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Thread: TSA- TSO Questions

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    TSA- TSO Questions

    Hey all,


    I did a search and didn't seem to find anything on TSA as a TSO.

    Anyway, I recently applied to an opening in a small airport in Colorado. The announcement said it may be "Part-Time" work. I had a few questions about this and a few questions about other things.

    If someone who has experience can PM me, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NY8739JR View Post
    Hey all,


    I did a search and didn't seem to find anything on TSA as a TSO.
    That is because it is not a law enforcement job. No more than mall security is law enforcement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceSeeker View Post
    Glorified Security Guard. No thanks. They don't make much.
    Yup basically.
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    Try TSA.gov. Don't knock the tso job fellas. Great way into fed govt. decent $$, and benefits.
    Lots of the smart guys and gals use it as a stepping stone to greener pastures. It's a thankless job, but needed, just like the police.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliceSeeker View Post
    Glorified Security Guard. No thanks. They don't make much.
    I already have a well paying police job. I have my reasons for wanting to make a change in my life. Its not always about the money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY8739JR View Post
    I already have a well paying police job.
    LE to TSA....? I'd advise you to think about that change......and perhaps look for LE gigs where you are wanting to move to (if that's the case) because once you go to TSA....it will be very, very doubtful that you get back into LE......
    sgt jon and JDGM0710 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcat357 View Post
    LE to TSA....? I'd advise you to think about that change......and perhaps look for LE gigs where you are wanting to move to (if that's the case) because once you go to TSA....it will be very, very doubtful that you get back into LE......
    I'd advise you exactly the same. Think very thoroughly about making this type of change. Several years ago, I resigned from an Agency to leave LE and manage a profitable family business. Although the business was great, and I was doing very well, I began to miss working in LE. I didn't have a passion for my new work like I did in LE. About a year later, I owned up to what I feel was my mistake of resigning, and applied to several Agencies. Finally, after the incredibly long amount of time the hiring process takes, and addressing many tough questions as to why I resigned, an Agency hired me back into LE. It was a damn good feeling to be back in the field I originally had thought I didn't like, but it turns out I actually love with a new appreciation after having left then return. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the old saying goes. So please, think about this very carefully.
    Bearcat357 likes this.
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    I have a question as well.

    How long is the application process for these positions?

    I work as a seasonal LE Ranger for the National Park Service and basically the only way I am going to get permanent is by going to another agency and get in that way. I have applied for BOP, and just found TSA has an interchange agreement and after one year of TSA service (even just part time) I can apply for status jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esco View Post
    Try TSA.gov. Don't knock the tso job fellas. Great way into fed govt. decent $$, and benefits.

    Lots of the smart guys and gals use it as a stepping stone to greener pastures. It's a thankless job, but needed, just like the police.
    This post should come with a warning label- results and actual mileage may vary. TSO positions are so misunderstood by folks that the TSA produced a video titled: Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Realistic Job Preview video, which I would say that you should watch so as to make a fully informed decision: http://www.realisticjobpreview.net/tsa_final.htm

    It is NOT a law enforcement position and as such you will not see much about in on a Law Enforcement centric job forum. That said, the most important thing to know about TSA and these positions is that they are in the Excepted Service.

    What is excepted service you ask?

    TSA is an excepted service agency. Employment with TSA does not confer the "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies. However, permanent employees who have at least one year of continuous service with TSA will be eligible to apply for positions in other Federal agencies under the OPM-DHS Interchange Agreement.
    Short of the long- your “status” remains with excepted service agencies alone. As excepted service you can be let go and lack some of the constructive rights a federal employee in the competitive service garners after passing tenure.

    While a TSO job “gets your foot in the door” so to say- it does not convey competitive status. Yes, DHS has interchange agreements with some other federal agencies- it is limited and subject to several conditions that for the sake of space we will skip. Can you move from a TSO position to another job? Sure you can, but DO NOT assume that the time spent as a TSO will provide credible experience to be more competitive for an 1811 position elsewhere.

    Take some time to research the job outside the confines of this site to learn more.
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    It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
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