How to Become an Airport Security Guard

become airport security guard

Do you love the excitement of the airport? Are you interested in security services? Are you able to follow strict protocols and remain attentive in stressful environments? If you answered yes to all these questions, you might perfectly fit the role of airport security guard.

Job Description and Duties

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the largest employer of airport security guards. As a guard, it is your job to protect the passengers, airport personnel and aircraft from numerous threats. By patrolling the airport and screening people and objects, you act as the first line of defense against dangerous people and objects that could potentially board an airplane. Your basic duties will most likely include the following:

  • Operating screening equipment
  • Interacting with the public
  • Keeping focus in a stressful environment
  • Identifying threats and responding accordingly

Qualifications and Education Requirements

If you are not intimidated by the job description, you might wonder if you have the necessary education and qualifications to become an airport security guard. Basic qualifications require that you are a U.S. citizen with a high school diploma or GED, and you must be 18 years or older. You will also be required to pass different checks and screenings, which will include a basic background check, an airport security check and a drug and alcohol screening.

In addition to the basic qualifications, future employers might ask that you have a security guard license. Even if no license is required, you will have to undergo extensive employer training. While a college degree is not required, a degree in criminology, criminal justice or security management may be beneficial.

Compensation and Career Advancement

Like most jobs, your salary will likely depend on a few factors, such as experience and certification. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation security officers earned a median salary of $41,490 in 2018. While the job is demanding, the pay is excellent for those looking for a career that does not require extensive education and training.

In any job role, integrity, competence and hard work often lead to bonuses and rewards. With enough time, patience and dedication, you might find that you can earn a higher wage, be promoted to manager or even specialize in a particular area, such as security training. In addition to career advancement, working as an airport security guard offers excellent experience for those wanting to work in law enforcement.

Becoming an airport security guard requires communication, customer service, attention to detail and the ability to confront dangerous situations. Do you have what it takes?