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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Our Workforce

Transportation Security OfficersFrom the aftermath of 9/11 to today, people from all walks of life have joined TSA to protect the United States from terrorist acts. We are military veterans, law enforcement officers, teachers, emergency professionals and people with skills and backgrounds that reflect the diversity of the American people. We are your neighbors, friends and relatives. We are security officers, aviation and surface inspectors, air marshals, intelligence analysts, multi-modal transportation experts and other dedicated professionals who protect the nation's transportation systems so you and your family can travel safely.

Who We Are

Most of TSA’s workforce are Transportation Security Officers (TSOs). About 50,000 TSOs screen 1.8 million passengers everyday at more than 450 airports across the country. TSA has taken a number of steps in recent years to promote continued education, foster a safe and productive work environment, and identify and reward outstanding performance, including:

  • Making entry level positions with promotion potential at TSA headquarters available to field employees willing to relocate.
  • Ensuring early medical intervention for injured employees.
  • Strengthening whistleblower protection rights for TSOs to appeal whistleblower retaliation complaints to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
  • Ensuring government payment of health benefits at the full-time rate for part-time TSOs. Employees may also donate sick and compensatory leave, as well, as annual leave to other TSA employees in need.

Other Facts and Figures about the TSA workforce

  • More than 50 percent of TSOs have been with TSA for more than 5 years.
  • Nearly 25 percent of TSA’s workforce are veterans of the U.S. military.
  • Voluntary attrition of full-time TSOs is 4.7 percent (as of 7/14/12).
  • TSOs participate in an initial 180 hours of classroom and on-the-job training.
  • More than 3,800 Improvised Explosive Device drills are conducted every day at airport checkpoints. Also, nearly 45,000 images of dangerous and prohibited items are projected onto X-ray screens during passenger screening to test the skills of our officers.

For more about TSA employee accomplishments and how they contribute to TSA’s security mission, visit Spotlight On.

Latest revision: 14 January 2014