Transportation Security Inspector: Job Duties and Career Overview

Sep 29, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a transportation security inspector. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and job opportunities to find out if this is the career for you.

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Transportation security inspectors usually need only a high school diploma, and they typically receive training on the job. These positions have a median annual salary around $74,000.

Essential Information

Individuals working as transportation security inspectors (TSIs) help secure transportation systems, including railways, highways, airports, and seaports. These professionals follow safety protocols, inspect and operate security equipment, identify potential security threats, and respond to security violations. TSIs typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, and many receive on-the-job training. Previous experience in security or the military may be preferred by some employers.

Required Education GED or high school diploma
Other Requirements Submit to background checks for federal positions
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 4% for transportation inspectors
Median Salary (2018)* $73,780 for transportation inspectors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

Transportation security inspectors are responsible for completing a variety of tasks associated with the safety of America's transportation systems. Job duties include following safety protocols to ensure the efficient and safe movement of people and goods. Inspectors may be asked to do the following:

  • Identify potential security threats
  • Respond to security violations
  • Conduct civil investigations
  • Collect and enter data and evidence relevant to investigations and inspections
  • Make recommendations to approve or enhance current security protocols
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with all safety regulations, policies, and security measures
  • Inspect and operate security equipment
  • Ensure safe transport of hazardous materials

Transportation security inspectors contribute to the overall security of the system to which they are assigned. In order to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the transportation system, inspectors must utilize technology and evaluate human factors to ensure operational efficiency and compliance. Transportation security inspectors may obtain jobs in a variety of fields, including air safety, rail safety, and traffic safety.

Career Opportunities

Transportation security inspectors interested in working with the Department of Homeland Security may seek jobs within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Transportation security inspectors may also seek employment with agencies within the United States Department of Transportation, including the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Inspectors with advanced training, knowledge and experience may pursue an advanced position with the TSA, such as transportation security specialist or security representative.

Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for transportation inspectors are expected to increase by approximately 4% between 2018 and 2028. The U.S. Department of Transportation attributes this growth to a growing public demand to increase safety measures. The BLS also reported that the median salary for transportation inspectors was $73,780 per year as of 2018.

Transportation security inspectors inspect transportation systems to ensure compliance with safety protocols as well as identify potential safety issues. They may work in a variety of transportation fields and may consider working for numerous federal agencies.

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