How to Become an Airport Security Officer

America changed with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and so did the way Americans traveled as tight security precautions replaced cursorily baggage screening. In the vanguard of these enhanced security protocols is the ubiquitous airline security officer. Operating security checkpoints throughout the airport, an airline security officer is tasked with keeping us safe on the ground and in the air, so if you feel you have what it takes to be on the frontlines in the war on terror, your career in aviation security can prove a rewarding and satisfying career choice.

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Responsibilities and Job Description

As an airline security officer, you will have a myriad of tasks and skill sets that you will need to master to protect the nation’s flying public effectively. Chief among these responsibilities is the screening of passengers and baggage against weapons, explosives, and other potentially hazardous material that can be used to takeover or down an airliner.

As such, you will learn how to use the most modern screening equipment available, including operating X-ray machinery, with completion of training, as well as facing the rigors of dealing with thousands of passengers a day as they queue up to get to their flights. Additionally, as an airline security officer, you will patrol the airport to form a visual deterrent, while also keeping unauthorized personnel from accessing sensitive portions of the airport. Further job descriptions include confiscating prohibited items, securing breaches of security, and keeping an accurate record of all security measures and lapses while you were on duty.

Training and Certification Requirements

The majority of airport security officer positions require a two-year associate degree as well as a background in the security field. Coursework in criminal justice is a recommended precondition for learning the skill sets necessary of an airport security officer. As noted, earning certification in X-ray technology will give any candidate a leg-up in the selection process for qualified candidates to keep our airports safe.

As an airport security officer, you will be required to be well versed in accurate report writing, and you will be relying on your instincts day-by-day as you interact with a varied traveling population while assessing them for possible security threats. Balancing customer service against security needs, you will exhibit excellent conflict management skills, as well as the ability to juggle more security issues than the typical commercial security position.