Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) are responsible for ensuring that air travelers are not carrying prohibited items onboard commercial aircraft for purposes of criminal or terrorist activity. Presently, there are more than 43,000 trained and certified Transportation Security Officers deployed at more than 450 airports in the United States. Screeners search and x-ray baggage, perform wand and pat down searches of passengers, and perform other security tasks and functions.
Transportation Security Officers must act professionally and courteously during the performance of their duties, even when dealing with rude or angry individuals. The job can be very stressful when a threat is perceived or anticipated because it may be life-threatening to the TSO and others. Focus and awareness must be maintained despite high levels of noise, crowds, and other distractions. TSOs must stand for several hours at a time and lift or carry objects up to 70 pounds. Screeners must be able to take proper action under duress or in highly stressful conditions.
Applicants for the position of Transportation Security Officer must have the ability to write detailed and comprehensive investigative reports. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are necessary. They must be able to lift up to 70 pounds. Applicants must pass a drug and alcohol screening as well as a background investigation in addition to a credit check. Distant vision should be correctable to 20/30 or better in the best eye and 20/100 or better in the worse eye. Near vision must be correctable to 20/40 or better. Good color perception and hearing is also necessary.
Transportation Security Officers must be United States citizens or nationals and must have a high school diploma or equivalent or a minimum of one year of full-time work experience in x-ray technician work, aviation screener work, or security work.
Applicants must complete and pass the required training program and exam. Recurrent training is required after hiring with accompanying exams that must be passed on a regular basis.
Full-time positions are 40 hours per week, and part-time positions include shift-work on any day of the week, including nights, weekends, holidays, split shifts and irregular hours.
Salary and Benefits
Benefits include health and life insurance, personal leave days, ten paid holidays per year, flexible spending accounts, a uniform allowance, family medical leave plan, retirement plan, transportation subsidies, and paid training.
Salary: $23,600 – $35,400