I worked at TSA at Oakland International Airport for 6 months in early 2019, and I have the following words of warning for any prospective employee.
1) They talk a mean game about integrity, team spirit and innovation, but: integrity doesn't exist, team spirit is reserved for those who have completed their training only, and innovation is quickly squashed. I have never before seen a work environment where you are persona non grata just because you haven't been fully trained yet.
2) The front line supervisors were actually pretty good and gave the impression that they actually cared for their people, but the executive management doesn't give a darn about you. I saw people get reprimanded and/or fired because of silly things. I also saw people do much worse things and have nothing done to them; it all depends on what the management's personal opinion of you is.
3) Generous off time, but using it is akin to squeezing blood from a stone. Yes, you can use your accrued sick time as you please, but if you do it "too much," you can be put under investigation.
One young lady suffered a knee injury and was given a doctor's note saying she needed to stay off her feet for 6 weeks. The TSA insisted she just "work through it."
Pregnant women are told they need to bring specifically-worded doctor's notes before they are allowed to go on light duty, and then get weeks of runaround because they refuse to tell them exactly what words they desire in these notes.
When it comes
ProsLots of OT available; paid holidays, even when you don't work them
Protecting the airways, Freedom of movement people and commerce
Identified, distributed and balanced workload and tasks among employees in accordance with established workflow and skill level.
Made adjustments to accomplish the workload in accordance with established priorities. Trained or arranged for the technical training of team members, monitored and reported on the status and progress of work. Approved emergency leave for up to three days. Resolved simple, informal complaints of employees and refers others, such as formal grievances and appeals to the supervisor or an appropriate management official. Served as coach, facilitator and/or negotiator in coordinating team initiatives and in consensus building activities among team members. Communicated with the public to include resolving conflicts, communicating process and procedures and enhancing understanding of the TSA mission, vision and values. Represented the team in communications with the supervisor or manager for the purpose of obtaining resources (e.g. computer hardware and software, etc.) Implemented security- screening procedures that are central to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) objectives that will serve to protect the traveling public by preventing any deadly or dangerous objects from being transported onto an aircraft. Maintained communication with supervisors regarding any issue that might reveal a weakness or vulnerable area of security screening that is discovered in the course of screening duties. Conducted scree
Do not apply to work here if you have a bachelor's degree or higher unless you are truly desperate for a job. There is no room for Independence at the checkpoint. You are are assigned to a rotation where you cannot just up and leave to go to the bathroom. You always have to tell a supervisor when you leave the floor. You will be overworked and underpaid while most supervisors just stand in the back at the podium socializing and talking on their cell phones instead of jumping in to help out during peak times. This job only requires a GED, not even a highschool diploma so you will be actually getting paid less than most of the people you work with who have no student loans. Promotional opportunities are not merit based like most federal agencies so if you apply to a higher ranking position to increase your job skills and pay there is still a good chance you will not get the job due to nepotism and favoritsm. There is a lot of high school gossip and behavior on the job. If you don't want you personal life being spread amongst the workforce keep your personal problems to yourself. Remember when you work in government, no one is truly your friend so trust no one with personal information in your life. Another thing is that it can be an oppressive working environment. If you have goals to advance, move to other agencies, or hold degrees get ready for it to be an uphill battle due to jealousy amongst those who don't hold a degree. TSA is not on the GS scale which means you will not
ProsReceiving a paycheck and career development programs
ConsShort Breaks, Low Pay, Stringent Working Environment with no room for growth or anatomy, not family friendly, no onsite child care, no merit based promotions or enough professional career roles for individuals with degrees, no student loan repayment program like other federal agencies, no flexibility when using annual leave.
I need something more challenging, but overall great position.
I've worked as a TSA Agent for about 7 months now, and it's honestly a really nice position to hold. It does have some authority attached to it, which is a good way to get your feet wet if you're like me, and looking to move in to Law Enforcement. Personal fulfillment is going to depend 100% on the airport at which you are hired; this much I will admit. In an airport like Laguardia or Newark, you're probably not going to enjoy your job very much. They have huge crowds almost constantly, and suffer from a long and crippling, albeit sparse, history of employee theft and misconduct, which I would hope has been reprimanded by this point. However at airports like Indianapolis, Charlotte, or Dallas/Fortworth the experience will likely be the polar opposite. I do currently work at one of these aforementioned, and enjoy my job very much, as well as most of the people I work with on a daily basis. Benefits are big plus, especially because they're offered whether you are full or part time. This job has plenty of 'Job security' as it's an invaluable tool for any developed nations airport system in today's world. I can't see TSO's coming to the checkpoint to find a "Going out of business" sign any time soon.
By no means do I feel the need to pal around with my workplace cohorts, but I don't loath going to work with them either. More than most people can say about their current employment, that's for sure. Management that I've met are competent, well meaning folks that genuinely want
ProsGood ethics, Opportunity for advancement and transfer, Federal Benefits, Decent pay
ConsWonky hours, Not very flexible with time off needs, Constant testing and evaluation
• In my previous airport I performed at a leadership level by calibrating equipment, running lanes, creating rotations and collecting data numbers for leadership.
