How To Apply For TSA Jobs
Need to know how to apply for TSA jobs? Maybe you have witnessed the relentless lines at airport security checks and wondered how to get in on the gig and apply for a TSA job. After all, with a career in the Transportation Security Administration, you can fight on the front lines against terrorism while waving those goofy wands over people’s belts. However, this isn’t a fast food joint, and you can’t just walk in and ask for an application; you have to know what position you want, meet the strict standards, and know how to apply.
- Answer Uncle Sam’s call—but for what? Those full-body scanners and weird metal-detecting wands at airports may have captured your imagination first, but the TSA offers much more than airport security. What about becoming a full-blown James Bond in the sky? That’s right, you could become a federal air marshal and protect planes from bad guys. Imagine yourself armed and ready to fight terror on a packed commercial flight—sound exciting? The supermodel sitting next to you will think so, too (even if she has no clue you happen to be “that guy”). You could also work in intelligence, or as a financial specialist or even as a trainer. Who knew?
- Visit the TSA careers page. Lucky for you, the TSA does not keep its available careers a national secret. You can visit the TSA careers website to scour TSA job descriptions.
- Know the strict standards. Not just any slouch gets a shot. You have to meet basic standards—plus more standards for specific positions. At a basic minimum, the TSA requires U.S. citizenship and a background investigation. For some TSA jobs, you might have to beef up at the gym to pass a battery of physicals, and you can expect pre-employment tests for both drugs and your aptitude and skills. Some TSA jobs will subject you to tougher requirements than others. For example, a quick glance at an intelligence officer job announcement says you must obtain—and maintain—top secret security clearance. James Bond, indeed.
- Intelligence mission. Scour the TSA job announcement as if it were your very first intelligence mission. Remember, your application goes straight to America’s finest. This is not the time to miss an important detail; after all, you’re applying to protect our skies from attack. To earn the privilege to wave those weird wands and rifle through luggage in the airport, be ready to lift 70 pounds repeatedly, not to mention hold your tongue while travelers rant about the long lines. As a transportation security officer, you might occasionally find a real, live weapon, too—ready for that?
- Apply. Lucky for you, the TSA tells you exactly what it wants from applicants. Not so lucky for you, the process can entail quite a few steps, depending on the TSA job. For a transportation security officer, you can apply online, but prepare to fax in documents. For an intelligence specialist position, expect to pass an online assessment, fill out an employment packet and send in a resume along with other documents. Failing to submit a document probably doesn’t bode well for an agency devoted to scouring for every last threat. So read the requirements more than once—and check them off as you go. This is not the time to get sloppy.