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Career and Education Opportunities for Transportation Security Officers in Vancouver, Washington

For those living in the Vancouver, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for transportation security officers. Currently, 2,800 people work as transportation security officers in Washington. This is expected to grow by 12% to about 3,120 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for transportation security officers, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.0% over the next eight years. 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.

The income of a transportation security officer is about $17 per hour or $35,980 yearly on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $14 hourly or $29,120 annually on average. Transportation security officers earn less than people working in the category of Police and Security generally in Washington 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: security screener, baggage security checker, and airport security screener.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including two within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree to start your career as a transportation security officer. Given that the most common education level for transportation security officers is a high school diploma or GED, 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 Vancouver 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

Pioneer Pacific College - Wilsonville, OR

Pioneer Pacific College, 27501 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, OR 97070-9296. Pioneer Pacific College is a small college located in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,123 students. Pioneer Pacific College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated sixty-six students in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated zero and seven students respectively 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.