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Career and Education Opportunities for Transportation Security Officers in Madison, Wisconsin

Transportation security officers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Madison, Wisconsin area. There are currently 1,220 jobs for transportation security officers in Wisconsin and this is projected to grow by 6% to 1,290 jobs 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. 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.

Transportation security officers earn approximately $13 per hour or $28,270 per year on average in Wisconsin. Nationally they average about $14 hourly or $29,120 annually. Earnings for transportation security officers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Wisconsin and not quite as good as general Police and Security category earnings nationally. Transportation security officers work in a variety of jobs, including: passenger screener, security screener, and baggage inspector.

The Madison area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can get a degree 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 Madison 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

Herzing College - Madison, WI

Herzing College, 5218 E. Terrace Dr., Madison, WI 53718. Herzing College is a small college located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,085 students. Herzing College has a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated five students in 2008.

Blackhawk Technical College - Janesville, WI

Blackhawk Technical College, 6004 County Road G, Janesville, WI 53547-5009. Blackhawk Technical College is a small college located in Janesville, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,755 students. Blackhawk Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated forty and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Madison Area Technical College - Madison, WI

Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson St, Madison, WI 53704. Madison Area Technical College is a large college located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 14,553 students. Madison Area Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eighty-six and seventy 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: Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.