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Transportation Security Administration

Headquarters: 601 South 12th St.
Arlington, VA 20598
Phone: 866-289-9673
Employees: 58,400
Administrator: John Pistole

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The Transportation Security Administration protects the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. This includes passenger and cargo screening on airplanes along with federal air marshals that fly on board. The TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The agency was created in the wake of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 to strengthen the security of the nation's transportation systems. Within a year, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation's airports and deployed a Federal workforce to meet Congressional deadlines for screening all commercial airline passengers and baggage.

Thousands of Federal Air Marshals are deployed on domestic and international flights each day.

In March 2003, TSA transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security. TSA employs a risk-based strategy to secure U.S. transportation systems, working closely with stakeholders in aviation, rail, transit, highway, and pipeline sectors, as well as the partners in the law enforcement and intelligence community.

The TSA has an annual budget of $8.1 billion in 2012.

Transportation Security Officers make up the bulk of the agency's workforce with over 50,000 and are responsible for passenger screening at 450 airports in the U.S. They screen approximately 1.7 million passengers per day.

The TSA says more than 50 percent of Transportation Security Officers have been with the agency for more than 5 years.

The TSA operates on a separate payscale and not with the GS grading system like other federal employees. The pay levels for TSA positions can be viewed here.


  • A wide choice of health insurance programs
  • Personal leave days for vacation, illness, and family care
  • Ten paid holidays per year
  • Paid training
  • Fully portable Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k))
  • Non-taxable Flexible Spending Accounts for out-of-pocket medical or dependant expenses
  • Transportation subsidies
  • Defined benefit retirement plan
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Employee recognition program
  • Life and long-term care insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Uniform allowance
  • Telework

Updated November 20, 2012