Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) holds the claim of being the world’s busiest origin and destination airfield. This means it handles the greatest number of non-connecting passengers on the planet. In effect, L.A. puts to work the largest body of transportation security screeners in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To protect travelers from potential harm, these credentialed professionals must comply with strict Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations by inspecting systematically each person or item that enters an aircraft. In the wake of the September 11, 2011, terrorist attacks against the U.S. and subsequent threats, a demand for competent screeners remains active.

“The need for a well-trained TSA security officer has progressed significantly and will continue to do so in coming years,” said Nico Melendez, a TSA public affairs manager. “As the security threat evolves and technology improves, TSA will continue to rely upon adept and highly-motivated individuals.”

Melendez said the number of available job openings for proficient transportation security screeners in L.A. is flourishing.

“TSA recruits and trains dozens of employees each year,” said Melendez. “Through recurrent training and annual recertification, TSA has the best-trained aviation security workforce in our nation’s history.”

What are the primary job prerequisites?

“Key requirements include a high school diploma or GED, and proficiency in the English language. Applicants must also pass a background check, drug test and medical evaluation, and be able to pass the training.”

Why is this vocation a fitting one to pursue in L.A.?

“The position of transportation security officer at LAX or any southland airport is ideal for a wide range of prospective entry level or managerial employees for part-time or full-time slots with benefits and job opportunities throughout the federal government.”

What is your advice to aspiring transportation security screeners?

“I encourage them to identify their ultimate objective, either with TSA, another agency or the private sector. Then, map out a plan to achieve the goal. If a TSA security officer is the pinnacle of a career, terrific. If it’s a stepping stone, great. They must determine going in how to reach their vocational destination.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.

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