The safety of airport travelers is ensured through the recognition and prevention of security threats by transportation security officers or airport security officers. Officers use x-ray equipment, and innovative screening to gather security intelligences and monitor travelers. Companies will provide classroom learning and on-the-job training to airport security officers that they have hired.
Training Recommendation and Requirements
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the most common employers of airport security officers along with private security contractors. These professionals are expected to hold a high school diploma. Though formal education is not required in a majority of cases, those who have formal educational qualifications are more likely to get employed. In lieu of education, a majority of employers will ask for one or more years of security experience. To improve your career opportunities, experiences with x-ray equipment that are used in the airports are necessary.
Similar to many security positions, airport security officers need to be mentally stable and physically fit. Prior to employment, you have to pass a comprehensive background tests and drug screening. Training for officers are provided by most employers, combining on-the-job training with classroom learning that are supervised by experienced officers. Several employers will have other requirements for firearms and weapons proficiency.
A General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma is required from an airport security officer. Additional formal education may not be needed for several airport security positions, although you can improve your career prospects with a homeland security certificate.
Homeland Security Certificate
Students can prepare for careers in domestic security and transportation with a homeland security certificate. A majority of programs span for one semester and teach students how to recognize, analyze, and treat terrorist acts and other security threats. Students will also learn crisis prevention techniques, planning skills, as well as emergency management. Certificate program courses could include:
•Security Regulations and Law
•Prevention Strategies and Security Assessment
•International and Domestic Terrorism
In most cases, officers who have passed the physical exams, background tests, and met other employment requirements will be provided with on-the-job and classroom training by airport security agencies. Officers are required by TSA to have 112 to 118 hours of on-the-job training along with fifty-six to seventy-two hours of classroom training. While other employers may have different requirements, the combination of on-the-job and classroom training is common.
Certifications and Licenses
Airport security officers do not have to obtain licensure. Once they meet all employment prerequisites, they will start airport security training. Once they have completed the training program, officers who are employed by Transportation Security Administration will be eligible to work and occasionally required to pass security tests for continued employment.
Seminars and Workshops
Workshops and continuing education opportunities are provided to airport security officers by many employers. Airport security officers have to be educated on current security assessment practices because security threats are constantly changing. Officers will need to use new security equipment and technology as it is implemented. Once prospective officers obtain employment, they will be required to undergo continuing education assessments through ongoing on-the-job training offered by employers.
Other Professional Development
Officers have to be physically fit along with being able to stand and perform security screenings for a long period of time, and routinely handle baggage and other large items. Airport security officers have to be able to interact with transportation staff members and travelers. Hearing ability, visual ability, and mental focus has to be exceptional in order to perform accurate and consistent security practices. Before they are employed, airport security officers have to pass a comprehensive background and drug tests. Any candidate who has delinquent state and federal taxes or excessive debt or is financially insolvent in any way will not be considered for employment.