How to Become a TSA Agent? All You Need to Know About It!

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employs TSA Agents to conduct security checks on people, their belongings, and their cargo. The position necessitates meticulousness in all aspects.

TSA Agent positions have become even more complicated over the previous decade because of the serious dangers to air aviation. Department of Homeland Security includes TSA.

Agents work in airports, railroad stations, and shipping facilities. On a daily basis, they make use of specialist equipment including X-ray machines and hand wands. How do you become a TSA agent, then?

Basic Requirements

In order to apply to be a TSA Agent, you must first hold a few basic requirements. TSA agents must have at the very least a high school diploma or GED. A security officer or X-ray technician with one year of experience is required to apply.

Also, you may not work as a TSA agent if you are not a US citizen. Once you complete these basic standards, you may apply to work as TSA Agent. 

Getting an Edge Over the Competition

While you can apply to the TSA with only the basic prerequisites, it can be a very competitive procedure.

Most TSA agents have further schooling beyond a high school diploma and many also have fantastic experience to offer on their resumes as well. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to do more than just meet the minimum standards.

Education

In addition to high school graduation or GED, which has already been mentioned, you should also consider continuing your education to give yourself an edge in the job market.

Criminal justice is an excellent field of study for anyone interested in working for the TSA. A criminal justice degree will teach you how to address risks to security and prevent those threats.

An associate or bachelor’s degree will help you not only to secure a TSA Agent job but also once you are on the job. It is possible to start working towards becoming an agent as a criminal justice professional.

Extensive Work Background

An X-ray technician or security guard with one year of experience is required to apply to be a TSA Agent. You can gain this experience quite readily with a degree in criminal justice.

You can be a police officer or work in private security. As a criminal justice practitioner, you’ll have an advantage in both of these positions. Joining the military in the United States is another option.

How to Become a TSA Agent?

The TSA will take note of this on your resume and give you bonus points for it. There are several ways to enter the military. You can enlist after high school and work on your degree while in the service with military tuition support.

To continue your education while serving in the armed forces, consider joining the National Guard or Reserves. You can also be part of an ROTC programme and obtain your bachelor’s degree and commission as an officer. A job in one of these areas will also let you know whether or not security work is for you.

Obtaining Employment

You can apply to become a TSA Agent if you’ve obtained the necessary training and work experience. You may be able to substitute some of the experience requirements with education if you take an internship or hands-on experience course.

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It is also feasible to stand out without schooling if you have substantial experience. Once you begin the employment process, there are more requirements you will have to complete. 

A background check and a credit check are required of all agents. The TSA will also conduct drug and alcohol screenings. Finally, you will have to meet physical criteria.

Training

You will be required to undergo on-the-job training after being selected to work with the TSA. The TSA is in charge of delivering this training, which is usually reimbursed.

How to Become a TSA Agent?

You will receive 100 hours of training — 40 hours in the classroom and 60 hours shadowing other employees. At the end of your course, you’ll have to take and pass a certification exam.

Don’t think that your training stops there. As a TSA agent, you will be required to take and pass various certification exams on a regular basis.

Benefits

Working for the TSA is government employment, thus agents are eligible for federal benefits including health insurance, life insurance, a 401k, and sick and vacation leave with pay.

Shifts can be taken at any time of day or night, making it possible to work around your schedule. As long as airports are open, TSA personnel will be on duty. The median income for the profession is roughly $37,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, greater education and experience might equate to a larger compensation. In addition to the typical perks of the job, you can have a sense of satisfaction knowing that you are working to keep others safe.

Although becoming a TSA Agent necessitates significant training, the rewards far outweigh the difficulties.

This is a well-paying position with opportunities for progression. You’ll have an advantage over the competition if you have a background in criminal justice and some relevant professional experience.

Make sure you can pass a background check, credit check, and drug test because the TSA is highly particular about professionalism and credibility. If you put in the effort, you may soon see yourself moving up the corporate ladder.

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