What does a Transportation Security Screener do?

Conduct screening of passengers, baggage, or cargo to ensure compliance with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. May operate basic security equipment such as x-ray machines and hand wands at screening checkpoints.

Jobs Roles

  • Ask passengers to remove shoes and divest themselves of metal objects prior to walking through metal detectors.
  • Check passengers' tickets to ensure that they are valid, and to determine whether passengers have designations that require special handling, such as providing photo identification.
  • Close entry areas following security breaches or reopen areas after receiving notification that the airport is secure.
  • Confiscate dangerous items and hazardous materials found in opened bags and turn them over to airlines for disposal.
  • Contact leads or supervisors to discuss objects of concern that are not on prohibited object lists.
  • Contact police directly in cases of urgent security issues, using phones or two-way radios.
  • Decide whether baggage that triggers alarms should be searched or should be allowed to pass through.
  • Direct passengers to areas where they can pick up their baggage after screening is complete.
  • Inform other screeners when baggage should not be opened because it might contain explosives.
  • Inform passengers of how to mail prohibited items to themselves, or confiscate these items.
  • Inspect carry-on items, using x-ray viewing equipment, to determine whether items contain objects that warrant further investigation.
  • Inspect checked baggage for signs of tampering.
  • Locate suspicious bags pictured in printouts sent from remote monitoring areas, and set these bags aside for inspection.
  • Monitor passenger flow through screening checkpoints to ensure order and efficiency.
  • Notify supervisors or other appropriate personnel when security breaches occur.
  • Perform pat-down or hand-held wand searches of passengers who have triggered machine alarms, who are unable to pass through metal detectors, or who have been randomly identified for such searches.
  • Record information about any baggage that sets off alarms in monitoring equipment.
  • Search carry-on or checked baggage by hand when it is suspected to contain prohibited items such as weapons.
  • Send checked baggage through automated screening machines, and set bags aside for searching or rescreening as indicated by equipment.
  • Test baggage for any explosive materials, using equipment such as explosive detection machines or chemical swab systems.
  • View images of checked bags and cargo, using remote screening equipment, and alert baggage screeners or handlers to any possible problems.
  • Watch for potentially dangerous persons whose pictures are posted at checkpoints.
  • Challenge suspicious people, requesting their badges and asking what their business is in a particular areas.
  • Follow those who breach security until police or other security personnel arrive to apprehend them.
  • Patrol work areas to detect any suspicious items.
  • Provide directions and respond to passenger inquiries.
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