The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A Travel Security Officer (TSO) with the TSA helps ensure the safety of America’s transportation systems. The TSOs most visible to the public tend to be the airport security staff, but TSA employees hold various security positions across the nation in all mass transit systems.
If you’re interested in learning how to apply for TSA employment, there are many opportunities to join the security team. With over 450 nationwide work locations, the TSA employs roughly 50,000 Travel Security Officers and other security-related roles. That’s a LOT of opportunity!
You could be one of them if you meet some important basic job requirements.
- Be a US Citizen or US National
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid US Driver’s License
- Complete the training courses
- Pass a drug and alcohol screening
- Pass random drug tests
- Pass a background check
- Speak, read and write proficient English
Moving through the levels of employment with the TSA depends on your success within each position, as well as passing the applicable certification exams for baggage screening, etc.
TSOs should expect to be on their feet for long hours. You should be alert with keen senses of sight and hearing. There will likely be a vision test to determine if you’re color blind. It’s probable that you’ll do a lot of heavy lifting with a hands-on airport security position, so keep that requirement in mind before applying. Good mobility is a must for this job.
To apply for TSA Employment, check directly with the TSA for current job postings. You can either apply online or call the TSA to have an employment package sent to you.
There might be specific documents you must submit with your application, particularly if you are a Veteran or a former federal employee. Check each job listing carefully for “How to Apply” requirements and documents.
Entry level TSO positions require a high school diploma or GED. Management jobs likely require at least a Bachelor’s Degree, depending on the individual job duties and how high up the transportation security ladder you want to go.
Some of the most common TSA jobs you might apply for are:
- Transportation Security Officer ($29,000 – $43,000 per year)
- Transportation Security Inspector ($40,000 – $70.000 per year)
- Supervisory Transportation Security Inspector ($87,000 – $135,000 per year)
- Regional Director ($119,000 – $179,000 per year)
As a US government employee, you can expect certain benefits working for the TSA. Some of the TSA employee benefits include:
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Ten paid holidays each calendar year
- Vacation days
- Personal leave days
- Subsidies for transportation
- Programs for employee recognition
- The Thrift Savings Plan, which is a program similar to the 401(k)
In addition to the trainings and certifications the TSA will provide employees, it’s essential that you be someone who is strong mentally, have great focus and a keen sixth sense for possible dangers. A job with the TSA could be a lucrative career for those who are quick to think and act in emergency situations.