How do I Become an Airport Security Officer?

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  • Written By: T. Webster
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2019
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Air travel safety is an ongoing concern, especially since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001 and other breaches of security or attempted bombing incidents. Events such as these have resulted in increased security in airports around the world. Increased airport security means there is an ongoing need for qualified airport security officers to help keep flying as safe as possible. To become an airport security officer, any experience in security or aviation screening is helpful, and you might need to complete a certification program.

You likely will need at least a high school education or its equivalent in order to become an airport security officer. An associate’s degree is helpful although not necessarily required. Your best bet might be to investigate whether the agency in your country that oversees airport security recommends or offers a certification program.

A certification program to become an airport security officer typically includes learning how to recognize potential security breaches and terrorist acts. Other areas of training include planning skills, crisis prevention and security laws or regulations. Certification programs usually last only a few months.

In some cases, you might not need a formal certification program to become an airport security officer. Some airport security agencies offer on-the-job training to successful applicants. Being a successful applicant usually means passing a background check, a credit check, a physical examination and any other required screening tests.


Some airport security officers choose to or are required to attend ongoing training. This can happen when new airport screening technology is introduced. Ongoing training might also be necessary when new methods of security threats are discovered.

After you become an airport security officer, you might be subject to ongoing approvals for continued employment. This is in addition to meeting all performance requirements of the job itself. For example, failing a drug test or being arrested for a crime might render you ineligible for continued employment.

Specific duties of the job include checking luggage and monitoring and controlling the entry of passengers into various screening checkpoints. While doing this, you will be expected to look for any suspicious passengers, luggage or cargo. Confidentiality is important because you might have access to classified security information.

Additionally, you must communicate effectively with supervisors and other workers, especially if you notice a potential security breach. As an airport security officer, expect to stand in one place for long stretches of time. Being physically fit also is important, because you will be expected to handle luggage and other heavy items.


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Post 3

Drentel - Airport security guard jobs might be a good career path. Provided you have a clean history and a high school degree, you should have a decent chance of landing a position, especially since there are so many more positions now with the increase in security at airports. However, I'm not sure the pay is great, but maybe the benefits are okay and I would think job security (no pun intended) is good.

Like any job, I'm sure it gets monotonous at times. I mean how many bags of luggage or body scans can you look at before your eyes start blurring? Also, there are all those passengers to deal with. Some people are not so nice when traveling. Oh yes, and there is that issue of criminals who actually want to blow up something or injure people. I know airport attacks are rare, but there is always the possibility.

Post 2

Security officer jobs seem like a cool way to make a living. It depends on where you are working I guess. The airport seems like a good location. You get to see different people and you get to move around a bit.

Most of the guards work inside, so unless you are one of the officers who works outside you get to enjoy a comfortable, not too hot, not too cold work environment.

Post 1

Airport security jobs have become a high profile area of employment. I can remember not so long ago when I hardly gave security or security officers in airports a second thought. That was when officers were just part of the scenery, like luggage carts, flight attendants and chairs.

I don't know whether it is the increase in the number of security guards in airports that has made me more aware, or the increase in talk about possible attacks at airports in general.

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