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User's Guide to Career Path Information

Career Toolbox

The career path information tools are designed so you have multiple ways to get to the same result - information that will help you establish developmental and career goals. These tools can be used in conjunction with TSA's Career Planning Guide to help you build a career plan. Even though each tool on the career path information page is a separate document, there are links within most of the tools so that you can access the same information without having to go back to the introductory page. Career path information describes options for employee movement within and among positions and levels but does not limit employees from considering other options for career growth. Alternately, applying strategies or attaining competencies identified in the career path guidance is not a guarantee of promotion or career change. Actual movement to another position depends on many variables, such as the need to fill a position, the level of performance and achievement of individual employees, prior experience and education of employees, and the quality of candidates for a given position vacancy. Please keep in mind that this is a "living" document and we are interested in hearing from you on how useful the information is and how we can refine it so it meet your needs. There is a link at the end of this document you can use to contact us. Below is an explanation of each of the career path tools and tips on how to use them.

Career Path Model

This model is an illustration that demonstrates possible career path options that screeners and other employees can pursue as career goals. The model shows several TSA positions and typical pay bands (e.g., D, F) for each position. You can identify a target position and then review the differences between your position and the target position by selecting a position from the job list shown on this page. For example, the model indicates it is possible for a Lead Screener to become a Training Coordinator or a Supervisory Screener. If you are currently a Lead Screener, you can first click on the Lead Screener from the job list to review the requirements, major functions, and competencies of your current position. Then, you can return either to the model or the introductory page and click on the Training Coordinator from the list of jobs to learn more about that position. When you click on the competencies within either of these job profiles, you will be taken to a page, within the competency catalog, that defines the competency, shows how the competency applies to the position you selected as well as how it applies to other positions. If you scroll further down the page, you will see a list of developmental activities you can consider to help enhance or build the competency. For some competencies, we also have provided suggestions to supervisors on how they can help support employees in building skills.

Competency Catalog

Competencies are knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that lead to successful performance on the job. The catalog is a chart that lists TSA-wide competencies and courses you can take, through the Online Learning Center (OLC), to build these competencies. It also identifies positions associated with each competency. Competencies are listed in alphabetical order. You can learn how a particular competency applies to a position by clicking on the competency. This will take you to a page that displays detailed information on how the competency applies to each position (listed in alphabetical order) as well as developmental activities you can consider to build skill in that competency. As mentioned above, for some competencies, we also have provided suggestions to supervisors on how they can help support employees in building skills. Not all competencies have developmental activities listed. We will be adding information as part of the process of refining these tools. The same information in the competency catalog also can be accessed when you select a job from the Job List. If you just want a quick visual on how competencies apply across positions, you can click on the link to the Competency Matrix.

TSA Job List

The job list provides detailed information on the jobs we have studied to date. Clicking on one of the jobs will take you to a job profile page that provides information on the following:

  • Typical pay bands associated with the position
  • Basic selection qualifications that applicants must meet to minimally qualify for the position
  • Major functions/duties of the position
  • General and Technical competencies required for successful performance in the position

Both the major functions and the general and technical competencies are hyperlinked to another page so that when you click on a competency or function, you can get more details about that competency or function. For example, a major function identified for the Assistant Federal Security Director (ASFD) for Screening is "Sets Direction for Screening Operations." When you click on this function, it takes you to a page that displays the typical tasks performed to carry out this function. An example of a competency associated with this position is "Accountability." When you click on this competency, it will take you to a page within the competency catalog that describes behaviors, tasks, knowledge, or skills the AFSD for Screening performs or uses when applying this competency on the job. The page also describes how the competency applies to other positions and provides information on developmental activities you can consider in developing the competency. The page within the competency catalog lists jobs alphabetically so you may have to scroll down to find the job you are looking for information on. For example, if you are in the Training Coordinator job profile and you select the competency "Accountability," it will take you to the page within the competency catalog that describes how this competency applies to all jobs that require this competency, starting with jobs beginning with "A." You will need to scroll down the page to find the Training Coordinator position.

Other Sections

Career Path Information - How it is developed

This section explains the methods used to develop career path information.

Section for Supervisors

This section provides tips to supervisors to assist them in holding career discussions with employees.

Latest revision: 01 January 2013