Transportation Security Administration Pay & Benefits reviews

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2.0
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Underpaid and Undervalued.
TSA SECURITY OFFICER (Former Employee) –  Queens, NYJune 18, 2019
If you are wondering why my review is so poor then google stories about TSA employees being unhappy. Raises are based on rigorous testing where even if you score highly you receive a 1% raise. Management was a revolving door of people who had no interest in the preservation of employees, Officers go through extremely difficult training every year and the pay does not reflect the amount of work that goes into the job. Then there is the physical aspect of the job. You are on your feet for the majority of the shift and they only give 15-30-15 minute breaks for an 8 1/2 hour day. Throw in a couple furloughs and this was easily one of the worst jobs I've ever had.
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2.0
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fast pace and stressful
Transportation Security Officer (Current Employee) –  La Guardia AirportJune 13, 2019
Working as an Officer have been stressful, Salary wise is not the greatest for the amount of work and risk you are on every day basis. Management pick and choose and TSA is not conscious of work life related issues, do not understand if you or a member of your family is sick, does not understand if there is an accident on the road and unfortunately you come late. Overall the health insurance is decent and you can transfer any where in the United states.
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2.0
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Good Job to Get into The Federal Government
Lead TSA Officer Department Homeland Security (Former Employee) –  Plattsburgh, NYJune 12, 2019
Highly stressful environment, Terrible, power hungry management and administration. A government agency that thinks it needs to re-invent the wheel with every aspect of the job.Poorly educated and not qualified people hired to work in highly security sensitive jobs.
Pros
good benefits, and paid leave
Cons
have to retest every year to keep your job, horrible management
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3.0
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Management is not on your side
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY OFFICER (Former Employee) –  Dallas-Fort Worth, TXJune 8, 2019
Most supervisors will not stick up for you when upper management takes unfair disciplinary action against you. Such as being disciplined for being out sick even though you have documentation from a doctor. Their main concern is staying on management's good side to further their own career.
Pros
Salary and Benefits better than most jobs
Cons
Toxic atmosphere and hostile work environment
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1.0
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Continuing Pay Shortages, Managerial Issues, High Stress Position - - NOT RECOMMENDED
TSO Transportation Security Officer (Current Employee) –  Spokane, WAJune 7, 2019
The Office of The Inspector General noted in their recent report (publicly accessible and covered by CNN) the systemic issues with TSA Employment.

Pay Shortages - it is one thing to be the lowest paid Federal Worker, but it is a fiscal crisis when you are owed monies and you are not paid in a timely, responsible fashion. TSA remains committed to pay you eventually, which could take weeks or months to resolve. Your back-pay is given in lump sums with substantial taxes taken out - it is a lose lose situation, especially when there are so many payroll processing errors. I have lost the opportunity to pay my bills and properly invest in my Thrift Savings Plan because of these issues.

Time off - not happening. You earn annual leave, sick time, and compensatory time off, but there is no ethical mechanism to use this time. Severe staffing shortages make getting prior approved time off nearly impossible, requiring workers to call out sick to use their time owed to them.

Turnover - as outlined in the OIG Report, turnover is a great problem. It makes it difficult to bond and gel as a team and be in a productive work environment when the conditions warrant leaving the employer. Most of my colleagues have left employment and I haven't even been employed for a year yet.

