TSA Medical Evaluation: What to Expect on Each Step

To make it through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hiring process, you must pass a medical evaluation.

You may be wondering what exactly this evaluation involves. Well, look no further; below, you’ll find all of the details you need to know.

What is the TSA Medical Evaluation?

The medical evaluation is a three-stage process aimed at assessing your overall health and your ability to perform your duties.

During the evaluation, you will be asked to take:

  • A Medical Questionnaire.

  • A Hearing test.

  • A Physical exam.

  • A Drug test.

Throughout this article, you will see that we have explored each evaluation stage in greater detail.

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TSA Medical Questionnaire

An additional part of the medical exam is filling out a medical questionnaire.

It’s important to fill out this form correctly as this questionnaire is a large part of the background check.

Keep reading to see what types of questions are asked on this questionnaire.

General Questions

You will first be asked a variety of generic questions all about your medical background.

You may be asked about any past or current injuries, surgeries, mental health treatments, and/or prescriptions.

They want to get an idea of what you have been through and/or are currently going through.

Medical History

The following section will ask you more about your medical history and will specifically focus on the below:

  • Vision – Have you ever had eye surgery or experienced a total loss in any eye?
  • Hearing – Do you have or need hearing aids?
  • Respiratory – If you have had shortness of breath, bronchitis, asthma, or other breathing-related issues.
  • Gastrointestinal – Have you had a past condition of diarrhea or constipation?
  • Cardiovascular – Have you had any heart issues, including high blood pressure, palpitations, or chest pains?
  • Hepatic – Have you had liver disease, jaundice, or a history of cirrhosis?

TSA Hearing Test

During this evaluation, each ear will be tested at several frequencies (500, 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000).

TSA requires each person have a hearing level of 25dB or less in each ear.

If, for any reason, you will pass the minimal requirements, you will be referred to an audiologist for additional testing.

Please note if you wear hearing aids or cochlear implants, you will need to be assessed by an audiologist first.

Understanding Speech in the Presence of Noise Test

The second part of the hearing test is meant to test your ability to focus and understand someone when other noises and distractions are present.

During this test, there is a loudspeaker that is placed one meter away from you, while at the same time, the person administrating the test is speaking at a hearing level of 60dB. 

There will be a louder speaker than the person administering the test, and you’ll need to pay attention to the communication and ignore the noise in order to pass the test.

TSA Physical Examination

Once you pass the hearing test, you will be asked to move on to the physical examination.

There are quite a few exams that test for multiple health factors.

We have laid out the exams below in more detail.

  • Vital Signs: They will take your height and weight, temperature and pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
  • ENT: They will examine your face, ears, nose, throat, and neck for any extra fluid.
  • Gastrointestinal: Your abdomen will be checked for tenderness or rigidity.
  • Cardiovascular: You will be given blood tests and heartbeat inspections.
  • Respiratory: They will check to ensure you breathe at a regular rate of 12 to 20 breaths per minute.

Additional exams will include a check for diabetes, sleep disorders, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders (such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, etc.), and more.

Physical Exam- Fitness for Duty - What to Prepare for

  • Pick up 50-pound objects multiple times.
  • Stand for over six hours without taking a break.
  • Walk over three miles each shift.
  • Squat, bend, and kneel multiple times per shift to conduct pat-downs.

TSA Medical Exam Blood Pressure Level

All of the above tests are very important, and you need to pass each one to become part of the TSA, but some may argue the most important test is the blood pressure exam.

To be considered for a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), you must have a MINIMUM consistent blood pressure of no more than 140/90 and a pulse rate of 90 beats per minute.

If you do not meet this minimum, you will be disqualified from the hiring process.

TSA Drug Test

TSA will use the five-panel urine test to look for five potential drugs in your system.

This test is commonly used by most government agencies. The five most used drugs this test looks for are:

  • THC (Marijuana).
  • Cocaine.
  • Opiates.
  • Phencyclidine (PCP).
  • Amphetamines.

Please keep in mind for every TSA agent; an additional yearly drug test is given.

However, instead of the five-panel urine test, some agents are randomly selected to take a hair follicle or breathalyzer test.

Appealing Failed Results

If, for any reason, you feel that your results are incorrect, you can file an appeal.

However, in order to file, you must provide them with medical documentation that states the contrary.

For example, if you were to fail the vision test, you can go to a professional eye doctor to prove and document your correct vision.

After sending in the necessary documents, you will receive a response within a few business days.

However, depending on the case, it may take longer.

If the documentation is approved, you will once again be considered for the position.

TSA Screening Process

The TSA hiring process and tests are a little intense because they need to make sure they are hiring the best people possible for the role.

That’s why if you want to have the edge over other candidates, it’s imperative to use a premium high-level preparation.

It’s beyond important that the people hired can fulfill each task handed to them each and every day.

This role requires a LOT of physical strength, and it’s important to make sure your body is ready and up for the challenge.

Completing the Hiring Process

The good news is these medical evaluations are the LAST step of the TSA hiring process.

Once you pass the medical evaluations, you will be placed in the ‘ready pool’ and offered a job within TSA when there are openings.

We hope this guide has been helpful and wish you luck as you begin preparing for the final step! Good luck!