Transportation Security Administration Jobs (TSA Agent)

There’s no question that TSA jobs are plentiful. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created after 9/11, when the Aviation Transportation Security Act made aviation security screening a federal responsibility.

TSA Worker working at Airport Security Gate

The TSA’s Role & Jobs

The TSA is responsible for protecting the transportation system in the United States. This includes handling security for civil aviation and taking the lead role for airport security. The primary job people think of when they think of TSA is the job of security screener or Transportation Security Officer (TSO). This option offers a huge range of locales to choose from, since federal regulations require screeners at all airports and changing security requirements are likely to increase the demand for qualified applicants. In addition, many of the TSA’s screener listings are for part-time positions. If you are looking for flexible or family-friendly work hours, (with health benefits even for part-timers), the position of TSO could be for you.

The pay varies depending on location and the number of hours worked.

What TSOs do: Screening officers use technology to look for potential threats to the transportation system. This may mean operating the x-ray machine at the security check to scan for suspicious items. It may also mean walking people through metal detectors, using a metal-detecting wand when necessary, asking questions and collecting information, and occasionally even patting people down.

Despite the personnel shortage, getting airport security screener jobs isn’t necessarily a snap. Because this job has such a huge security impact, applicants must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals, and have a high school diploma (or GED), or one year of relevant work experience. In addition, applicants have to go through a rigorous screening process during which government officials check out their personal history, looking for any past criminal record or any financial problems. Applicants must be drug-free, in good health, and able to lift heavy items weighing up to 70 pounds, and they have to be able to stand for long periods of time. Perhaps most important in this job is the ability to deal with the public: due to the nature of the task, TSOs are often face-to-face with impatient people who are generally irritated about having to go through security at all. Screeners have to handle these customers firmly and make sure they are following all the appropriate rules and procedures, but they also have to be polite and professional at all times.

Those hired into TSA jobs receive training, including 56-72 hours of classroom training and 112-128 hours of on-the-job training, followed by certification testing.

See a list of current TSA job openings on the JobMonkey job board.

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