TSA at a Glance Factsheet

TSA was created in the aftermath of 9/11 to oversee security in all modes of transportation and completed federalization of security operations by the end of 2002. TSA became part of the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003, making up a quarter of the DHS workforce. TSA’s scope includes commercial and general aviation; mass transit systems; freight and passenger rail; highways, pipelines and ports.

TSA practices an intelligence driven, risk-based approach to security, comprising multiple security methods while utilizing cutting-edge technology and maintaining a flexible, highly trained workforce.


Protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.


An agile security agency, embodied by a professional workforce, that engages its partners and the American people to outmatch a dynamic threat.

Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Commitment

Workforce Expectations

  • Hard work
  • Professionalism
  • Integrity

TSA Workforce

Checkpoint Worker

TSA comprises nearly 65,000 employees including approximately 50,000 transportation security officers as well as transportation security inspectors, transportation security specialists, administrative and other security professionals

Transportation Security Officers

Transportation security officers screen more than 2 million passengers each day at nearly 440 airports nationwide. Officers are trained to spot prohibited items, and on average, discover nine firearms per day at security checkpoints.

Transportation Security Specialists - Explosives

Hand Swipe

Over 350 explosives specialists provide expertise in aviation and multimodal environments. The specialists provide advanced training to the screening workforce in explosives, improvised explosive devices, artful concealment and terrorist incidents.

Transportation Security Inspectors

More than 1,200 transportation security inspectors ensure the compliance of standard operating procedures, conduct assessments, provide recommendations and manage non-compliance cases. These inspectors oversee more than 40,000 transportation operators in aviation, surface and cargo modes.

Behavior Detection


Explosives Detection Canine Teams

K9 in DCA

More than 1,000 canine teams are deployed at aviation, mass transit and maritime transportation locations throughout the United States. Each team is composed of one dog and one handler, and together they undergo several months of intensive training at the TSA explosives detection canine handler course in San Antonio, Texas.


Federal Air Marshal Service

Thousands of federal air marshals are deployed every day on domestic and international flights. In addition, FAMS is responsible for managing federal VIPR support, explosives detection K-9 teams, the federal flight deck officer program and the crew member self-defense program.

Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams

VIPR teams serve as a flexible and unconventional security technique that can be deployed at random locations and times in cooperation with local authorities to detect, deter and defeat acts of terrorism and organized crime activities. In addition, VIPR teams deploy to provide additional law enforcement or security presence during specific alert periods or special events.

TSA Programs

Secure Flight Program

Secure Flight is a program that serves to prevent individuals on the no-fly list from boarding an aircraft and to identify individuals on the selectee list for enhanced screening. After matching passenger information against government watch lists, Secure Flight transmits the matching results back to airlines so they can issue passenger boarding passes.

TSA PreCheck® Program

TSA PreCheck® is an expedited screening program that makes risk assessments about passengers prior to their arrival at an airport checkpoint. The program has expanded to  over 200 airports with over 600  application centers open nationwide.

Surface Transportation Program

Within the surface transportation systems, TSA’s primary security focus is in oversight, cooperation, and regulation. TSA works collaboratively with surface transportation operators, local, state and federal security partners to ensure appropriate security postures are employed. Along with industry partners, TSA safeguards all four general modes of land-based transportation: mass transit, freight rail, highway motor carrier and pipeline.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program

TWIC is a joint TSA/U.S. Coast Guard program which manages the world’s most advanced interoperable biometric card used at maritime ports throughout the nation.

Last Updated on July 27, 2022