Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Transportation Security Officers in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for transportation security officers. There are currently 920 working transportation security officers in Alabama; this should grow by 23% to about 1,140 working transportation security officers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for transportation security officers are expected to grow by about 14.0%. Transportation security officers generally inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.

Income for transportation security officers is about $10 per hour or $21,410 yearly on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $14 per hour or $29,120 per year. Transportation security officers earn less than people working in the category of Police and Security generally in Alabama and less than people in the Police and Security category nationally. People working as transportation security officers can fill a number of jobs, such as: transportation security screener, airport security screener, and airport screener.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a transportation security officer. Transportation security officers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a transportation security officer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Transportation Security Officer

In general, transportation security officers inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.

Transportation security officers close entry areas following security breaches or reopen areas after receiving notification that an airport is secure. They also locate suspicious bags pictured in printouts sent from remote monitoring areas, and set these bags aside for inspection. Equally important, transportation security officers have to view images of checked bags and cargo, using remote screening equipment, and alert baggage screeners or handlers to any possible problems. They are often called upon to confiscate dangerous items and hazardous materials found in opened bags and turn them over to airlines for disposal. They are expected to follow those who breach security until police or other security staff arrive to apprehend them. Finally, transportation security officers challenge suspicious people, requesting their badges and asking what their business is in a particular areas.

Every day, transportation security officers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to solve different sorts of problems in different ways depending upon circumstances. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for transportation security officers to search carry-on or checked baggage by hand when it is suspected to contain prohibited items such as weapons. They are often called upon to 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. They also notify supervisors or other appropriate staff when security breaches occur. They are sometimes expected to ask passengers to remove shoes and divest themselves of metal objects before walking through metal detectors. Somewhat less frequently, transportation security officers are also expected to furnish directions and respond to passenger inquiries.

Transportation security officers sometimes are asked to furnish directions and respond to passenger inquiries. and decide whether baggage that triggers alarms should be searched or should be allowed to pass through. And finally, they sometimes have to 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.

Like many other jobs, transportation security officers must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Transportation Security Officer Training

Jefferson State Community College - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson State Community College, 2601 Carson Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215-3098. Jefferson State Community College is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,718 students. Jefferson State Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated nine and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Airport Certified Employee - Security: AAAE is proud to introduce another comprehensive professional certification program.

For more information, see the American Association of Airport Executives website.

Certified in Homeland Security: Professionals with significant and demonstrable experience in areas that interface with Homeland Security may be eligible for granted Certification in Homeland Security.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Certified Confidentiality Officer: Professional certification validates your training and experience in your present career.

For more information, see the Business Espionage Controls and Countermeasures Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.