National Protection and Programs Directorate Personnel Security Specialist in Boston, Massachusetts

Job Overview

Job Overview

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

The National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) leads the national effort to protect and enhance the resilience of the nation's physical and cyber infrastructure. Learn more about NPPD.

Joining the Federal Protective Service (FPS) means protecting and delivering integrated law enforcement and protection services to our national critical infrastructure of federal facilities. In this position, you would be responsible for reviewing background investigations and approving and/or denying suitability clearances for contractor personnel.

Who May Be Considered: All U.S. Citizens and Status Candidates including the following:

  • Current federal employees serving under a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service
  • Former federal employees with reinstatement eligibility based on previous career or career-conditional appointments in the competitive service
  • Persons eligible for non-competitive appointment under special hiring authorities (click here for a list of authorities)
  • Persons eligible under an Interchange Agreement
  • Veterans applying under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) - Veterans' preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions after substantially completing at least three consecutive years of active duty (click here for information on veterans)
  • Individuals with disabilities (See more information under "Other Information" below)
  • Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) Authority For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here.

Competitive, merit promotion, and/or non-competitive referral lists may be issued based on the needs of the agency.

Multiple selections may be from this announcement.


This position will be located in various regional offices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Federal Protective Service (FPS), This position is responsible for reviewing background investigations and approving and/or denying suitability clearances for contractor personnel. Typical work assignments include:

  • Plan, conduct, and adjudicate background investigations to determine suitability of individuals for hire by FPS
  • Review suitability paperwork and forms to identify a wide range of data for granting, denying or revoking suitability or security clearances
  • Make appropriate entries, inquiries, and changes to the contract suitability database system
  • Maintain liaison with other Federal, State, local, and private organizations or agencies
  • Review and interpret agency policies and directives to ensure compliance with FPS, NPPD and DHS instructions and procedures
Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel of 1-5 days per month may be required
Relocation Authorized
  • No

Job Requirements

Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation
  • Selective Service registration required
  • Current Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements
  • You must be able to obtain and hold a Secret clearance
  • Must submit to and receive negative drug test

To qualify at the GS-9 level, you must possess one of the following:

A. One full year of specialized experience comparable in scope and responsibility to the GS-07 level in the Federal service (obtained in either the public or private sectors). This experience must include activities such as: 1) preparing and tracking background reports and statistics; 2) utilizing professional judgment to disqualify or mitigate a number of variables regarding a person's life or conduct; 3) reviewing and analyzing suitability forms and applications; and 4) preparing correspondence in response to inquiries regarding investigative procedures and decisions. (Must be reflected on your resume)


B. Successfully completed a Master's degree or two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if related from an accredited college or university in a field that provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. Such fields include personnel security, security operations, or law enforcement. (Submit transcripts)


C. A combination of experience described in "A" above and education described in "B" above. When combining education and experience, convert quarter hours to semester hours by multiplying by the fraction 2/3. Divide graduate semester hours in excess of 18 by 18 (or whatever number of units your school uses to denote one graduate academic year.) Divide your total number of months of specialized experience by 12; finally, add the two percentages. The total must equal at least 100 percent to qualify. Only the graduate education in excess of 18 semester hours may be combined with experience to qualify for this grade level. (Submit transcripts)

In addition to meeting the specialized experience and/or minimum education requirements, applicants must also demonstrate possession of the Selective Placement Factor (SPF) that includes experience assisting with background investigations involved in the adjudication process in order to grant, deny, revoke, suspend or restrict security clearance consistent with national security and /or suitability investigations. Failure to clearly identify your experience in meeting the SPF will result in an ineligible rating and your application will not advance in the recruitment process.

For any college courses, graduate work, research, thesis or other non-descript courses listed on your transcript (such as "Independent Research"), your resume or attachment memorandum from an academic professor must indicate how each course fulfills the specific education requirement (i.e., state number of semester hours credited, topic of study, grade earned).

NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement). Applicants can verify accreditation here. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.

Special Instructions For Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit here.

Current Federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent grade band in the Federal service. All qualifications and time-in-grade requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

New employees must serve a one year probationary period.

Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities concerning, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.


Security Clearance


Additional Information

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

Once your application and supporting documentation have been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. Your qualifications will be evaluated as described in this announcement and, based upon your score, you may be referred to the hiring official for further consideration. You may be contacted directly by the hiring office for a possible interview.

Your application status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on "Application Status" and then click "More Information." We expect to make a final job offer within 30 to 60 days after the deadline for applications for this position. If you are selected, a suitability/security background investigation will be conducted.

You will receive notice via email or by mail, if no email address was provided by you during the application process, once this process is completed (generally within 30-60 days).

For more information on applying for Federal employment, please visit USAJOBS.

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate!


Review our benefits

Other Information
  • More than one selection may be made from this announcement.
  • Appointments are subject to the availability of funds.
  • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • Other recruitment incentives may be authorized.
  • This position has been designated exempt from bargaining unit representation under the national security provision of 5 USC Section 7112(B)(6).
  • All employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/ Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments. Note about the information provided in your resume and supporting documentation: Your experience (paid and unpaid), education, awards, training and self-development will be evaluated as it relates to the position based upon the information provided in your resume/application and any other supporting documents.

National Service Experience Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Veterans, Peace Corps/VISTA volunteers, and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the documentation that is required, click on the links in Who May Be Considered section or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.

E-Verify DHS uses e-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.


If you are a Discharged, Non-Disabled Veteran, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing character of discharge (Member 4 copy), or other Documentation of Service and Separation under Honorable Conditions, as listed on the SF15. If you don't have your DD-214, you may request it after discharge from the National Archives at

If you are a veteran within 120 days of discharge, you must submit signed documentation from the Armed Forces certifying: 1) your expected release/retirement from active duty, 2) under honorable conditions, 3) your pay grade/rank/rate at time of discharge, 4) dates of active duty service, 5) any campaign or expeditionary medals received, 6) dated within 120 days of your separation.

If you are a Disabled Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient, or Mother or Spouse of a Disabled or Deceased Veteran, you must submit all additional proof required by the SF15 , and if applicable, a completed SF15. If you don't have your Department of Veterans Affairs letter establishing proof of disability, you may request it at or call 1-800-827-1000.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Salary Range: $54,812.00 to $71,259.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0080-9/9

Promotion Potential: 9

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: U.S. Citizens and Status Candidates (this includes Merit Promotion - Status Candidates - Former Overseas Employees - CTAP/ICTAP - VRA - VEOA - 30% or More Disabled - EVHO - Individuals with Disabilities - Military Spouses - Americorps - Peace Corps - Vista - Interchange Agreement Eligibles - Land Management - National Guard and Native American)

Control Number: 472306000

Job Announcement Number: DEST-10009000-17-RS