A transportation security screener for the TSA ensures the safety of airline passengers as they travel by screening all individuals at security checkpoints in airports. They rotate positions and check the public’s identification, personal items, and screen their bodies to ensure passengers fly safely to their destination.
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How to Become a Transportation Security Screener for the TSA
If you are a U.S. citizen or national, and have at least a high school diploma or GED, can pass a background check, and speak English, you meet the TSA’s minimum requirement for being a screener. Once hired, TSA security screener training last several weeks and is a blend of classroom and on-the-job training. The first requirement is completion of 40 hours of classroom training and then an additional 60 hours of on-the-job training.
To find out full-time and part-time locations, and more information about qualifications and the hiring process, visit the TSA.gov Job’s site.
Job Description of a Transportation Security Screener
Transportation security screeners are the very frontline of security for passengers. Their main duty is to screen passengers and their belongings for any items that could prove dangerous to airplanes and other travelers. They use detection devices to discover prohibited items that may have been hidden or accidentally left in a person’s luggage or on their body and work with law enforcement should a serious violation occur.
Transportation Security Screener Career Video Transcript
When you travel by airplane anywhere in the country, the safety of every passenger and flight crew member depends on the work of transportation security screeners. They screen passengers, baggage, and cargo to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Transportation security scanners operate basic security equipment, such as x-ray machines and hand wands, at screening checkpoints. They inspect carry-on items for contraband, and search baggage by hand when they suspect it contains prohibited items.
When necessary, these workers must test for explosive materials using detection machines or chemical swab systems, and notify supervisors or other safety personnel when security breaches occur. They also confirm that passengers’ tickets are valid and often deal with large numbers of people, sometimes in stressful conditions. For passengers who trigger machine alarms or who are identified for searches, the security screener performs pat-downs or wand searches. Most transportation security screeners enter the field with a high school diploma or high school equivalency. On-the-job training brings them up to speed on procedures. Like most jobs in the security industry, a felony conviction may prohibit entering this field.