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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Security Technical Specialists

A security technical specialist adjusting a perimeter surveillance camera.Security technical specialists are assigned throughout the world to develop, implement, and maintain technical security programs at U.S. diplomatic missions.

Security technical specialists work for security engineering officers to support the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's worldwide technical security programs. These programs provide protection for Department of State facilities and personnel from technical espionage, acts of terrorism, and crime through the use of sophisticated electronic and electro-mechanical security systems.

Security technical specialists are members of the Foreign Service and spend a substantial portion of their careers abroad. Travel to nearby countries to conduct engineering surveys and security inspections, install equipment, and to provide electronic maintenance may occupy up to 50 percent of an overseas officer's time.

View the Security Technical Specialist brochure.

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  • U.S. citizenship
  • 21 years of age
  • High school diploma
  • If required, registration under the Military Selective Service Act
  • Undergo a thorough background investigation and qualify for a Top Secret security clearance
  • Pass a stringent medical exam and be available for worldwide assignment
  • Be willing to travel and accept assignments throughout the world. Technicians are required to live and work a substantial portion of their career overseas.
  • Be willing to spend the majority of their time traveling
  • Foreign language ability is desirable, but not mandatory
  • Possess a valid U.S. driver's license
  • Demonstrated ability to troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical systems and equipment

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Prior to their initial assignment, which is normally a 2-year tour of duty, each new security technical specialist will complete several months of specialized training. Technicians are then assigned to a team, led by an experienced security engineering officer, in any of our 38 engineering service centers around the world, at the Department of State in Washington, DC, or in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Responsibilities include corrective and preventative maintenance, and testing of technical security systems; equipment logistics and inventory; bench repair of defective technical security system equipment to the component level; and assisting security engineering officers with surveys, system specifications, and installations.

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Salary and Benefits

Starting salaries will be at the Foreign Service grade FP-06/1. STS personnel will be promoted to the FP-05 level after one year of satisfactory performance, and to the FP-04 level after an additional 18 months of satisfactory performance. Further promotions are competitive, based on performance ratings and the recommendation of the annual promotion selection board.

An excellent benefits package includes:

  • Health Benefits Plans
  • Thrift Savings Plan (equivalents to 401(K) with Government matching)
  • Life Insurance
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Student Loan Repayment Program
  • Ten Paid Holidays Per Year
  • Career Counseling and Development
  • Child Care Centers (Domestic only)
  • Child Care Subsidy (based on income)
  • Credit Union, Fitness Facility and More
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Employee Consultation Service
  • Employee Recognition through our Incentive Awards Program
  • Employee Recreation Association
  • Extensive Training Opportunities through our Foreign Service Institute (FSI)
  • Flexible Work Hours (alternative work schedules)
  • Global Career Mobility Opportunities (if desired)
  • Managerial and Leadership Development
  • MetroChek Transit Subsidy
  • Periodic Performance-Based Pay Adjustments (within grade/step increases)
  • Shuttle Bus Service to State Annexes
  • Voluntary Leave Transfer Program
  • Workers' Compensation Coverage for Work-Related Injuries/Conditions
  • Salary Determination
  • Government-provided quarters or housing allowance overseas
  • Home leave to the United States between overseas assignments
  • Rest and recuperation leave, with transportation partially paid, when employees and their dependents are assigned to designated hardship posts
  • Cost of living allowance
  • Educational allowance for dependents under certain circumstances
  • Danger pay at designated posts
  • Moving expenses for assignments

A high level of responsibility, good opportunities for promotion, and an excellent benefits package await you. Make the most of your unique skills and abilities as a Diplomatic Security security technical specialist.

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