Airport Security Personnel

Agent and Beagle at Airport

Airport security personnel is a blanket term that describes all workers who protect the safety of passengers and staff in the nation's airports and aircraft. One of the largest group of personnel in this line of work is transportation security officers (more commonly called security screeners), who are responsible for identifying dangerous objects or hazardous materials in baggage, cargo, or on traveling passengers and preventing these objects and their carriers from boarding planes. Also included in this group of workers are air marshals, who act as on-board security agents, protecting passengers, pilots, and other airline staff in the case of any emergencies while in the air. Security directors oversee security operations and staff for entire airports. Approximately 43,220 security screeners are employed in the United States. 

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Air Marshals, Airport Security Directors, Security Screeners, Transportation Security Officers
Duties Protect the safety of passengers and staff in airports and aircraft; screen luggage and passengers for dangerous or illegal items; ensure safety of airports, planes, and equipment
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in metropolitan areas with large airports
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Government
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship; specialized training
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Outgoing
  • Problem-Solving
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
  • Organizational
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements Must have U.S. citizenship; meet physical and mental requirements of the job
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Airport Security Director
  • Security Manager
  • Experienced Security Screener
  • Entry-Level Security Screener