USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Our Careers - Frequently Asked Questions

Will the E Band promotions be announced?  Do I need to apply to a vacancy announcement for the E Band TSO position?

No.  Promotions to the E Band will not be announced and will be determined by airport management based on criteria developed jointly between the Office of Human Capital and Office of Security Operations.  There are certain exclusion criteria such as documented conduct and/or performance problems that will prevent an employee from being promoted.

Are promotions automatic?

Promotions are never automatic.  Rather, promotions are based on an employee’s demonstrated performance and capability to perform higher level work, as determined by a supervisor or manager and the employee must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the promotion.

Is it possible to attain the F Band Master TSO position by screening of passengers, baggage, and/or cargo?

Yes, it will be in the future dependent on budget and staffing needs.  The F Band Master TSO position will be attainable in several ways:

  1. Maintaining dual certification in and performing passenger and baggage screening on a rotating basis, and demonstrating standards of excellence through mentoring and coaching of other TSOs.
  2. Being trained and certified and performing as a Behavioral Detection Officer in the Screening of passengers by Observational Techniques (SPOT) Program.
  3. Being trained and serving as a TSO Instructor
  4. Or a combination of the above, as determined/assigned by airport management

When will F Band Master TSO positions that are not BDO or TSO Instructors be available?

The new TSO Career Path is being funded out of TSA’s current staffing allocation and, therefore, Security Operations is currently developing a 5 year staffing plan with all of these positions.  The new Career Path positions will be implemented in phases starting with E Band, BDO and BAO specific positions.  Some time in FY07, we anticipate being able to implement the TSO Instructor (i.e., STI) and Equipment Technician positions.  All position allocations will continue to be designated to airports in accordance with our staffing allocation model (SAM), operational needs, and budgetary constraints.

Would it be possible for a TSO to be hired as Band D and eventually attain a Transportation Security Manager (TSM) position?

Yes.  Career development is always subject to employees’ willingness to take on additional responsibilities, attain professional and educational credentials, as necessary to demonstrate their aptitude for higher level responsibilities, and apply for open vacancies.

Is it necessary to serve as a supervisor to become a Transportation Security Manager (TSM)?

No.  There are two possible career tracks through which employees may move that lead to the TSM position.  One track is through management and the other through technical programs such as the Bomb Appraisal Officer and Screening of Passengers by Observational Techniques Programs or a combination of these two tracks.  Experience leading or managing people and/or programs is helpful if an employee is interested in management opportunities.

The E Band TSO JAT mentioned a function called “Equipment Maintenance Technician.” Must every TSO at the E Band perform Equipment Maintenance Technician work?

No.  The equipment maintenance function recognizes a specialized function at Band E that some of our TSOs have been performing to keep security equipment functioning and avoid security lane closures where possible.  However, it is not required that every TSO function as Equipment Maintenance Technicians.  TSOs who serve in this specialized function will have additional salary within the E Band range.

Why is there a Selective Factor for Bomb Appraisal Officer (BAO) work?

To serve as a BAO it is a requirement that an employee be a graduate from an accredited Improvised Explosive Devices/Bomb Disposal Course, given by the FBI’s HDS or the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, and has field experience as a military or civilian Explosive Ordnance Disposal or Bomb Technicians.  This education and experience is required as a minimum deciding factor for selection as a BAO.  If an individual does not possess this education and experience, they will not be considered for any BAO vacancies.

Will a TSO assigned to perform as a Bomb Appraisal Officer, Behavioral Detection Officer (SPOT Program), or in another specialized function such as TSO Instructor also be required to perform passenger and baggage screening?

FSDs and their subordinate managers may require employees to be cross trained and perform multiple functions such as behavioral detection and passenger and/or baggage screening.  Employees are required to be trained and attain necessary certification(s) in any function(s) assigned.

What if I am a TSO certified to perform passenger screening.  Can my manager require me to also become certified to perform baggage screening or vice versa?

Yes.  You must be appropriately trained and certified to perform the work assigned.

What if I am certified in passenger or baggage screening functions and do not want to become dual certified?

It is important for employees to cooperate with FSDs and other airport managers and with the strategic and mission objectives for national and local TSA programs.  If employees are requested to become certified in dual screening functions, it is important that the employees pass training, attain certification and perform work, as assigned.  Dual certification requirements are designated based on the security screening work and staffing levels of each airport by the FSD.  Employees who fail to cooperate with airport management or are not able to become dual certified may face appropriate administrative action.

Will it be a requirement that TSOs become dual certified?

Dual certification depends on the needs of individual airports and TSA overall.  In some airports dual certification is a requirement for all TSOs and in other airports only a portion of the TSOs are required to be dual certified.  This is dependent on operational needs at the airport and the allocated staffing for that airport.  It is important for TSA to be able to cross train and best utilize employees to get our mission accomplished.  In the future, the F Band TSO position will be attainable for employees who are dual certified and exhibit high standards of excellence in their work.

I noticed that the Job Analysis Tools (JATs) indicate that TSOs may be required to serve at any airport or transportation terminal, as required.  Does that mean that I may need to work on a full-time or part-time or temporary basis at another airport or perhaps another transportation terminal?

Yes.  Depending on the needs of TSA or your local airport, it may be required that a TSO work at another airport because of staffing shortages or for other reasons.  TSA is also providing screening services for certain mass transit lines, including rail and ferry; therefore, it may be necessary for TSOs to work at facilities other than airports or where a need exists.

Be assured that every effort will be made to accommodate employees’ family/ personal needs, when possible.  However, as a TSA employee, we serve the broad mission of transportation security throughout the nation; consequently, it is necessary for you to serve at those locations where TSA needs your skills and experience.

Latest revision: 17 January 2013