Breakthrough Year for Cleared Compensation Unveiled- Insights from the 2024 ClearanceJobs Survey

The results are in for the highly anticipated 2024 Security Clearance Compensation Report from ClearanceJobs, and it’s shaping up to be a breakthrough year for salaries and benefits in the cleared industry. After riding out economic storms from inflation to pandemic impacts, this comprehensive survey highlights how employers are now rising to meet workforce demands through increased pay and benefits packages.

The nationwide survey drew over 14,000 respondents holding active security clearances across career levels, agencies, sectors and locations. A few of the key takeaways for companies looking to secure top cleared talent:

Salaries Surging Higher

Cleared compensation saw a noteworthy 6% boost in 2023, reaching an all-time high average of $114,946. Two-thirds of respondents reported an increase to their base pay. With rising cost of living, InfoSec skills gaps and competitor demand, companies simply cannot afford to lowball offers for cleared professionals.

Remote/Hybrid Works as a Recruiting Tool

While remote/hybrid options are often not feasible due to clearance requirements, 57% of respondents indicated their employer offered this flexibility when conditions allowed. Those with this perk tended to earn $15-20K more on average. If you can offer remote flexibility, even on a limited basis, it can be an effective differentiation for your opportunities.

Benefits Drive Recruitment

When clearance requirements restrict remote work, employees pointed to bonuses (34%), extra vacation days (64%) and wellness support (64%) as their top desired benefits to enhance their work experience. Cost-effective benefits can help employers get more creative in building compelling total rewards packages.

The Gender Pay Gap Persists

Year after year, female respondents reported lower average total compensation compared to males. At the senior/management levels, the pay gap exceeded $13-14K. Companies would be wise to analyze their compensation practices and take measures to promote pay equity.

With demand for cleared talent continuing to outpace supply, this report confirms the importance of staying ahead of competitive compensation trends to attract and retain a skilled national security workforce. Those with the right recruiting strategies, employment brand and total rewards philosophy will be well-positioned for success in the year ahead.

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