Transportation Security Administration Jobs
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was a post-9/11 creation that resulted from the Aviation Transportation Security Act. If you have flown at any time over the past seven years, you are probably familiar with TSA and its most visible representatives, Transportation Safety Officers (TSOs).
The great thing about being a TSO is that there are a huge number of openings in almost any locale, and the government has become very creative about trying to fill these spots. They offer full-time health benefits even for part-time employees, and they have many part-time positions-an effort to make the position appealing to people with families. Also, TSAs often-changing security requirements indicate that this job function will continue to be in high demand in the coming years.
Tip – Visit the airline and airport jobs section of JobMonkey for more on working for the TSA.
The downside of this position is that travelers have become increasingly annoyed and irritated with the debacle that is the security screening program. They do not enjoy standing in long lines, or having to remove shoes and sweaters to walk barefoot and in an uncomfortably scant amount of clothing through metal detectors. Tired travelers get irritated quickly when they have to answer security-related questions, or be wanded or patted down. People become grouchy, and the TSO is the human representative of this entire system, so they often bear the brunt of traveler annoyance. Also, the pay is not breathtaking, at $29,000 to $40,000 per year (it varies depending on location and hours worked).
RELATED – Look at job openings with the FAA if you’re interested in the aviation industry.
As a result, some key personality traits for TSOs would be patience, good humor, and the ability to deal with the public while ensuring that all passengers comply with safety regulations.
TSA Job Requirements
The TSA’s official requirements for a TSO include:
- U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
- High school diploma (or GED), or one year of relevant work experience.
- Background check to screen for past criminal record or any financial problems.
- Drug-free, in good health, and able to lift heavy items weighing up to 70 pounds.
- Able to stand for long periods of time.
The TSA provides several weeks of intensive training for its recruits, including classroom and on-the-job training, followed by certification testing.