The lowest level person working for the TSA that you are likely to encounter at an airport security checkpoint is what they call a TSO. Here is the job description, which appears under the rubric “Find Your Dream Job” on the TSA website:
Transportation Security Officer [TSO]
Duties and Responsibilities: Implements security-screening procedures that are central to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) objectives and that will serve to protect the traveling public by preventing any deadly or dangerous objects from being transported onto an aircraft. Assists in conducting screening of passengers, baggage and cargo. May be required to conduct screening at any airport that provides commercial services to the public. Assists in monitoring the flow of passengers through the screening checkpoint to facilitate the orderly and efficient processing of passengers. Maintains close communication with supervisors regarding any issues that might reveal a weakness or vulnerable area of security screening that is discovered in the course of screening duties. Participates in information briefings concerning security-sensitive or classified information.
* Ability to learn the theories, dynamics, and factors underlying the aviation screening process to enable authoritative and independent handling of screening functions.
* Ability to learn to operate basic security equipment such as X-ray machines and hand wands at screening checkpoints
* Ability to work with persons of diverse backgrounds
* Ability to communicate non-technical information effectively to others
A TSO is paid a base salary in band D on the TSA wage scale. This pay does not include extra compensation, which is localized by assignment (location, hazard, etc.)
Now Band D runs from minimum to maximum thus:
D $25,518 $38,277
I did the math, and the pay per hour, before taxes, for this basic salary scale is $12.27 minimum, and $18.40 maximum.
The minimum Federal wage per hour is $7.25, as it has been since 2009.
The TSA is actively recruiting.