Transportation security screeners
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Overview
Conduct screening of passengers, baggage, or cargo to ensure compliance with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. May operate basic security equipment such as x-ray machines and hand wands at screening checkpoints.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for transportation security screeners are expected to grow by 3%, and should have about 4,200 job openings a year.
Workforce size
Transportation security screeners, with 46,100 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Education
Only 28% of transportation security screeners have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by transportation security screeners
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 60% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for transportation security screeners. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most transportation security screeners.
This job's median $41KAll jobs' median $39K$41K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 35% of transportation security screeners -- that's a smaller percentage than 50% of other jobs.
Gender of transportation security screeners
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For transportation security screeners, the median men's salary was 4% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 39% of transportation security screeners are minority, and 15% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of transportation security screeners
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (15%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Transportation Security Screeners per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 51% of transportation security screeners, and 66% have company-sponsored health insurance (18% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for transportation security screeners
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of transportation security screeners who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (96%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (71%)
  • Exposed to Radiation (67%)
  • Consequence of Error (67%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (56%)
  • Time Pressure (56%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (55%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (48%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do transportation security screeners earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for transportation security screeners, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for transportation security screeners compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for transportation security screeners (BLS Salary Data)
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all transportation security screeners, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for transportation security screeners compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for transportation security screeners (ACS Salary Data)
$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where transportation security screeners work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Transportation security screeners (ACS)
Private for-profit (13.0%)
Private not-for-profit (0.8%)
Local government (4.5%)
State government (3.3%)
Federal government (78.3%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.0%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.0%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of transportation security screeners by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$42K$46K$42K$35K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Federal governmentLocal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of transportation security screeners by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$41K$41K$43K$43K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for transportation security screeners

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$38K$46K$42K$46K$43K$42K$45K$46K$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3K4K5KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Transportation security screeners and gender

With 35% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 50% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
35%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Transportation security screeners
Men (65%)
Women (35%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is better for transportation security screeners, with the median salary for men only 3.9% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$41K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Transportation security screeners have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 87% of other jobs.

4%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of transportation security screeners

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority transportation security screeners than for 96% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of transportation security screeners
White (56% )
Black (25% )
Asian (7% )
Other (5% )
Multiracial (4% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
39%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for transportation security screeners by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$41K$42K$42K$42K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KOtherBlackWhiteMultiracialAsian
Distribution: Salaries for transportation security screeners by nativity
$41K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by transportation security screeners

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), transportation security screeners typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as transportation security screeners as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for transportation security screeners.

Education attained by transportation security screeners
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for transportation security screeners? Below we see the distribution of transportation security screeners salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as transportation security screeners, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$41K$42K$42K$43K$49K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KHigh School (23%)Some College (33%)Associate's Degree (14%)Bachelor's Degree (22%)Master's Degree (5%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by transportation security screeners

This table shows the college majors held by people working as transportation security screeners. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Transportation security screeners with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
4.9%
$0$200K$63K
4.6%
$0$200K$53K
2.5%
$0$200K$87K
2.4%
$0$200K$60K
2.4%
$0$200K$56K
2.3%
$0$200K$51K
1.7%
$0$200K$55K
1.6%
$0$200K$67K
1.5%
$0$200K$54K
1.5%
$0$200K$89K
1.3%
$0$200K$51K
1.2%
$0$200K$63K
1.2%
$0$200K$48K
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as transportation security screeners, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by transportation security screeners given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Police officersManagers (specialized areas)Social workersProbation officers and correctional treatment specialistsSecurity Guards and Gaming Surveillance OfficersBailiffs, correctional officers, and jailersLawyers, judges, and magistratesDetectives and criminal investigatorsFirst-Line Supervisors of Police and DetectivesElementary and middle school teachersAccountants and auditorsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersFinancial managersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesChief executives and legislatorsSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersRetail salespersonsCounselorsPsychologistsPostsecondary teachersPhysicians and surgeonsEducation administratorsManagement analystsApplications and systems software developersComputer programmersComputer and information systems managersComputer occupations (specialized areas)Computer systems analystsComputer support specialistsNetwork and computer systems administratorsSecondary school teachersCustomer service representativesSpecial Education TeachersPreschool and kindergarten teachersTeachers and instructors (specialized areas)Physical therapistsRecreation and fitness workersAthletes, coaches, umpires, and related workersRegistered nursesCriminal Justice and FireProtectionBusiness Management andAdministrationGeneral BusinessPsychologyPolitical Science andGovernmentComputer ScienceHistoryCommunicationsGeneral EducationPhysical Fitness, Parks,Recreation, and LeisureAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for transportation security screeners

What jobs will most transportation security screeners hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of transportation security screeners reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Transportation security screenersSecurity Guards and Gaming Surveillance OfficersPolice officersFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersWaiters and waitressesFirst-Line Supervisors of Protective Service WorkersGeneral office clerksCompliance officersOccupational Therapy Assistants and AidesDriver/sales workers and truck driversChief executives and legislatorsSecurity and fire alarm systems installersMarketing and sales managersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersAgricultural inspectors
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for transportation security screeners

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 4 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as transportation security screeners as well as 1% of respondents after working as transportation security screeners. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for transportation security screeners
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers
159,200
$0$200K$29K
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
Police officers
49,900
$0$200K$62K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for transportation security screeners: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as transportation security screeners? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of transportation security screeners surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for transportation security screeners
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Registered nurses
203,800
$0$200K$63K
1.4%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
3.5%
Elementary and middle school teachers
164,300
$0$200K$51K
2.2%
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers
159,200
$0$200K$29K
23.0%
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
2.4%
Accountants and auditors
143,000
$0$200K$60K
1.8%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
4.1%
Designers
61,700
$0$200K$51K
1.4%
Police officers
49,900
$0$200K$62K
1.6%
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
34,300
$0$200K$26K
1.3%
Office and administrative support workers
30,900
$0$200K$40K
1.4%
Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
28,500
$0$200K$43K
1.9%
Computer programmers
15,700
$0$200K$82K
1.6%
Tour and travel guides
9,700
$0$200K$25K
1.6%
Private detectives and investigators
4,600
$0$200K$53K
1.6%
Transportation security screeners
4,200
$0$200K$42K
39.4%
Transportation attendants
2,700
$0$200K$27K
1.5%
No occupation
3.7%
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for transportation security screeners
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 60% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for transportation security screeners. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $41KAll jobs' median $39K$43K$39K201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for transportation security screeners are anticipated to grow by 3% over the next decade; 71% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for transportation security screeners is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20102015202020252030020,00040,00060,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most transportation security screeners? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as transportation security screeners. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Transportation Security Screeners per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where transportation security screeners earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for transportation security screeners compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for transportation security screeners.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Transportation Security Screeners to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which transportation security screeners earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Transportation security screeners (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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