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Transportation Security Screeners
SOC Code: 33-9093.00

Conduct screening of passengers, baggage, or cargo to ensure compliance with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. May operate basic security equipment such as x-ray machines and hand wands at screening checkpoints.

Sample of reported job titles: Security Screener, Transportation Security Officer (TSO)

Tasks

  • Inspect carry-on items, using x-ray viewing equipment, to determine whether items contain objects that warrant further investigation.
  • Search carry-on or checked baggage by hand when it is suspected to contain prohibited items such as weapons.
  • Check passengers' tickets to ensure that they are valid, and to determine whether passengers have designations that require special handling, such as providing photo identification.
  • Test baggage for any explosive materials, using equipment such as explosive detection machines or chemical swab systems.
  • Perform pat-down or hand-held wand searches of passengers who have triggered machine alarms, who are unable to pass through metal detectors, or who have been randomly identified for such searches.
  • Notify supervisors or other appropriate personnel when security breaches occur.
  • Send checked baggage through automated screening machines, and set bags aside for searching or rescreening as indicated by equipment.
  • Decide whether baggage that triggers alarms should be searched or should be allowed to pass through.
  • Follow those who breach security until police or other security personnel arrive to apprehend them.
  • Inform other screeners when baggage should not be opened because it might contain explosives.
  • Inspect checked baggage for signs of tampering.
  • Ask passengers to remove shoes and divest themselves of metal objects prior to walking through metal detectors.
  • Close entry areas following security breaches or reopen areas after receiving notification that the airport is secure.
  • Challenge suspicious people, requesting their badges and asking what their business is in a particular areas.
  • Patrol work areas to detect any suspicious items.
  • Contact police directly in cases of urgent security issues, using phones or two-way radios.
  • Record information about any baggage that sets off alarms in monitoring equipment.
  • Watch for potentially dangerous persons whose pictures are posted at checkpoints.
  • Contact leads or supervisors to discuss objects of concern that are not on prohibited object lists.
  • Confiscate dangerous items and hazardous materials found in opened bags and turn them over to airlines for disposal.
  • Monitor passenger flow through screening checkpoints to ensure order and efficiency.
  • Inform passengers of how to mail prohibited items to themselves, or confiscate these items.
  • Provide directions and respond to passenger inquiries.
  • Direct passengers to areas where they can pick up their baggage after screening is complete.
  • View images of checked bags and cargo, using remote screening equipment, and alert baggage screeners or handlers to any possible problems.
  • Locate suspicious bags pictured in printouts sent from remote monitoring areas, and set these bags aside for inspection.

Technology Skills

  • Computer based training software - Rapiscan Threat Image Projection
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Electronic mail software - Email software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Chemical test strips or papers - Chemical detection testing kits
  • Desktop computers
  • Loupes - Magnifying loupes
  • Magnetic particle examination equipment - Body imaging scanners
  • Metal detectors - Handheld metal detectors; Walk-through metal detectors
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Special purpose telephones - Multi-line telephone systems
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios
  • Ultrasonic examination equipment - Millimeter wave imaging units
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps - Black lights
  • Weapon or explosives detectors and supplies - Explosive detection systems; Explosive trace portals
  • X ray radiography examination equipment - Backscatter imaging units; CastScope machines; X ray security inspection equipment

Knowledge

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Interests

  • Interest code: REC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 69% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others - 77% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Physical Proximity - 67% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 56% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 52% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Electronic Mail - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Radiation - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 37% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 37% responded “Important results.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 30% responded “About half the time.”
  • Time Pressure - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 33% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 33% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 88% responded “40 hours.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 33% responded “Important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 37% responded “Limited freedom.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
85%High school diploma or equivalent
11%Some college, no degree
4%Less than high school diploma

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $19.51 hourly, $40,580 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 46,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Slower than average (2% to 4%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 4,200

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