Transportation Security Officers are responsible for providing security and protection of travelers across all transportation sectors in a courteous and professional manner. Their duties may also extend to securing high-profile events, important figures and/or anything that includes or impacts our transportation systems. Learn more about the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) role on the TSA Careers Website.
Clarification from the agency
Open to All U.S. Citizens and U.S. Nationals
Salary Information: The salary range for Champaign, IL (CMI - University Of Illinois-Willard Airport), Decatur, IL (DEC - Decatur Airport, Marion, IL (MWA - Williamson County Airport), Peoria, IL (PIA - General Wayne A Downing Int'l Airport ), Rockford, IL (RFD - Chicago Rockford Int'l Airport), Springfield, IL (SPI - Capital Airport), and Quincy, IL (UIN-Quincy Airport) is $36,821 to $52,601 or $17.64 to $25.20 per hour and includes locality pay of 16.5%.
The salary range for Moline, IL (MLI -Quad Cities Int'l Airport) is $37,361 to $53,373 or $17.90 to $25.57 per hour and includes locality pay of 18.21%.
The salary range for Belleville, IL (BLV -Mid America St. Louis Airport) is $37,643 to $53,775 or $18.04 to $25.77 per hour and includes locality pay of 19.10%.
The salary range for Bloomington, IL (BMI -Central Illinois Airport) is $40,503 to $57,861 or $19.41 to $27.72 per hour and includes locality pay of 16.5%, and a retention incentive of 10% of adjusted pay that is unique to this duty location. In order to recruit and retain highly qualified employees at this location, TSA has approved the payment of a bi-weekly retention incentive. The continuation of the incentive portion of this hourly rate is contingent upon annual approval and funding.
Sign-on Bonus: The Transportation Security Administration is currently offering at Belleville, IL (BLV), Bloomington, IL (BMI) and Marion, IL (MWA) a sign-on bonus of up to $1,000 for this duty location; half of the bonusafter onboarding and the other half to be received after one year of service. The amount of the airport's sign-on bonus is subject to change or elimination based on operational needs, however, any applicable sign-on bonus amount will be communicated and agreed upon during the final job offer process.
On July 2, 2023, TSA is converting to a new compensation plan. Under this new plan, Transportation Security Officer (TSO) salaries will become significantly more competitive with the implementation of a three-rung, D, E, and F band career ladder. For additional information, please click here.
This Transportation Security Officer position is located in Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a Transportation Security Officer (TSOs) within Security Operations (SO), you will provide security and protection of air travelers, airports and aircraft in a courteous and professional manner. Duties may include but are not limited to:
Realistic Job Preview:
- Operating various screening equipment and technology to identify dangerous objects in baggage, cargo and on passengers, and preventing those objects from being transported onto aircraft.
- Performing searches and screening, which may include physical interaction with passengers (e.g., pat-downs, search of property, etc.), conducting bag searches and lifting/carrying bags, bins, and property weighing up to 50lbs.
- Controlling terminal entry and exit points.
- Interacting with the public, giving directions and responding to inquiries.
- Maintaining focus and awareness while working in a stressful environment which includes noise from alarms, machinery and people, crowd distractions, time pressure, and disruptive and angry passengers, in order to preserve the professional ability to identify and locate potentially life threatening or mass destruction devices, and to make effective decisions in both crisis and routine situations.
- Engaging in continuous development of critical thinking skills, necessary to mitigate actual and potential security threats, by identifying, evaluating, and applying appropriate situational options and approaches. This may include application of risk-based security screening protocols that vary based on program requirements.
- Retaining and implementing knowledge of all applicable Standard Operating Procedures, demonstrating responsible and dependable behavior, and is open to change and adapts to new information or unexpected obstacles.
The Realistic Job Preview gives you an honest, objective and vivid portrait of what it means to work as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) and provides employee testimonies about both the good and the challenging aspects of being a TSO. To view the video, please Click Here
If a sufficient number of applications are received, the announcement may close before the published closing date.
: Employees occupying frontline positions, i.e., individuals occupying positions that involve contact with the traveling public on a regular and recurring basis, may be required to wear TSA approved and issued personal protective equipment (PPE). This requirement is in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic and comply with Executive Order 13991 and TSA's Pandemic and Emerging Infectious Disease and Workforce Protection Plan. PPE includes TSA issued surgical masks, face shields, and nitrile gloves. At TSA, the health and safety of our employees is a top priority.
Conditions of Employment
Conditions of Employment
- You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
- You must have reached the minimum age (18) at the time of application.
- Selective Service registration is required.
- Must pass a structured interview, drug screening, medical evaluation, and background investigation
- Subject to post-employment random drug and/or alcohol testing
- Must be available to work various shifts and overtime, as needed.
- Must be proficient in English (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, comprehending).
- Mandatory travel for training and occasional travel may be required
- Exposure to potentially lethal devices and dangerous chemicals is inherent in this position.
Physical Demands: Must meet and maintain physical requirements (including an assessment of physical abilities) including, but not limited to, the following:
- Maintain physical agility to ensure ability to squat and bend.
