TSA Screener Job Description & Career Outlook

The Transportation Security Administration employs thousands of individuals known as TSA screeners. TSA screeners are charged with the task of maintaining safety and security at airports across the United States. Note in addition to TSA screeners, there are many opportunities within the Transportation Security Administration including security officers, inspectors, directors, air marshals and managers.

TSA Screeners are responsible for providing safety for persons traveling through the United States. They screen airline passengers, railways, subways and other means of transportation to help prevent attacks on passengers, transportation employees and the surrounding areas. They use a variety of techniques and equipment to screen individuals who are traveling including x-ray machines, standing and hand held metal detectors, physical searches of persons and luggage, use of canines and other security devices such as cameras and surveillance equipment. TSA agents search for weapons, drugs and other contraband that make travel unsafe.

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TSA agents are federal government employees working for the Department of Homeland Security. Their primary duties include:

  • Discover and stop emerging transportation security threats, utilizing state of the art technology
  • Educate and provide friendly customer service to travelers
  • Screen passengers and gather intelligence
  • Coordinate security involving aviation, rail, and other surface and maritime transportation
  • Oversee most transportation-related responsibilities of the federal government during a national emergency

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How to Become a TSA Screener

Key requirements to become a TSA agent include:

  • Must be a US Citizen or US National; be 18 years old at time of application
  • Be proficient in English; have customer service skills
  • Dependable & operate with integrity; repeatedly lift/carry up to 70 pounds
  • Maintain focus & awareness within a stressful environment
  • Get a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in criminal justice to improve odds of hiring
  • Meet job-related medical standards and pass background investigation

TSA Screener Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 45,790 TSA screeners employed who earn an average annual wage of $37,400.1

TSA Screener Career Outlook

The ongoing efforts by the United States government to combat terrorist activity at home and abroad influences the opportunities for employment with the Transportation Security Administration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 5.9% increase in employment for TSA screeners in the decade from 2012-2022.2

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1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339093.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://data.bls.gov/projections/occupationProj

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.