Airline Security Manager: Job Duties, Salary and Requirements

Sep 18, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an airline security manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary projections to find out if this is the career for you.

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Airline security manager jobs involve team management, leadership and an understanding of airport security technology and processes. An undergraduate degree in the business or criminal justice can prepare a candidate for this position, as can experience in protective or safety services. Experience in the airline industry is a bonus for any job candidate.

Essential Information

Security managers oversee a team of workers who ensure the safety of people and property. In the airline industry, safety and security managers lead workers who inspect passengers and baggage before it's loaded onto an airplane. Airline security managers require some formal education, and military or law enforcement experience can enhance job opportunities. Knowledge of airline security equipment is also important.

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice or business management
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 5% (for security guards) *
Median Annual Salary (2019) $66,009 (for security managers)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Pay Scale

Job Duties

Security managers monitor and access safety systems to ensure compliance with federal regulations. These professionals identify weaknesses in airline security and make recommendations in order to improve the safety of passengers. They must also communicate security concerns with federal regulators.

Other duties include hiring and training screeners to staff checkpoints and designing training programs to teach airline screeners and inspectors. These screeners must comply with federal regulations and the security policies of the airline. Airline security managers may be required to request maintenance or repair services for security equipment. Security managers for airlines must create work schedules and plans to fill the staffing requirements of each security checkpoint.

To keep airlines and the government abreast of any issues, airline security managers must prepare reports that detail security issues and incidents. Managers may also make recommendations for additional security staff or equipment to airline management personnel.


According to September 2019 data from, most security managers earned between $41,000 and $119,000. Professionals with 1 year expeirience earned $52,500, while those tenured professionals with 10-19 years experience earned $71,063, in 2019.


Airline security managers must have leadership skills to direct the activities of security personnel. Employers may require a minimum of an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice or business management for a position in security management. Military or law enforcement training or experience may enhance employment opportunities for aspiring airline security managers. Employers may also require managers to have experience using screening tools and equipment, which requires a work history in the airline security field.

Airline security managers are responsible for their teams, the security equipment being used by their airline and the overall safety of passengers, airline employees and baggage. An undergraduate degree is a first step when applying for this job, but preference might be given to candidates that have experience in the industry or in security services.

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