Overall Reviews at Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Officer | Oakland, CA | May 27, 2019
Beware of any job that requires a name tag
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
ConsPretty much everything else
Transportation Officer | Beaumont, TX | Nov 16, 2013
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.
TSO | Indianapolis, IN | Jul 16, 2016
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
Transportation Officer | El Paso, TX | Sep 9, 2019
• 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
Transportation Officer | Indianapolis, IN | Feb 15, 2020
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
Transportation Officer | Portland, ME | Jun 7, 2015
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
Consmonotonous at times
Transportation Officer | Montana | Feb 28, 2019
If you want to keep your self-confidence...
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
Transportation Officer | St. Louis, MO | Dec 14, 2019
Stay Away from TSA
The Transporation Security Administration is yet another example of a potentially great place to work but is ruined by management. Maybe 20% of employees stay past their first year, and for good reason. Between infighting, discrimination, and even nepotism. Employee injuries were ignored and left uncompensated, employees were harassed and bullied by local management, and the environment is high risk and little reward. Furthermore, the workplace atmosphere is purely hostile and toxic due to management and their attitude towards employees. Luckily I was able to skate by quietly without attracting much attention from management, but I've seen other employees brought to tears by management whenever they hadn't done anything wrong, and I've seen other employees lose their job due to clerical mistakes by supervisors.
There was one bright spot, and that was the other base-level officers (TSO's). The ones that stayed had your back and were always willing to lend a helping hand whenever they could. They tried to console those that fell victim to the atrocious management and boost morale as much as possible through events outside of work. They were the only bright spot in an otherwise dark and miserable organization.
Lastly, for those interested in becoming a member of management with TSA... good luck. Favoritism is typically the only way to get promoted, and in addition to that, is typically based on ~appearance~ (if you understand what I'm saying). If you don't constantly com
Transportation Officer | Columbus, OH | May 30, 2019
I worked with TSA and I believed in their mission, I supported their cause and I took my job seriously keeping passengers safe. At JGI (John Glen International) Columbus, OH was hit or miss. a typical day at work is long and fast paced, you have to move quickly or you will be left behind so pay attention in training and orientation. I learned a lot of procedures from which i will take with me into the future, Management depending on what checkpoint you get is pretty good. there is a checkpoint that has horrible managers but the other two checkpoints function perfectly. The workplace culture is not what it could be because on the concourse with bad managers...some of the officers are rude and disrespectful to new hires wearing white shirts. Make sure to know your stuff and don't be afraid to snap back at someone who disrespects you. Be advised on that checkpoint that comes after the letter A in the alphabet because some of those officers are "tight" with the supervisors. the culture on that checkpoint is not what it could be. the other checkpoints hum quite nicely. the hardest part of the job are the officers that are in tight with the supervisors and get away with more than they should. its difficult seeing people stand around while others work hard. Be aware of your mistakes because they are very unforgiving if you make any, I know this from personal experience. Know the SOPs and learn them well because some supervisors try to write you up for some things you were trained to
Prospaid lunch, good benefits, nice uniforms, pride in your job
Consmanagement, some lazy officers, unforgiving with mistakes
Questions And Answers about Transportation Security Administration
How are the working hours?
Asked May 24, 2016
Any time, lm still on Marine
Time . As for what you want
Me to do asap.
Answered Jul 28, 2019
12 hours are good, starting from 8am to 7pm.
Answered Apr 27, 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
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
Change the hours
Answered Oct 8, 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.
Answered Mar 9, 2020
Keep your credit score clean
Answered Dec 8, 2019
If you start off part time is it possible to go to a full time position?