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Engineers With Security Clearances –A Hot Commodity In Alabama

By | August 21, 2006

      HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – This center of government and military space and missile programs is looking for a few (thousand) good men and women: engineers with security clearances.

      The unemployment rate for engineers in the Huntsville area would have to increase before reaching 1 percent, according to leaders of Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc., a unit of Teledyne Technologies Inc. [TDY].

      Teledyne Brown alone has about 1,300 to 1,400 workers, mostly engineers, along with program management personnel.

      But like other high-tech employers here, the company needs more hires with security clearances.

      Since there are but a finite number of these people, this makes the hunt difficult. Worse, some other companies needing engineers with security clearances have hired them away from Teledyne Brown.

      While tough for employers, this makes a great market for employees.

      An engineer with experience can pull in $70,000 to $120,000 a year here, according to John R. Yanosky, vice president for missile systems with Teledyne Brown. The firm briefed reporters attending the 2006 Space and Missile Defense Conference and Exposition.

      And that salary range is even better than it sounds, given the low cost of living in Huntsville.

      While home prices range to $750,000 or even $1 million for a rowhouse on Capitol Hill in Washington, for example, a local Huntsville newspaper was filled with ads touting five- bedroom single family homes on large lots for less than $500,000. And traffic jams are rare.

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