Transportation security personnel who work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are generally the first line of defense when it comes to the airline, railway, and bus terminal safety. One of their most important duties is to identify security risks before they pass through checkpoints.
The TSA works directly under the auspices of The Department of Homeland Security (DHA). Homeland Security was established in 2002, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2000, terrorist attacks that resulted in death over 2,000 mostly American citizens. The department uses the federal government and other entities to help safeguard the country from future attacks.
The TSA has thousands of transportation security guards situated all over the country. The men and women who take on these jobs are responsible for monitoring entry and exit points, baggage claims, electronic detectors, walk-through detectors, and the common areas where security risks are the highest.
The job of TSA personnel can be very stressful. You deal with hundreds of people on a daily basis and a number of personalities. Most people awaiting flights are generally respectful and polite, however, there are some who can be very disagreeable. But regardless of how rude a passenger is, you are still expected to maintain a professional demeanor at all times. If you cannot deal with stress and unruly people, the job of a TSA security guard is not for you.
If you are hired to be a TSA security officer, you will be required to go through a few weeks of training. While college is not a requirement, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED. You must be a U.S. citizen, and you will be required to pass a battery of tests to prove your fitness for the job.
All federal applicants will be subject to a background and credit check. There are some things that can disqualify applicants such as defaulted student loans, back child support, and unpaid state or federal taxes.
While on the job, a TSA security officer will likely move around to a variety of posts to gain experience. Officers may be required to lift luggage, wheelchairs, and even assist passengers who are in need of information. This is where good interpersonal and communicative skills will come in handy. Being fluent in languages other than English is a plus. Additionally, all workers are required to strictly abide by the security rules and regulations set forth by the DHS.
Individuals interested in TSA security jobs should apply at the TSA website. Not only can it be the start of a good career, but the perks and benefits are also highly competitive.