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Airport Security Officer Career Profile

A person who wants to become an airport security officer should know how to protect America’s skies. An airport security officer has two primary functions: protect both airport and aircraft from attacks and crimes, and safeguard the passengers, crew, ground personnel, and the general public from illegal intervention with civil aviation. He should secure the entry points of runways and airfields, to stop possible attackers from any attempt of bringing bombs or weapons to the airport or aircraft.

Specific job duties of an Airport Security Officer

The main priority of an airport security officer is screening each passenger and airport staff departing from the airport, and inspecting their luggage using metal detector, x-ray machines, explosive trace equipment and manual body search, if necessary, to make sure that no prohibited and/or dangerous objects get into the aircraft, which could cause danger to the passengers and crew, as well as to the aircraft. He is also responsible for verifying the authenticity of travel documents of all passengers, staff and airport users.

Whenever assigned at fixed post, he performs physical inspection of vehicles, verifies the identification and authenticity of passes of employees, vendors, commercial drivers, and vehicles seeking entrance to restricted zones. An airport security officer also logs the activities during the day, and submits the report to his superior, usually an aviation supervisor.

Airport security officers must also be prepared for taking secondary duties, which may include:

  • Checking public areas for unauthorized access and unaccompanied items
  • Ensuring quick and safe evacuation of the general public from all areas of the airport, including all offices in the case of an emergency including fire, bomb threats
  • Evaluating and investigating unattended and/or suspicious objects and undertaking the required action
  • Assisting and responding to emergency situations such as terminal evacuations, aircraft emergencies, and security incidents
  • Monitoring of CCTV equipments
  • Collecting passenger trolleys from long-term and short-term car parks
  • Submitting written reports in the event of involvement in an incident
  • Escorting non-operational staff within restricted areas
  • Resolve general inquiries from passengers
  • Ensuring high level customer service and care
  • Patrolling the terminal and airside areas of the airport

Requirements to become an Airport Security Officer

It is recommended that airport security officers should have a criminal justice degree to ensure that they have the required skill set and knowledge in security management, homeland security, legal operations, interviewing and investigative techniques, and report writing, among others.

An applicant for airport security officer should have at least an associate degree in criminal justice and at least two years of work experience in the aviation industry. He should be a US citizen, physically fit, and must have an untainted criminal background.

The following schools offer criminal justice degrees which can help you gain the skills to become an Airport Security Officer:


How much does an Airport Security Officer make?

The salary of an airport security officer, like other jobs, varies depending on different factors, such as location, company, and experience. A security officer with less than one year of experience may earn from $25,000-$47,000, while a security officer with more than 20 years of experience can earn as much as $69,000.

Read More: Quiz: Would you make a good Police Officer?

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