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How to Become a Homeland Security Officer

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The Department of Homeland Security was formed in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. President George W. Bush announced the formation of both the DHS and the Homeland Security Council shortly after the attacks. Bush gave these offices three directives: to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, to reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and to minimize the damage and help the country recover from any attacks that do occur. Becoming a Homeland Security officer takes diligence and responsibility.

Get a bachelor's degree in either criminal justice or the more recently developed homeland security degree. This will normally take four years of study on a full-time basis. The higher your final grade point average, the more likely you are to be hired.

Maintain your physical fitness. Many Homeland Security jobs require you to be in good condition. If you are not in good shape to complete physically demanding tasks, you are not likely to get the job.

Apply for open Homeland Security positions. The U.S. government posts job opportunities on its websites, and you need a resume to apply.

Pass a background check. You will likely have an interview first and then your background will be screened for felonies. If you have felonies on your record, you are unlikely to be hired.

Attend any required training camps or academies. Many Homeland Security positions involve an intensive training period that can last several weeks.


Try to get an internship with Homeland Security while you are taking college courses. The experience and connections can only benefit you when you look for a job later.