• My responsibilities are to ensure the safety of the traveling public, airport and aircrafts in a courteous and professional manner.
• My ingenuity, ability to multitask, resourcefulness and jointly communicating with other Officers and management have all been necessary tools to successfully meet requirements.
• I am accomplished in my position partly due to my resourcefulness and my ability to use a multitude of research tools and acquired interpersonal skills.
• I’m certified on all equipment for screening and baggage screening.
• Performing searches using multiple technologies and equipment, through pat-down searches, X-Ray, Liquid scanners, body scanners, EDS and explosive detections equipment.
• Ensure the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and management directives are correctly adhered to.
• 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 situ
This job is the simplest job in the world. It works like a clock. You do the same thing every day along with coworkers who do the same things with you every day. We all turn to make sure "the clock" works efficiently ... except there isn't enough cogs to make this clock work! There are barely enough people here to make the operation work. We have people running around to fulfill positions when they already have a set job to do which equals to more direct stress from impatient and unknowing passengers.
Due to the extremely long probationary period, we don't have enough when it matters. The lack of understanding and overly strict expectations while disregarding work-life-university balance and mental health is insane. Overtime is often available, but it isn't in the best conditions and people have paid for it. The solid fact that most people who travel disregard us with respect as soon as they step into an airport is mentally toiling. Every day or every other day is the same. You swallow the bitter pill and continue on with the stress and anxiety on your backside. You cannot speak out of turn, you can't defend yourself, you can't even say "no" because we are so short-staffed, and the work must be done. There is absolutely no mental support for the things we go through.
Management only is present when there's a situation that requires them to be there, when they want to look busy, a photo-op, or 2-minutes of appreciation twice a year. Those of us on the bottom give ideas or qu
Proscoworkers are generally nice, year-end bonus, president biden has been throwing free time at us
Conspoor mental support, poor work-life balance, poor management, poor union
An agency held back by managerial nepotism and a lack of proactivity
I've been employed with the TSA for several years and the total quality of the work environment has seemed to decrease since then. The largest issue is the management, which is mostly composed of employees who have been part of the agency since rollout (either that or managers who were never TSOs to begin with).
From what I've seen, they've grown complacent and don't demonstrate the capacity to think proactively. Not only that, but they've been observed to enable mediocrity only under the condition that the right people kiss up to them. I've seen various officers make blatant mistakes and have a blatant disregard for punctuality (when it comes to returning from their breaks), but because they're in good favor with the managers, not only do many of them still have a job, but some have only received promotions since then (which has more to do with answering the interview questions correctly as opposed to actually having the experience or potential to handle the promotion in question). But even with that being the case, the managers will actively target newer TSOs who haven't finished their probation yet--even if they're otherwise stellar employees--and keep the revolving door turning while the more senior officers demonstrate contentment with mediocrity. This has the net effect of driving away newer and more passionate employees and creating a stagnant work environment.
Beyond that, the work/life balance leaves a lot to be desired. If you expect to have a stable schedul
Federal job with great benefits, opportunities for advancement
A typical day working for TSA started with a pass down or turnover brief from the previous shift. We also covered new threats and what to look out for as well as unauthorized items making it through the x-ray but being found in bag checks. Any other issues that may have arisen were covered and any overtime opportunities were offered during this time. The day in the security checkpoint consisted of rotating officers through each position every 30-45 minutes to ensure each officer was fresh, alert, and not getting burnt out doing the same thing for hours. Some of these positions included the walk through metal detector, x-ray machine, bag checker where the majority of passenger and officer interaction occurred, pat downs, running the explosive trace detection system on suspicious substances, and private screenings for law enforcement, high value classified material, and passengers who did not pass the pat-down/hand held metal detector screening. On occasion we would be faced with an unruly passenger or a security breach in which case, we would get law enforcement involved and fill out our own administrative paperwork. I think one of the more valuable things I learned at TSA, came from the exposure to how the federal job side works as opposed to the civilian side. Another would be my exposure to the "realm" of security, to successfully and efficiently managing high volumes of people, applying rules and regulations to everyday operations and seeing why abiding by them is so cruci
Prosdecent pay, great benefit package, great opportunity for overtime
Negative Culture, Poor Leadership, High turnover, constantly understaffed.
