What does a Transportation Security Officer do?

Learn all about Transportation Security Officer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Transportation Security Officer.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A Transportation Security Officer is responsible for the safety and security of the transportation system. They work to protect passengers, crew, and ground personnel from terrorist attacks.

Transportation Security Officer job duties include:

  • Screen passengers and baggage for weapons or other prohibited items
  • Operate metal detectors, x-ray machines, and other security equipment
  • Resolve alarms by conducting physical searches of passengers and their belongings
  • Direct passengers through screening procedures and explain policies when necessary
  • Work with fellow security officers to maintain a high level of security awareness
  • Be observant and look for suspicious behavior
  • Be alert for changes in passenger demeanor or any unusual items that may be concealed
  • Respond quickly and calmly to emergencies
  • Write detailed reports of incidents
  • Remain calm and professional at all times

Transportation Security Officer Job Requirements

Transportation Security Officers are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. They must also complete a training program and receive a certification from the Transportation Security Administration. Some experience in law enforcement or security is preferred but not required.

Transportation Security Officer Skills

  • Patrolling
  • Inspecting
  • Questioning
  • Searching
  • Detaining
  • Screening
  • Operating security equipment
  • Communicating with other security personnel
  • Maintaining situational awareness
  • Documenting incidents
  • Providing customer service

Related: Top Transportation Security Officer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Transportation Security Officer

Transportation Security Officers, also known as TSA Agents, are responsible for providing security at airports. They screen passengers and baggage for dangerous items and help to ensure that flights are safe. TSA Agents must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and remain calm in stressful situations. If you are interested in becoming a Transportation Security Officer, here are a few things you need to know.

First, you must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status. You must also be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. It is also preferred that you have some experience working in customer service or security. Once you meet these basic requirements, you can begin the application process.

The first step is to take an online assessment, which will test your knowledge of transportation security procedures. If you pass this assessment, you will be invited to attend a structured interview. During the interview, TSA Agents will ask you questions about your ability to handle various situations that may arise during the course of your work.

Once you have completed the interview process, you will undergo a background check and drug test. If everything checks out, you will be offered a position as a Transportation Security Officer. Congratulations! You are now on your way to a career in keeping our skies safe.

Related: Transportation Security Officer Resume Example

Related: Transportation Security Officer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)