Transportation security officers are generally hired by the TSA or the Transport Security Administration. Prospective applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED; the TSA also requires applicants to be United States citizens and at least 18 years of age. There is no experience required, as the TSA trains its employees; however, prior experience in security is beneficial.
There are gender-specific roles for which applicants can apply in order to fulfill certain responsibilities such as patting down travelers. Transportation security officers work exclusively at airports and may be standing or sitting for many hours at a time, depending on their role. They are generally responsible for determining if particular passengers traveling through the airport should be screened, and will also perform pat-downs and bag-checks.
Those in this position must be able to identify illegal and hazardous materials during bag screenings and observe travelers to determine if any additional screening is necessary. These officers almost always work on teams with other officers, and each will usually have a different role to ensure all screening processes are smooth as possible. They must have good communication skills, as they will be interacting with travelers on a daily basis and may need to deal with upset travelers from time to time.