- Ability to repeatedly lift and manipulate baggage, containers, weighing approximately 50 pounds and other objects subject to security processing.
- Ability to walk up to three (3) miles during a shift and stand for prolonged periods (up to 4 hours) of time.
The requirements above must be met at the time of application submission. Additional requirements can be found in the Qualifications section.
To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into this position.
If you fail to meet the conditions of employment or any other pre-employment requirements, such as missing any of the scheduled appointments, the hiring agency may rescind their tentative offer of employment.
If you are entering TSA employment on an appointment without time limitations, you must serve a basic trial period unless you have already met the requirement.
Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for TSA to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.
Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.
To qualify for the SV-D pay band (equivalent to the GS-5/6), you must meet one of the qualification requirements (A OR B) outlined below:
A. Experience: At least one year of full-time work experience In the security Industry, aviation screening, or as an X-ray technician.
B. Education: Have a high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) high school equivalency certificate.
Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime.
National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.
TSA may apply a gender-specific (male or female) hiring preference to fill TSO positions in order to meet security mission and same gender pat-down job-related requirements. At airport locations where it is necessary to apply the hiring preference, candidates of the needed gender will be provided preference in the scheduling of the computer-based aptitude test, airport assessments, processing and selection.
Occasional Travel Required:
A minimum of three (3) weeks of travel in a full-time duty status may be required to complete TSA's New Hire training. New Hire training and travel requirements vary by duty location and may require up to six (6) weeks of full-time duty status travel. This training will occur away from the employee's airport of record. Employees will be paid for compensable hours and reimbursed for authorized travel expenses per TSA Travel Policy. While employed with TSA, other occasional travel may be required.
Selective Service Registration Requirement:
TSA policy requires verification of Selective Service registration for male applicants born after 12/31/59. To find out if you initially meet the Selective Service registration requirement for TSA employment, please Click Here.
Applicants must not have delinquent Federal or State taxes, or past due child support payments.
To ensure adequate background investigative coverage, applicants are required to have resided within the United States for three of the last five years immediately prior to applying for this position. For those applicants who do not meet this residency requirement, an exception may be granted under the following circumstances - (1) applicant worked for U.S. Government in foreign countries in federal civilian or military capacities; (2) applicant was or is a dependent accompanying a federal civilian or military employee serving in foreign countries; (3) applicant who studied abroad at a U.S. affiliated college or university; or (4) applicant who has a current and adequate federal background investigation completed for a federal or Government contractor position.
Reemployed Annuitants: Since the TSO position is permanent, it does not meet the eligibility requirement for a salary offset waiver under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2010. Therefore, former Federal or Postal Service employees who are receiving a civilian retirement annuity may have their salary reduced by the amount of their pension, which could result in a biweekly net pay as low as zero dollars ($0.00) or a debt owed to the Federal Government.
TSO Dress and Appearance Responsibilities: TSOs are required to adhere to the Personal Appearance Standard that requires a neat, clean and professional appearance while on duty or while wearing a uniform. This includes adherence to policies on accessories and grooming. For example, with the exception of 1/4 inch stud-type earrings, body and/or tongue piercing may not be visible to the public. In addition, tattoos of any kind on the head, face, and exposed areas of the neck must be covered at all times and not visible to the general public. TSA issued and approved items such as turtlenecks or dickies may be used to cover tattoos on the lower neck.
Work Schedules for Full-time Positions: Specific work shifts and schedules will be determined by the airport.
- Full-time positions require 40 hours per week;
- Full-time work consists of shift-work on any day from Sunday through Saturday, which may include irregular hours, nights, holidays, overtime, extended shifts and weekend shifts, changing shifts, and split shifts.
- A "split-shift" consists of any two work shifts, each lasting at least two (2) hours in one 24-hour period, with at least two (2) hours between work shifts.
Work Schedules for Part-time Positions: Specific work shifts and schedules will be determined by the airport.
- Part-time shifts generally range from 16-32 hours per week
- Part-time work consists of shift-work on any day from Sunday through Saturday, which may include irregular hours, nights, holidays, overtime, extended shifts and weekend shifts, changing shifts, and split shifts
- A "split-shift" consists of any two work shifts, each lasting at least two (2) hours in one 24-hour period, with at least two (2) hours between work shifts
Maintaining Employment: All TSOs must maintain the standard level of certification and fitness for duty, to include:
No moving, relocation or pre-employment travel expenses will be paid for this position, or while in application for this position.
- Completing classroom training, on-the-job training, and all initial certification testing
- Recurrent and specialized training and recertification tests on a periodic basis
- Passing background investigations, including a criminal check and credit check, and all randomly administered drug and alcohol screening tests.?
This position is not a law enforcement position and therefore, is not covered by Law Enforcement Availability Pay or Law Enforcement Retirement. Per the President's 2014 Fair Employment memo
, TSA policy is to not adversely consider a candidate based on unemployment or financial difficulty through no fault of their own. For more information on the Fair Employment policy, see "Additional Resources" here
TSA is an excepted service agency. Employment with TSA does not confer the "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies. However, permanent employees who have at least one year of continuous service with TSA will be eligible to apply for positions in other Federal agencies under the OPM-DHS Interchange Agreement.
