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Federal Security Director

Airport security is a crucial part of safety of each flight that leaves the airport as well as the international flying community. There’s one person that oversees the security agents, protocols, and arrests of each airport: federal security director – also called the director of airport security or Transportation Security Administration (TSA) director. If you have extensive management experience and an interest in protecting America’s flights and passengers, this may be a great career move for you. Simply use our directory of criminal justice programs to find the right one for you.

TSA Director Job Description

Security directors are required to be strong leaders, whether their airport employs 50 or 500 people. Each day, you may meet with your security agents to go over safety threats, changes in protocols, and any recent security updates. You may also work on the front lines of airport security, checking patients and luggage for illegal goods or weapons. Communication is a prominent part of this job. As part of your daily job or in response to airport threats, you may communicate with local airports or those that your flights travel to on a regular basis. It’s clear that a position of this rank and importance requires quite a bit of training and work experience. If your long-term goal is to become a director of airport security, you may need to work up to that goal by beginning your career as an airport security agent.

How to Become a TSA Director

The Transportation Security Administration is responsible for hiring and managing federal security directors at airports. They have very stringent requirements for directors of airport security. Throughout the hiring process, they’ll assess your ability to handle stress and verify that your skills are in line with what is required for this job.

Many of the skills required in this field are directly related to management and leadership. You must be able to carry out security plans, set priorities in regards to staffing and scheduling, and set appropriate goals for the airport. However, you must also be an effective leader. They may look at your job history to see if you have a record of motivating employees, inspiring positive change within an organization, and changing your leadership style as needed.

On top of these skills, you must have a considerable amount of experience in the security sector or airport operations. Work experience in several different fields may qualify you for a job at this level. Per the Transportation Security Administration, acceptable fields include airport security, corporate security, law enforcement, and military force protections. Regardless of your past job experience, you must have senior level management work experience. Since you may need to gain seniority and hands-on experience at an airport to be able to pursue this job, getting an education in airport security may help you reach your career goals. Many airports prefer their employees to have a degree in criminal justice or a similar field. At the International Air Transport Association, students can study airport security legislation, aviation security, management of airport facilities, and passenger screening. You must also meet the security requirements of the TSA. It’s likely that you’ll have to go through a rigorous background screening. This will determine whether or not you can get the security clearance required for a high-level airport job.

TSA Career Outlook and Salary Potential

It’s important to be patient if you want to become a director of airport security. The job outlook for this career isn’t as positive as it is for other careers, simply because there are fewer positions available throughout the country. Most airports only have one position available, and some smaller airports do not even have security directors. However, if you are willing to bide your time as an airport security agent and wait for a position to open up, you may be able to develop the skills and experience necessary to improve your job outlook.
The pay you may receive as an airport security director depends on which pay band you are hired at. Since this is a high-level position, you can typically expect to start at a high pay band. Those who are hired at Pay Band J may have base salaries of $72,078 to $111,718. You may also receive locality pay; the amount depends on where you live and that area’s cost of living.

As a director of airport security, you may be responsible for spearheading new developments and techniques in airport security. For example, in April fof 2018, LaGuardia Airport began using a “security robot“. As director of airport security, you would need to stay on top of new technologies such as these.

If you want to make sure that the country’s airports and passengers are safe, this may be an excellent career path for you! Use our directory to request information from top schools today!