TSA Academy Training: All You Need to Expect and How to Pass It

How’s the Training in the Covid-19 Period?

The top obligation of the Transport Security Officers is to protect the transportation systems of the country, the airports, and make sure commerce and people can securely move across the nation.

That is the reason all candidates need to pass the TSA training phase — an intense process created to make sure you arrive as fit and ready as possible to the airport you were designated.

This page will give you a walk-through of the training stage while providing answers to the questions that TSA candidates asked frequently.

If you have stumbled upon this page by mistake, are still in an earlier stage of TSA’s hiring procedure, and would like more information about the TSA test, click here.

Inside the Academy Training Process of the TSA

In 2016, the training was moved by the Federal Government to the Federal Enforcement Training Center (FETC) in Glynco, Georgia, and it lasts for 9 days.

Nevertheless, when we include the assignments done via the fieldwork and OLC (Online Learning Center), the total time for the training is 120 hours. This training starts with eight classes every start week, and each of these classes has 24 students who are assigned to three instructors.

The OLC includes assignments like searching baggage, body searches, operating the machinery while scanning for explosives, and X-ray operations. In addition, the training will also include sharing and handling sensitive data, which shows how important the training is.

Like every employee of the US Government, TSOs need to undergo several tests before a post can be assigned to them. The tests include image interpretation tests, third-party evaluation, and written tests.

Phase One and Two of Federal Law Enforcement Training

There are 2 phases in the training at this center. You need to know that because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, you currently need to complete the first phase online.

Phase One

The first phase of this training program is centered around fundamental knowledge and basic technical skills by using visual and audio materials, discussions and lectures, homework and classroom exercises, and tests.

The following are some topics to expect:
● Keeping vigilant
● Handling sensitive information
● Critical thinking
● Metal detector
● Divestiture officer
● Dealing with people who have medical conditions or disabilities
● Checking travel documents
● List of permitted or prohibited items
● Command presence
● Effective communication
● Workplace environment
● Risk-based security
● Screening policies
● Detecting terrorist threats
The minimum score you need to get on all exams to pass the first phase is 70%.

Phase Two

Now that you’ve passed the first phase, the newly hired TSOs need to move to the second phase.

These eighty hours of instructions focus on the official standard operating procedures alongside threat detection through; physical demonstrations or activities, classroom lectures, facilitated discussions, and X-ray simulators.

However, the TSA Academy also does rely on “screening checkpoint labs” filled with every equipment and gear the officer could need while on the job.

It is important that you also know that there are only 30 students in each Phase two training class and the students need to maintain a 70% mark on every assignment to pass this phase.

Popular Questions About TSA Training

The instructors in this training will reveal to you the top threat to travelers and the airport, which is the IED. What you experience in class today can pretty much save your life soon.

For example, after only an hour in a class learning about improvised explosives, you’ll understand how fast bomb threats evolve every day and the difficulty of securing a security checkpoint. Some terrorists have even known a way of making bombs with the use of toilet paper!

It’s also surprising that terrorists no longer have to use their imagination as there are a lot of how-to guides on the internet. That’s to show you how critical the job of a TSA officer has become.

How’s the Training in the Covid-19 Period?

All organizations and industries within the US Government have been affected by the Covid-19, and this denotes that it’d be pretentious to say that the virus hasn’t affected the training program of the TSA academy.

The measures have included:

Temporary in-person training at several airports for field training in order to spread out training.

Virtual basic training programs online (111 since the pandemic started).

Can the Training be Postponed?

They offer TSA programs on a number basis, and this means that no matter the reason a candidate may want to push off their training to a later date, they must notify well in advance. Moreover, they must be ready to take part in a new assessment and be fully eligible (meeting all requirements) before being accepted into the program.

Do I Get Paid for the TSA Training?

A remarkable thing about this TSA training period is that the recruits or security officers get paid. Nevertheless, it’s important you know that the payment isn’t Instant and will only be settled as soon as they’re hired.

During the training, those who are newly hired are paid particular travel expenses, meals, lodging (excluding taxes), official per diems expenses, and salary. This means that the Federal Government is going to spend around $2,400 on hiring training which includes the benefits, salary, and all other expenses during training.

Extra Benefits of Training

There’s no doubt that the benefits provided by the TSO are competitive, even while in training. For example, you’ll get sick and annual leave, paternity and maternity leaves, health benefits, and several other benefits that are more than medical coverage.

Is There a Dress Code for the TSA Academy?

Even though there isn’t a mandatory dress code, we would strongly encourage you to wear either a long sleeve short or blue button-down short sleeve at the Law Enforcement Training Center. In addition, the TSA Academy doesn’t encourage the wearing of flip-flops, halter tops, or tank tops.

What Personal Effects Can Be Taken to Training?

While participating in TSA training, you need to take some particular items such as underwear, socks, shoes, note-taking materials, a laptop, civilian clothes, and liquid toiletries. On, and one additional thing for people who take shower shoes, it’s been reported that the short areas are very dirty.

What's the FLETA (Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation) Board?

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation is responsible for accreditation every federal law enforcement training, which includes the TSA Academy. It includes making sure there’s compliance with academic standards and procedures across the training.

Additionally, the Federal Government gives your TSA academy instructor the responsibility of submitting annual reports to prepare for reaccreditation. This makes sure that the TSA keeps the topmost standard possible.

In addition to the urgency for proper training , the employee of the Transportation Security Administration will need to deal with sensitive data sometimes.

TSA Academy Housing: Accommodations and Dorms

The increasing number of TSA students results in a housing challenge, which means that there’s a need for more dorms.

The location of the new campus has the tendency to solve the issue of proximity to dorms and makes it easy to concentrate on the training. Most of the rooms are for just an individual, although it depends on the dormitory allocated.

One of the ways the academy solves the housing situation is by renting out hotel rooms located nearby.

What's it Like in the TSA Academy?

All students live together inside dorms situated on the campus of the center. The activities you’ll see in this academy are abiding by the academy rules and attending classes.

You should know that there are some things you can find in the training center like laundry services and food. For an initial couple of days, you should get a white buttoned-down shirt and black pants before they get the uniforms to you. The Federal Government has indeed created nice conditions for individuals in training.

A Survey of the New Hires of TSA Reveals Necessity of Basic Training

Some years ago, the union representing the TSA workers revealed what resulted in several TSA officers walking off the job. A top reason was how dangerous the job is and the character of unsatisfied travelers who mostly verbally or sometimes physically attack the officers.

Looking at the fact that the security of both team and traveler falls upon each officer, it’s very much necessary for you to reach a credible and professional level that’ll keep you safe and get rid of the noise of travelers. You can best get this through training.

Does the End of the FLETC Come With a Ceremony?

Similar to other FLETC courses, the graduation of the TSA academy comes after a trainee has finished the needed 8 classes and has attended job training, classroom education, and has been vetted for duty.

Nevertheless, unlike the university graduation, this ceremony is a small one and the attendees are only the immediate family members of the graduates. So, while you’re joyful about your course and new employment, you shouldn’t expect a very big event.


In this short guide, we have covered the history of TSA training, looked at
the overall framework and phases of training answered some of the most asked technical questions about the process’s steps, requirements, and conditions while looking at some of the feedback the organization has received from its employees.

This concise review was designed to help you make a knowledgeable choice before starting the TSA hiring process. Wishing you the best of luck – it is truly an honor to know that you want to defend our country and our personal safety.