I worked at the Boise Airport as a TSA Officer. The TSA itself is a good agency to work for, HOWEVER, I definitely wouldn’t recommend even applying at the Boise Airport. The leadership is extremely poor, the culture is very negative, There are basically 2 shifts available, early mornings and late afternoons. The culture on both shifts is EXTREMELY negative. Everybody talks down on everybody. Everybody tries to get people in trouble for petty things instead of helping each other. Officers that have been there for longer than 1 year are extremely lazy. There is a high turnover. I was very disappointed, as I was hoping for a long term career with the agency. Management picks their favorites, and if you don’t meet the description, then you will never have your time off requests approved, and you will have a hard time moving up. Supervisors are extremely lazy, and very quick to criticize. You are constantly being watched and they will wait for you to make any error they can in order to write you up. If you have any sort of opinion, you will be brought up for insubordination. Issues that were reported to higher ups were never handled appropriately. One of the officers is married to the director, so good luck trying to bring your issues at the checkpoint up to anybody and having them dealt with accordingly. Nothing you bring up is “confidential” Word spreads like wildfire. Officers have their “clicks” and if you aren’t already a part of their click, they do everything in their pow
Do not work for TSA. Was a new transfer and was treated like garbage from day 1 by supervisor and coworkers. Coworkers who were supervisor's favorites told lies about me and when lies were proven, nothing was done to them. The worst clique and show of double standards and favoritism in any job I've ever worked at. Never, ever abused emotionally and mentally by any boss in my life until I came here. Manager is in supervisor's back pocket and has no backbone. Another supervisor had a hostile work environment claim against him 2 years ago and is still there. Many women quit because of the gender inequality treatment. There isn't anyone who won't throw you under the bus to save their's or if it means advancement or a gold star for them. HR, AFSD and FSD do nothing and complaints fall on deaf ears. Seniority rules and ability to advance is impossible due to favorites and whether they like you or not. You are written up for tiny infractions and stared at, nitpicked to death, and yelled at. Coworkers get brownie points toward their performance when they call you on something you've doing wrong or direct you in any way, which is the way management wants it. Supervisors' treatment toward TSOs is horrendously mean, angry, intolerant, impatient, and they hate passengers and their jobs. Throw bins, throw tantrums, yell, and one who is the worst as far as being evil will impose harsh and over-the-top punishments and discipline for mistakes made by certain TSOs that he makes known he doesn
ConsSupervisors, leads, management, hostile environment, no support among coworkers, backstabbing and lying among coworkers, favoritism, double standards, favor males
Easy Job, not much room to advance inside the agency. part time hours are indefinnite
Tsa is not a bad job. Its easy , its inside,for the most part you'll get along with everyone (depending on your personality). great health benefits (health,dental,vision), Retirement , health insurance , free associates degree program, union benefits. But the pay only goes so far. Max Pay for a full time officer after about 10 years will only be 44,000. A lead is about 48k. A supervisor starts at 50k. its very hard to advance passed a TSO. Many things are involved. Management in Tsa I personally think is the biggest issue, beginning from Washington down to the airports. The biggest issue is how they hire you as part time. You won't make full time employment status no sooner than 2 years with the agency. Sadly most employees don't last that long due to termination or resignation. The agency has a lot of testing and fine lines that result in losing or keeping your job. A typical day is hard for me to disclose due to Something described as sensitive security information. I can not disclose much due to a need to know basis. So a basic day will involve screening long lines of passengers. most people are nice if your nice to them. Id say about 30 percent of the traveling public will not like you, or complain due to that fact your an officer of TSA. You need to be one of those people to not respond or react to people (if you wish to keep a good employment history and keep your job). TSA is a make or break you employer of you keep up a good work ethic. The shifts are seniority base
Proseasy indoor job, great health benefits / potential to advance further in the government
ConsPart time hours indefinitely, poor management, poor moral amongst workers
Questions And Answers about Transportation Security Administration
What is the best part of working at TSA (Transportation Security Administration)?
Asked Dec 3, 2019
Nothing. Benefits were okay, pay was good until you hit a year, after that new hires make more than you. Everything else was terrible
Answered Jun 27, 2022
Having a team that works with you. Feels like everyone is working towards a common goal. At least that has been my experience based on where I'm currently at.
Answered Jun 26, 2022
How are the working hours at TSA (Transportation Security Administration)?
Asked May 24, 2016
12 hours are good, starting from 8am to 7pm.
Answered Apr 27, 2019
8 to 12 hours a day depending Peak tim
Answered Apr 21, 2019
If you were in charge, what would you do to make TSA (Transportation Security Administration) a better place to work?
Asked Jun 6, 2017
I would let go all the top management who create a toxic culture and replace them with real LEADERS. I would meet with every leader and the employees at each location and have the "Elephant in the Room" conversation. I would create team charters that drive behaviors and values with input from everyone from new hires up and create communication and accountability mechanisms for everyone, especially top level leaders responsible for creating culture and improving public image. I would assign a stakeholder centered coach to every manager so they can have input from everyone on the team and make behavioral changes that are needed. If they don't drive a healthy leadership culture let them go. I would have regular team meetings to connect and discuss issues before they become bigger issues than they need to be. I would do away with split shifts and shift to only AM PM With Early AM and Late PM.
Answered Aug 25, 2021
Better pay and benefits for frontline workers, with more incentive for longevity, right now TSA is seen as a "feeder agency" to other DHS agencies like border patrol
Answered Nov 30, 2020
How did you get your first interview at TSA (Transportation Security Administration)?
Asked Jun 17, 2016
Answered Apr 21, 2019
I applied for the TSA position through the usajobs densite .The called me back After about 8-10weeks later
Answered Apr 21, 2019
What tips or advice would you give to someone interviewing at TSA (Transportation Security Administration)?
Asked Jun 6, 2017
As long as you have a pulse, no record, and have an OK credit score you will get the job. They always need people and they do not care if you show up to interview in sweat pants and a T-Shirt.