Bargaining Unit Status:
This position is in the bargaining unit for which the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the exclusive representative.
This job does not have an education qualification requirement.
Eligibility to apply for other Federal positions: TSA is an Excepted Service agency exempt from most of Title 5 United States Code, including regulations which apply to displaced Federal employees (CTAP/ICTAP) of other agencies, and employment with TSA does not confer "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established an Interchange Agreement, which allows most permanent TSA employees to apply and be considered for vacancies in Competitive Service agencies. Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at: http://www.opm.gov.
TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancies announced in their absence.
More than one position may be filled from this announcement.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select "Benefits." Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
Employees who transfer to TSA from an agency that allows employees to maintain an annual leave balance higher than the maximum accumulation for the appointed position will have their leave ceiling set to the maximum accumulation for the appointed position (e.g., United States duty location - 240 hours, foreign duty location - 360 hours, or TSES position - 720 hours). TSA will not make a monetary payment for any leave forfeited under these circumstances.
A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on a comparison of the position requirements against the quality and extent of the experience and/or related education as reflected in your resume and supporting documentation. You are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show possession of the competencies required for this position. We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If, after reviewing your resume and any supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your category placement may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.
Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Grouping procedures. Under Category Grouping, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:
- Best-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies as determined by the job analysis.
- Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrates acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies as determined by the job analysis.
- Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies as determined by the job analysis. If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.
Veterans: Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. (This position is not considered scientific/professional.) Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. View information on Veterans' Preference
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies that are relevant to the duties of this position:
- Attention to Detail
- Critical Thinking
- Interpersonal Skills
- Oral Communication
- Visual Observation
For more information on TSO medical requirements, please Click Here.
For more information on TSO eligibility standards and background requirements, please Click Here.
You may preview the questions for this vacancy here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11947086
The assessment includes a cut score based on the minimum level of required proficiency in these critical general competencies. You must meet or exceed the cut score to be considered. You will not be considered for the position if you score below the cut score or fail to complete the assessment. Overstating your qualifications and/or experience in your application materials or application questionnaire may result in your removal from consideration. Cheating on the online assessment may also result in your removal from consideration.
In addition to a resume and the assessment questions, you must submit copies of any of the following documents if you are applying based on current or former Federal Government Status, Veterans' Preference or eligible Veterans' Service (a veteran who was honorably discharged from the armed forces after completing at least three (3) years of continuous active duty service), or education or a combination of education and experience:
DD-214 - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference or eligible Veterans' Service, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge.
SF-15 and VA Letter - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later.
If you do not submit required documentation described in this job opportunity announcement, your application will be deemed incomplete and you will be ineligible for further consideration for this vacancy.
If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin an application. To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online application, to include the initial online assessment and submission of the required documentation specified in the Required Documents section above. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration. The application process is as follows:
- To begin the application process, click the Apply Online button.
- Answer the questions presented in the application and attach all necessary supporting documentation.
- Click the Submit Application button prior to 11:59 PM (ET) on the announcement closing date.
- After submitting an online application, you will be notified that your application was received. This message will be delivered to you via email notification. The email may be routed to your "Spam" or "Junk" folder.
- If you are found eligible for the position, you will receive an invitation from email@example.com to schedule a proctored examination at a test center near you. If you have trouble locating the invitation, check the Spam or Junk folders in your email account or log into your USAJOBS account and click the "Track this application" button to check for copies of any email communications which may have been blocked or identified as spam by your email services provider. Failure to comply with this deadline will result in your application being closed. If closed, you will need to reapply to a future job announcement.
- We encourage you to apply online. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, please contact HC-ServeU@tsa.dhs.gov.
To update your application, including supporting documentation, at any time during the announcement open period, return to your USAJOBS account (https://usajobs.gov
). There you will find a record of your application, the application status, and an option to Edit my application. This option will no longer be available once the announcement has closed. To verify the status of your application both during and after the announcement open period, log into your USAJOBS account at https://www.usajobs.gov
. On the Home page, scroll down and locate your job application. Once the job has been located, click the "Track this application" link on the right under the application date. The page will refresh to display the Agency's Application Information page where you can scroll down and review any notifications the agency has sent you. The Application Status
will appear along with the date your application was last updated.
For information on what each Application Status
means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/
If you are entering TSA employment on an appointment without time limitations, you must serve a basic trial period unless you have already met the requirement.
and Persons with disabilities
possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the documentation that is required, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.
Based on your application and your responses to the application questionnaire, you may be presented with instructions on how to access the USA Hire system to schedule a proctored examination at a testing center near you. You must schedule and complete this proctored examination at a TSA Testing Center within 14 days of successfully completing the online assessment. You will have the opportunity to request a testing accommodation for the assessments should you have a disability covered under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. Passing assessment results will be kept on record for two years and failed assessment results will be kept on record for six months. These results will be used toward future positions for which you might apply that require the same assessments during the specified timeframe.
To be considered for the position, you must meet all qualifications, including meeting or exceeding the cut score on the required assessments.
To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login), all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.