Learn more about the TSO Officer position requirements, job description, salary, benefits, and transportation security responsibilities involved in ensuring passenger safety.
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Let’s dive in.
A TSO Officer is the first line of defense for the security of America’s airports. He or she is the officer who is responsible for screening and checking most passengers before their departure.
A TSO differs from the TSA in one important respect; the meaning of TSA is Transportation Security Administration; the agency responsible for aviation security. A TSO is a Transportation Security Officer; and he is an agent responsible for screening passengers at airports. The TSA employs TSOs.
The Transportation Security Officer standing at airport security checkpoints is responsible for directly screening members of the public before they board an airplane, including:
The TSO is also responsible for answering passenger questions, giving directions, and providing basic security at the entrances of terminals and boarding gates.
Agents must do their job in a thorough, courteous, and professional manner.
When applying and submitting a resume for the TSA it would be smart if you put an emphasis on mentioning skills that will help you perform well on the job.
That is the skills that will help you to screen airport passengers, cargo, and bags for prohibited and dangerous objects and maintain efficient passenger traffic in airports and public transit systems.
As a transportation security officer, you need to be:
You should also meet TSA basic requirements.
The basic requirements for submitting an application to become a TSA officer are:
It is possible for your application to be disqualified if you have delinquent federal or state taxes or unpaid child support payments.
In addition, the candidate must pass a federal drug examination, medical checkup, and criminal background check, work flexible shifts at odd hours, work overtime, and be willing to travel for training.
To submit a job application and begin the TSO hiring process, applicants must meet certain minimal criteria mentioned above.
The next stage in the hiring process, require candidates to pass a TSA CBT exam, an interview, a drug test, and a medical evaluation.
To learn more about the federal hiring process for TSO TSA agents, click here.
If you get hired as a TSO officer, you must go through two stages of training with the TSA.
In the first, you will have to go through classroom-based and online training in a variety of professional skills required of a transportation security officer.
You will need to learn how to communicate with passengers, spot threats, handle specialized equipment such as metal detectors and X-ray machines, as well as prioritizing different threats based on the risks posed by them.
The second stage consists of 80 hours of training that is carried out at centralized TSA locations.
There you will receive hands-on training in various skills, such as training with simulated X-ray machines and metal detectors, Identifying dangerous objects, simulating passenger interactions, and other similar hands-on training, as well as classroom lectures.
A grade of 70% in all classes is required to pass the second stage of the TSA Transportation Security Officer.
TSA Security officers are paid an average of $45,000 per year, with pay increasing as a person progresses in their career, with some senior agents being paid as much as $87,000 per year.
The Federal Budget for the year 2023 is expected to come with an increase in the Transportation Security Administration’s budget, which will include pay increases for most TSA security officers of 30%.
Beyond the regular TSA salary pay, every Transportation Security Officer receives a variety of federal government benefits, most importantly, health and life insurance, dental and vision insurance, as well as retirement benefits as part of the Federal Employees Retirement System and Thrift Saving Plans.
You can also enjoy a flexible spending account which allows you to reduce healthcare costs with a Health Care or Limited Expense Health Care FSA saving programs.
Some employees, depending on what areas of the United States they live and work in, are eligible for a transportation subsidy from the TSA to help cover their travel costs.
The TSA offers entry-level and non-entry-level TSA security officer positions.
A Transportation Security Officer is an entry-level position.
There are three types of non-entry-level jobs:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was formed in response to the 9/11 attacks, with the aim of preventing similar attacks in the future. The main goal is to protect the nation’s transportation systems so that people and commerce can move freely.
Embraced by a professional workforce, the vision of the organization is to build and maintain an effective security agency capable of outmatching the constantly evolving threats and security risks.