Working for the Department of Homeland Security (Part 2)
Higher levels of security are now a way of life at airports. On the front lines in this effort is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Here is a sampling of the employment opportunities that TSA has to offer.
Federal Air Marshal Jobs
TSA employs federal air marshals, and this job category is part of the Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service. The federal air marshals help to protect the flying public, but also work closely with other law enforcement agencies.
Federal air marshals fly on an average of 181 days per year, which is almost 900 hours and equates to 5 hours per day in the air. They must evaluate and discern suspicious activity, conduct investigations in order to protect the flying public and crew from terrorist violence. They also work with other law enforcement agencies.
The job series is GL-0082, and the pay is based on pay bands, that are different from other law enforcement in other agencies. Pay band G, ranges in salaries from $39,358 to $60,982, band H, ranges from $48,007 to $74,390, and band I, ranges from $58,495 to $90,717.
You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 to apply and no older than 37 years of age. You need at least three (3) years of general experience, one (1) year of which is equivalent to the F Band (or GS-4 grade level) or a bachelor’s degree and 1 year of work experience equivalent to a GS-4 to qualify for the position. You can also qualify with a combination of both experience and education. Recruits attend a residential training course at Artesia, NM that is 7 weeks in length. There is additional training at the Federal Air Marshal Training Academy in Atlantic City, NJ.
Air marshals are used to staff other organizations such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, National Counterterrisom Center, and the National Targeting Center.
Transportation Security Specialist Jobs
The transportation security specialist, (SV 1801-J) is part of the General Inspection, Enforcement, and Compliance job series. The salary range is from $89,535 to $138,776. You must either be a U.S. citizen or be U.S. National to apply for the position. This position is in a SV-J pay band, which is equivalent to a GS-14. To qualify for SV-J pay band you must have specialized experience at the SV-I pay band or at GS-13.
A transportation security specialist can serve in many capacities, such as a liaison for the Office of Security Operations. The liaison office for TSA is at the National Targeting Center – Cargo (NTC-C). Personnel from several agencies such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation staff the NTC-C.
At NTC-C, the transportation security specialist would be involved in securing air cargo. One example is identifying high-risk cargo shipments in the Air Cargo Advanced Screening (ACAS) program. This program provides tools necessary to enable risk-based, intelligence-driven approach to be applied to transportation security.
A transportation security specialist is considered part of the Office of Law Enforcement, Office of Security. The primary duties include monitoring, coordinating criminal and administrative investigations of non-TSA personnel. These types of investigations could lead to possible criminal, civil, or administrative actions in protecting and securing TSA facilities.
Transportation security specialists are also involved in policy development. This includes writing new policies, to revising exiting ones. They are responsible in the coordination from various branches, agencies, managers and other stakeholders relevant to written policies. Another important aspect of their duties is to ensure that documents are clear and concise; addressing risks and is from a sound regulatory framework.
The TSA has a responsibility to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement of people and commerce. There many great job opportunities such as security specialist, SV-0080/G-H, program analyst,
SV-0343/H-I, and transportation security officer (TSO), SV-1802/D.
In part 3 of this series on DHS, we will look at the Secret Service and the interesting role this agency plays in protecting our country.
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