Things you should know before accepting an overseas job offer

Post Date: July 31, 2016 | Category: Around the World, General Information

Professional Overseas Contractors

It’s well known throughout the military that what you earn while in uniform is nothing compared to what you could be earning working overseas for a private security contractor, otherwise known as a private military contractor.

Although major combat operations have ended in Iraq and are about to end in Afghanistan, the need for these security contractors throughout the world will always exist. Many veterans separating from the military are interested in working for a PSC overseas. But before you apply, you should know a little bit about what you’re getting into.

Private security contractors made headlines for both good and bad reasons during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But even with the bad news, I speak with many veterans today who still have great interest in working for one of the many firms offering jobs throughout the world.

■ Salary: The annual pay offered by some of these companies can go well over $100,000. That sounds fantastic — especially when you consider most of it will be tax-free while you’re actually working overseas. But don’t think earning this kind of salary will be a walk in the park.

■ Work schedule: For the most part, you will not have a regular 9-to-5 schedule with weekends off. Back when listening to the CSA pitch, we heard about 12-hour shifts, six days on, one day off, and a one-year contract. Those conditions are not unusual.

■ Living quarters: CSA offered condo-type living quarters, but the problem for me was the location — off base. Pulling security for the living quarters was a Kuwaiti force, not our own guys. Some security contractors work on U.S. installations, but it’s quite possible that you might work, and live, off base.

■ Environment: Don’t expect a tropical resort; you could be anywhere in the world. And it’s quite likely that you could be working in a volatile region.

■ Vacation and other benefits. CSA was offering a four-week vacation and a free flight to Europe for R&R. But when it came time to head back home, I would have been expected to pay my own way. But you should expect such jobs to offer some sort of vacation, as well as health and life insurance.

■ Rules of engagement: In 2007, Congress amended the Uniform Code of Military Justice to allow U.S. civilians working for the U.S. military in Iraq, Afghanistan or other “contingency operation” areas to be subject to the UCMJ. Previously, contractors were subject to the UCMJ only in times of declared wars.

Make no mistake, working for a private security contractor has its perks and can get you started on the right foot after the military. Just be aware that the high salary could come at a cost, since the job could put you back in an austere combat zone.

If being a private security contractor is what you choose to do, make sure to ask plenty of questions to gain a better understanding and be well-prepared to take on a new challenge that will most definitely not be your run-of-the-mill desk job.

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10 Responses to “Things you should know before accepting an overseas job offer”

  1. Avatar

    Comment made by Slavica Vuckovic on Jul 9th 2014 at 3:55 PM:

    Not bad 😛

  2. Avatar

    Comment made by gilbertxavier on Jul 15th 2014 at 12:34 AM:

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  3. Avatar

    Comment made by Charlie Nichols on Jul 24th 2014 at 9:03 AM:

    Charlie Nichols JR.
    5718 Lyndhurst Dr. Houston TX, 77033
    Home: (832) 4340997 Cell: (281) 8571576
    Email: [email protected]

  4. Avatar

    Comment made by Armed Partisan on Jul 2nd 2015 at 3:36 AM:

    I currently work as armed security in FL. When I get off work each morning, I leave my duty belt and service pistol (Glock 19) in my locker at work, and carry my EDC home, concealed. I must have three seperate permits to do this in my home state (CCW, Security Class D, and Armed Security Class G), one of which must be renewed annually.

    That’s FL. If you work security abroad, can you expect tobe armed? If you live “outside the wire”, do you normally (or ever) get to carry? How is that handled legally? In countries where gun ownership may not be allowed, letalone carry permitted?

  5. Avatar

    Comment made by George Kapotsy on Jul 3rd 2015 at 6:26 AM:

    George Kapotsy Jr.
    7891 Shreveport Highway
    Leesville , Louisiana 71446
    LandLine: 1-337-239-3553
    Mobile/Cell: 1-337-353-0089
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  6. Avatar

    Comment made by Erickson Zegarra on Jul 31st 2016 at 4:18 PM:

    I was security guard in Irak and Afganistán, a few years
    I was Training on academy
    My phone númber is 7025420840 las Vegas nevada

  7. Avatar

    Comment made by Robert Park on Jul 31st 2016 at 10:29 PM:

    Good write up. Since 07′ I’ve done Embassy Contractor work, and have never been armed. Have Lived inside the walls and lived on the economy in Cairo for a year. Easily made over 125k per year sometimes only working 10 month of the year. You have to watch out for signing a great contract and the company wants to recontract in 6 or 9 months for less money, minus perduim, less R&R and travel money…have seen that a time or two.

  8. Avatar

    Comment made by Masterminds on Aug 6th 2016 at 4:43 AM:

    I want to know something.. I’m a Syrian guy fighting in Syria since the start of the crises in here against the extremists and i believe that no one will ever find a harder war than the one in Syria..
    My question is how can I get a contract so I can get a job.. what does it take?

  9. Avatar

    Comment made by Luis Murillo on Aug 21st 2016 at 12:17 PM:

    Am a Navy vet and am interested in working abroad
    Am a General Contractor experienced in all trades with 32 years experience

  10. Avatar

    Comment made by sandsofsin on Aug 14th 2017 at 5:41 PM:

    Hello; I’m seeking an opportunity! Passport still active, experienced OCONUS, former USN SEABEE Chief w/combat warfare designation.

    I was a DOD Army contractor for Halliburton/KBR from late 2004 to late 2009. I was a DS Maintenance Inspector in Tallil/Addar, Business operations coordinator in Tikrit, and a theater regional operations coordinator in Baghdad.
    Thanks for your consideration

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