Pros: If you need health insurance, this is one of the only part-time positions where you can purchase health insurance and participate in a retirement matching account. The caveat to this is that you have to be with TSA for 3 years to keep the retirement matching funds - most (see OIG Report) do not
  more... make it to the 3 year mark.  less
Pros
Part Time - Health Insurance Progams and Company Retirement Match
Cons
High Turnover Rate, Pay Shortages, Inability to take leave
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Benefits are excellent.
TSO (Current Employee) –  VirginiaJune 7, 2019
Unfortunately, I was hurt at work. Worker's comp was approved, but TSA took the time from my annual and sick leave. TSA referred me to the Dept of Labor to complain. Also, I saw my supervisor about once a month as she was stationed in another area. When it came time for my performance review, she had no idea what my work performance was like (read average ratings all around). The benefits are top notch, but taking leave is almost impossible on short notice. The salary is extremely low for the work you do. There is potential to advance after 1 year of service within the TSA. Trying to get another job within the government outside of TSA is the same as applying as someone never in the government. TSA is excepted service and not on the GS scale.
Pros
Healthcare
Cons
It's the TSA
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3.0
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Management Sucks
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  Corpus Christi, TXJune 6, 2019
The job itself isn’t all that bad, especially for how much you get paid. Management on the other hand, they are a bunch of goons. They micro manage that place so much that the morale has diminished to an all time low. The hours are terrible and they treat the part timers better than the full time employees.
Pros
Good pay and benefits
Cons
Management and schedule
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2.0
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none
Transportation Security Officer (Current Employee) –  chicago ilJune 6, 2019
its a good job to start but I wouldn't recommend staying with them more than 2 years. i've learned to be more vigilant. i've also learned that anyone can be a threat to national security so always be alert.
Pros
cta benefits
Cons
everything else
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4.0
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Good part time job
Screening Officer (Current Employee) –  St. George, UTJune 1, 2019
Ok job for part-time. Very stressful and not much pay or advancement. Always getting tested and doing training. some supervisors are not good and others are ok. Pretty demanding for only 20-30 hours per week and not full time. The benefit package is awesome for a part-time job. Do get holiday and sick leave pay. I do plan on going back in September when the airport reopens. I am currently in furlow statice until then
Pros
Benefits and working hours are good
Cons
Not much pay and advancement
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2.0
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Stressful job
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  San Jose, CAJune 1, 2019
Such a high stress and hectic job environment. Very hard to get days off. You work horrible hours. Forced overtime. Not a good workplace culture to be in.
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3.0
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Tso
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  Columbus, OHMay 30, 2019
I worked with TSA and I believed in their mission, I supported their cause and I took my job seriously keeping passengers safe. At JGI (John Glen International) Columbus, OH was hit or miss. a typical day at work is long and fast paced, you have to move quickly or you will be left behind so pay attention in training and orientation. I learned a lot of procedures from which i will take with me into the future, Management depending on what checkpoint you get is pretty good. there is a checkpoint that has horrible managers but the other two checkpoints function perfectly. The workplace culture is not what it could be because on the concourse with bad managers...some of the officers are rude and disrespectful to new hires wearing white shirts. Make sure to know your stuff and don't be afraid to snap back at someone who disrespects you. Be advised on that checkpoint that comes after the letter A in the alphabet because some of those officers are "tight" with the supervisors. the culture on that checkpoint is not what it could be. the other checkpoints hum quite nicely. the hardest part of the job are the officers that are in tight with the supervisors and get away with more than they should. its difficult seeing people stand around while others work hard. Be aware of your mistakes because they are very unforgiving if you make any, I know this from personal experience. Know the SOPs and learn them well because some supervisors try to write you up for some things you were trained to do. The MOST enjoyable and rewarding part of this job is the passengers. The people who appreciate you  more... are protecting them and they tell you thank you and express their gratitude. taking the mission very seriously and feeling apart of the agency when your not at work. Lastly, going to the training in Georgia and taking pride in representing your airport among the several others that are there. This is as objective and truthful of a review as I can write. I wish someone had told me all these things so i I knew what to be prepared for, From her eon out I say best of luck on your journey and I wish you all the best.  less
Pros
paid lunch, good benefits, nice uniforms, pride in your job
Cons
management, some lazy officers, unforgiving with mistakes
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3.0
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Tough thankless job
Officer (Current Employee) –  Dallas, TXMay 28, 2019
Working for TSA means having everyone come in the door knowing you're the worst. Though the job is important, most of the traveling public doesn't believe so. For me, that's tough. I am a likable person, who tries hard to be friendly and helpful. For every person to think I'm mean before they even have met me is harsh. In addition, the testing is constant, the threat of losing your job is ever present, and the pay is low. However, the benefits and paid vacation time is top notch. When you first start you receive 4 hours a pay period of sick and vacation time. Benefits include health, life insurance, and a TSP. The TSP is the government's version of a 401k which includes stock and personal investing.
Pros
excellent leave policies, amazing coworkers, long breaks
Cons
odd hours, toxic atmosphere, angry customers
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3.0
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Cool job with good benefits
Supervisor Transportation Security Officer (Current Employee) –  Romulus, MIMay 27, 2019
The job is a good steppingstone job to allow you to get into other Government Agencies. Decent pay and good benefits. Can be stressful at times dealing with the traveling public, in a fast pace atmosphere.
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Beware of any job that requires a name tag
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  Oakland, CAMay 27, 2019
I worked at TSA at Oakland International Airport for 6 months in early 2019, and I have the following words of warning for any prospective employee.

