cleared respondents hail from just a few locations: Virginia, Maryland, California, D.C., Texas, and Florida. Location remains one of the greatest predictors of average compensation, with Kansas reporting the lowest average compensation, $74,453 (a drop of 9% from 2018), and Virginia reporting the highest, $108,030.
The D.C. Metro (DC-MD-VA) boasts significantly higher salaries than the rest of the country, with total compensation running $18,318 higher. However, percentage of compensation above base pay is slightly lower in the D.C. Metro than the rest of the U.S.—9%, vs 12%—which shows companies may be willing to award bonuses or other compensation above base salary to attract workers out of the higher-paying D.C. Metro.
Some industries make significantly more in the D.C. Metro, however, including Business Sales (+$39,539); Engineering-Civil ($+36,856); IT-Database (+$36,041); IT-QA-Test (+$29,496); Linguist (+$29,412); IT-Software (+$26,715); Healthcare/Science (+$26,520)
Compensation by Industry
Tech, management, and business sales continue to top the lists of highest paying security clearance careers. Within tech, systems engineers ($127,829) and software developers ($126,190) command the highest pay, reflecting the current market realities of a tech talent shortage and low unemployment for technical workers.
Cleared Employees Largely Satisfied
The majority of cleared professionals remain satisfied with their salaries – 53% reported being very or somewhat satisfied. Cleared respondents were moderately satisfied with their jobs, with 64% very or somewhat satisfied, and 17% very or somewhat dissatisfied. As has previously been the case, job satisfaction is not clearly correlated with compensation, although those with the highest compensation report the highest job satisfaction. The difference between those who are somewhat satisfied with their jobs and neutral is $7,539.
Cleared Compensation by State
% Change from 2018
Cleared Compensation by Occupation
Change from 2018
Aerospace and Aviation
Business - HR
Business - Legal
Business - Sales
Business - Support
Engineering - Chemical
Engineering - Civil
Engineering - Electrical
Engineering - Mechanical
Engineering - Systems
Healthcare and Science
IT - Database
IT - Data Science
IT - Hardware
IT - Security
IT - Software
IT - Support
IT - Tech Writing
IT - QA and Test
Military and Law Enforcement
Visual and Creative
Full Report for Employers
Cleared employers can view or download The 2020 Security Clearance Compensation Survey.
Full Report for Press
Press can email [email protected] for an ungated link to the full report for viewing or download.
The 2020 Security Clearance Jobs Compensation Survey was administered online by ClearanceJobs from October 18, 2019 through February 3, 2020. A total of 24,249 completed questionnaires were obtained. The survey captured 2020 salary (base and total compensation) for United States security-cleared personnel. By definition all respondents included in this analysis have an active or current security clearance issued by the United States federal government, are employed, and reported compensation figures between $18,000 and $300,000. Also note that there was a one-year gap between survey years (no survey was conducted in the interim year), so the differences reported herein are between 2018 and 2020.
ClearanceJobs is the largest security-cleared career marketplace specializing in defense and intelligence jobs for professionals with security clearance. ClearanceJobs is committed to connecting security-cleared professionals and employers in a secure and private environment to fill the jobs that safeguard our nation. ClearanceJobs is a DHI Group, Inc. brand.
About DHI Group, Inc.
DHI Group, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) is a leading provider of data, insights and employment connections through our specialized services for technology professionals and other select online communities. Our mission is to empower technology professionals and organizations that hire them to compete and win through expert insights and relevant employment connections. Employers and recruiters use our websites and services to source, hire and connect with the most qualified and highly skilled technology professionals, while professionals use our websites and services to find ideal employment opportunities, relevant job advice and tailored career-related data. For nearly 30 years, we have built our Company on providing employers and professionals with career connections, news, tools and information. Today, we serve multiple markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. Find out more at www.dhigroupinc.com.
Todd Kehrli or Jim Byers
MKR Investor Relations, Inc.
Senior Director of Corporate Communications
SOURCE DHI Group, Inc.