Airport Security Personnel

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 45,790 security screeners are employed in the United States. 

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

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