1) They talk a mean game about integrity, team spirit and innovation, but: integrity doesn't exist, team spirit is reserved for those who have completed their training only, and innovation is quickly squashed. I have never before seen a work environment where you are persona non grata just because you haven't been fully trained yet.

2) The front line supervisors were actually pretty good and gave the impression that they actually cared for their people, but the executive management doesn't give a darn about you. I saw people get reprimanded and/or fired because of silly things. I also saw people do much worse things and have nothing done to them; it all depends on what the management's personal opinion of you is.

3) Generous off time, but using it is akin to squeezing blood from a stone. Yes, you can use your accrued sick time as you please, but if you do it "too much," you can be put under investigation.

One young lady suffered a knee injury and was given a doctor's note saying she needed to stay off her feet for 6 weeks. The TSA insisted she just "work through it."

Pregnant women are told they need to bring specifically-worded doctor's notes before they are allowed to go on light duty, and then get weeks of runaround because they refuse to tell them exactly what words they desire in these notes.

When it comes time to use your vacation time, as opposed to sick time (we accrued both each pay period), you are required
  more... to choose the scraps of time left after the several hundred people who have seniority over you choose their off time. In addition, you must wait for a specific 15-minute window that occurs 1-2x per year to even request that time off. When you go in for that brief appointment, you are put under great pressure to just hurry up and make your choice.


4) On paper, there are lots of opportunities for advancement. In reality, these opportunities are so heavily qualified that they might as well not exist. If you suck up, apply for that promotion. If you happened to have done something for 20 years before joining TSA, you apply for that position; in all likelihood, they had you in mind when opening it for applications.

5) The pay sucks, and they play this kind of shell game with pay raises and cuts. In my short time there, we were given a 2% pay raise, ahead of a scheduled 10% cut because the Feds decided we were losing too many people and didn't warrant the meager pay bump they gave us because our COL is absurdly high. After 6 months, you get a 5% pay increase; or is it after one year? Nobody seems to know for sure.

During the shut down early in the year, we got a lot of love from the public. Restaurants at the airport treated us to lunch every day, and the passengers even dropped off canned food for us to take home. The management, however, forbade us from collecting any of this food during work hours, and required us to remove our uniforms (even the pants) should we elect to go get some of it; you think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

6) Really, the job is worth doing, but the show that TSA puts on (and it really is largely a show) is so pedantic that it creates a lot of inefficiency. As someone who has been blessed to travel extensively, I have seen such better and more humane ways to secure airports and their passers through. The TSA complains about long wait times, yet it is their three levels of hassle and bothering people that causes it to be such. I always loved to hear higher ups admitting that whole portions of the screening process weren't really necessary at all.


Oh yes, and the SOP that changes so regularly, and significantly, that it might as well be from a randomizer.


7) Lots of responsibility, but no authority to address anything. We were told that we were safeguarding freedom of travel, but any real decisions on anything kind of complicated were reserved for supervisors, who often were swamped with other things to address, making us hold passengers in limbo for a long time.

8) It's one of those employers that actually looks for reasons to let people go. They treat veteran officers like they are brand new, and force both groups out the door just as readily. Quality assurance and keeping people on their toes is fine, but this is too much.

