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Career and Education Opportunities for Transportation Security Officers in Tampa, Florida

Transportation security officer career and educational opportunities abound in Tampa, Florida. There are currently 9,240 working transportation security officers in Florida; this should grow 18% to 10,860 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 $14 hourly or $30,090 per year on average in Florida. Nationally, their income is about $14 hourly or $29,120 annually. Transportation security officers earn less than people working in the category of Police and Security generally in Florida and less than people in the Police and Security category nationally. Transportation security officers work in a variety of jobs, including: flight security specialist, passenger screener, and baggage security checker.

There are fifty-four schools of higher education in the Tampa area, including three within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a transportation security officer. The most common level of education for transportation security officers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Tampa 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.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
  • 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

Pasco-Hernando Community College - New Port Richey, FL

Pasco-Hernando Community College, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654-5199. Pasco-Hernando Community College is a medium sized college located in New Port Richey, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,602 students. Pasco-Hernando Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eighty-one students in 2008.

St Petersburg College - Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College, 14025 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760. St Petersburg College is a large college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,099 students. St Petersburg College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated seventy-five students in 2008.

Hillsborough Community College - Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College, 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584. Hillsborough Community College is a large college located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,037 students. Hillsborough Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eighty-four 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: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.