Career Advice on How to Become A TSA Airport Screener

General Career Information

Let’s face it, some jobs are tough and it is just obvious that they are tough.  One such job is a TSA airport screener.  This is a point to consider if you are putting airport screener on your career planning or job search list.  

Even twenty years ago, traveling was stressful. That stress has only increased in recent years.  Long airport security lines, more people at the airport, more delayed flights and a two-thousand percent increase in screaming babies over the last ten years all add up to make traveling stressful.  In terms of hard statistics for the number of screaming babies, well, those numbers are a little hard to find.  However, if you have flown recently, you know that the number of screaming babies must have soared.  Into this mix, the airport screener has to roll up their sleeves and deal with a mountain of humanity pushing through their gates every day.  Most of these people are stressed, tired and often rather confused, but the airport screener has little choice but to deal with them anyway.  In a word, it’s a rather tough job.

Career Facts:

Airport screeners are responsible for inspecting passengers and their luggage in order to make certain that no prohibited items are aboard the plan.  The pressure to not miss any potential hazards are high, and thus, the job does come with yet another layer of stress.  For many airport screeners, their job consists of being assigned to a given area where they conduct searches and report any infractions or situations.

X-Ray equipment and other technology are frequently employed to perform searches, and airport screeners need to know how to operate and read this equipment.  Additionally, searches can be done with metal detection equipment and by hand.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Good:

The TSA was created in 2002 and has a roughly $6 billion dollar budget with 55,000 screeners. 
Job Outlook is Good

A Day in The Life:

On an average day, it is possible for an airport screener to see hundreds if not even thousands of passengers go through their checkpoints and the checkpoints of their fellow screeners.  It is believed that there are roughly two million searches being conducted each and every day.

Due to the nature of the work and the number of people that an airport screener is likely to encounter on a given day, it is necessary for airport screeners to have good people skills.  Effective communication with the public is key in order to keep lines moving effectively and quickly.

Average Salary:

The salary for an airport screener can range from $23,000 to $56,000.

$23k - $56k


Career Training and Qualifications:

TSA airport screeners receive about forty to sixty hours of initial training, and must be able to lift roughly seventy pounds.  Additionally airport screeners must be eighteen years old or older and speak fluent English.
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