Airport Security Personnel


Employment Prospects


In late 2001, airport and airline security was placed under the oversight of the federal government. While some screening jobs may still be handled by private companies, all security personnel are screened and trained under federal rules and regulations. This shift in responsibility was done to improve standards in security and ensure the safety of U.S. passengers and airline staff. The TSA and the FAA are the employers of nearly all airport security staff. About 45,250 security screeners are employed in the United States.

Starting Out

Depending on the security level you want to be employed in, you can start out working with no more than a high school diploma and on-the-job training. Security screening jobs are a great way to start out in this line of work. These jobs provide frontline experience in airport security and can offer flexible part-time schedules.

Contact the TSA for more information on career paths and the hiring process.

Advancement Prospects

Screening jobs have high turnover rates, and as a result, offer many chances for advancement. After a couple of years of experience in baggage and passenger screening, you can work into higher positions in management or busier traffic responsibility. Security managers may be responsible for hundreds of workers and oversee the hiring and training of new workers.

Positions as air marshals already offer a high level of responsibility, but qualified and talented individuals can advance into manager and director roles, responsible for hundreds and even thousands of workers.

Tips for Entry

Visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Web site ( to learn more about career paths, hiring practices, and employee benefits.

Check out the TSO Realistic Job Preview ( to get a sense of what it's like to work as a Transportation Security Officer.

Visit to apply for jobs with the TSA.