9) The TSA is the red-headed step child of the federal government, as receives as much scorn from the rest of the government as it does from the passengers. The WHOLE ENTIRE U.S. government gets the GS system, with generous pay increases and job security. The TSA gets to use the Department of Homeland Security's own lame pay scale and enjoys zero job security, even after you've completed your 2-year probation; yes, two years. Constant hand wringing about lack of staffing, but no tangible desire to keep people around.

10) Oh, we have a background check on file that can be quickly consulted when applying for an actual LE job within the government? I'm not gonna say we were lied to, but the CBP or FBI, or whoever you apply to, will subject you to a new background check anyway.

11) Let's talk about the work schedule. You may consider this an exaggeration, but I promise it's not: you may have to wait 5-10 years to have a normal weekend. If you make a career with TSA, you will have little to no normal social life and will be working while everybody else is having a good time; a first world problem, to be sure.

When you are new, you can fully expect several years of the early morning shift. We were told we could actually enjoy the Summer, what with that great schedule. I guess they forgot that morning shift starts at 3 AM, letting us go at 11 AM, and requiring us to be in bed around 4 pm, just in case you wanted to have a BBQ with your friends on Wednesday at 1 pm.





And you wonder why TSA employees often look so miserable and are short with passengers.
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Pros
Lots of OT available; paid holidays, even when you don't work them
Cons
Pretty much everything else
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5.0
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Great starting place for someone looking for federal employement
Behavioral Detection Officer (Former Employee) –  Boise, IDMay 26, 2019
The job was easy because the extensive training. The co-workers were great. You left with the feeling that you did something good. Good pay great benefits. Good opportunity for advancement. Good management, they seem to care about every employee and have outstanding conflict resolution.
Pros
Great job for someone starting out in the government.
Cons
None
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Don't work here
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 26, 2019
This was the worst job I have ever had. The management ruled by intimidation and fear. They wore you down until you had no motivation. It ended up causing severe anxiety and depression. The only good thing I can say is the health benefits are great. The pay is ok for an entry level job without needing an education. Don't think because it's a government job the you will get a decent retirement package because you won't.
Pros
Health Insurance
Cons
Everything else
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3.0
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Low motivation culture
Transportation Security Officer (Current Employee) –  Fort Lauderdale, FLMay 25, 2019
Workplace culture not the best. Too much favoritism. Great medical and retirement benefits. The hardest part of the job is not having team work with management and even coworkers. There are always cliques and no respect for one another.
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Not a good place
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  Denver, COMay 25, 2019
Working here I learned that its not what you know but who you know that advances your career. I had been there for over 5 years and was passed up on promotion numerous times because I wasn't buddy buddy with management. I was a hard worker with extensive experience and would get passed up by someone that had only been there 6 months. If you want to work there, there is job security. The common feeling of all security personnel is that they hate their job and they want to find a new one. The public hates you before you even say a word and their attitudes show it. You test every year to keep your job. They do have benefits but its not any better than any other job. You pay for the type of insurance you want. Despite the common misconception, there are no flight benefits. I got asked that all the time.
Pros
Government job, many options for insurance
Cons
Not enough money, Not too much room for advancement, pay too much for insurance
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3.0
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Decent place to work for what you're paid, but wouldn't make it a career.
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee) –  San Diego, CAMay 22, 2019
On a daily you'll be x-raying the property of passengers, scanning passengers through the body scanner, searching through passengers' property, checking boarding passes and possibly doing a pat-down on a person or two. Most co-workers that I came across were good, honest people, but management for the most part was garbage and probably still is. The hardest part of the job was dealing with management's bs and not getting rotated to the next position on time (i.e. x-ray operator to travel document checker). The thing I enjoyed most was being able to work with the people I got along with because it made the workday go by faster.
Pros
Great benefits even for part-timers
Cons
Management and scheduling director
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3.0
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Stressful work schedule.
Scheduling Officer - Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (Former Employee) –  Phoenix, AZMay 19, 2019
High stress job. No respect from the public you serve.
Need to be error free to ensure public safety. Fail your
annual evaluation and you will lose your job. Frequent
changes to operating procedures and security equipment.
Pros
Government benefits, 401K.
Cons
Stressful work environment.
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3.4
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