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TSA Security Officer

Career Overview

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security officers manage the pre-boarding screening process at airports for passengers, baggage and cargo. Security officers do the physical screening with visual equipment, search wands and personal inspection. In addition, TSA security officers work to facilitate the flow of passenger traffic through security checkpoints, maintaining orderly lines and taking steps to handle large traffic loads.


There are no specific education requirements for this job; however a certificate in security skills will be helpful during the job application process. Applicants are screened and tested for their ability to communicate in diverse situations. TSA security officers must be capable of handling stressed travelers who are rushing to make a departure.

Current Employment

TSA currently utilizes 45,000 security officers. Many of them are employed by contracting security firms who supply the personnel for aviation security. Where possible a candidate for a TSA screening position should attempt to hire on directly with the federal government, providing access to benefits and potential advancement into supervisorial jobs.

Job Outlook

This job category will grow about as fast as the average rate for overall job growth: about 10% over the course of a decade. Some of these positions will be with the TSA; some will be with private contractors.

Salary Range

The TSA posts two pay ranges for this position; designation is based on experience, education and any supervisorial duties that may be assigned.

Low   $25,141
High   $37,711

Low   $28,869
High   $43,357

Source: Transportation Security Agency

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