After a year like no other for travel, both internationally and domestically, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has had to make changes to keep up. But after a year of social distancing that reduced travelers passing through airports dramatically, the agency is preparing for a summer surge by hiring thousands of officers in hundreds of airports. Here’s what the move indicates about travel trends for the rest of this year and into 2022, and how you could apply to work for the agency.
TSA is Hiring Officers All Over the US
In total, TSA announced that they will be hiring 6000 officers in 430 airports across the United States. Positions include both full and part-time roles and officers get paid holiday pay, sick leave and benefits. Most industries are cutting jobs, rather than adding them, and the U.S. unemployment rate is 6.5% (but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen thinks that the real rate may be closer to 10%, due to underreporting). As millions of people face joblessness, including thousands in the travel industry, TSA’s growth is particularly striking.
Will Travel Come Back This Summer?
TSA administrators opening up so many positions at once indicates a vote of confidence that travel will return to pre-pandemic levels in the next year as the vaccine rollout continues, requiring more staff. More officers will allow the TSA to screen passengers faster and maintain social distance by opening up more security lines. “Each day, our officers screen hundreds of thousands of airline travelers ensuring they arrive at their destinations safely. We expect to screen a higher number of travelers regularly by the summer months and will need additional officers to support our critical mission,” said Melanie Harvey, acting Executive Assistant Administrator for the agency.
Travel is already starting to ramp up again after months of empty airports and cancelled flights. Over Valentine’s Day weekend, TSA screened nearly 4 million passengers, a significant jump from the 100,000 or so per day they have been screening through much of the last year.
How Can You Apply?
If you’re interested in applying to work for the TSA, you can view open positions in all U.S. airports at tsa.org/tso. You can also attend recruitment fairs throughout the U.S. and learn more about the day to day requirements of being an officer for the TSA with this video,
You can keep up to date on the latest travel news as well as getting updates on jobs and unemployment with the Skip App. If you’re planning to travel this summer, you can enroll in TSA precheck and get your passport renewed right from the app.