Transportation Security Administration
Securing Travel, Protecting People – At the Transportation Security Administration, you will serve in a high-stakes environment to safeguard the American way of life. In cities across the country, you would secure airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America’s transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. For additional information about our agency please: Click Here
Learn more about this agency
If selected as a Transportation Security Specialist – Explosives (TSS-E) within Security Operations (SO), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will serve as a journey-level subject matter expert for the Federal Security Director (FSD) at designated airports on all issues involving threats to the traveling public from explosives and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Duties include, but are not limited to:
Serving as a key component of a multi-layered security approach.
Applying experience and technical knowledge of explosives to assess threats.
Educating the screening workforce in the detection of threats.
Supporting explosive vulnerability assessments in all modes of transportation.
Responding to and assessing all unresolved checkpoint and checked baggage alarms involving possible explosives, IED components or actual IEDs, rendering a final decision on alarm resolution.
Assessing the interrelationships between initiators, power supplies, and chemicals. Determining if devices are improvised explosives, commercial explosives, or mixed explosives (fuel mixtures).
Deploying in support of risk mitigation efforts to deter, detect, and prevent the introduction of IEDs, IED components or other deadly or dangerous items into the airport environment.
Participating with evaluation teams in conducting covert drills to determine effectiveness of the training programs, recommending individuals remediation, and identifying potential security vulnerabilities.
Mentoring and training the front line screening workforce to increase their operational knowledge of explosives and IED components.
Occasional travel – A minimum of one (1) week of travel in a full-time duty status will be required within 90-days of entry on duty to complete TSA’s in residence New Hire Training. This training will occur away from the employee’s duty station of record. Employees will be paid for compensable hours and reimbursed for authorized travel expenses per TSA Travel Policy.
Job family (Series)
1801 General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, And Compliance Series
Conditions of Employment
You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
You must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret Clearance.
Must pass pre-employment drug screening AND random drug/alcohol testing.
You must submit a Bomb Disposal Graduation/Certification certificate.
Selective Service registration is required.
See “Conditions of Employment” and “Other Information” sections.
You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
Selectees must successfully complete all TSS-Explosives training and on the job training (OJT) requirements to remain in the program. Failure to successfully complete the entire selection process including all TSS-Explosives training and OJT requirements will result in termination of employment.
PLEASE NOTE: Candidates who become eligible for the structured interview will be required to travel at their own expense to the interview location unless other arrangements are made by TSA officials. Selection for this position will be made only from among applicants possessing the best qualifications.
Veterans: Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. (This position is not considered scientific/professional.) Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. View information on veterans’ preference .
Conditions of Employment:
You must pass pre-employment drug screening AND you will be subject to post-employment random drug and alcohol testing.
Requires a successful background investigation for a secret level security clearance and must maintain eligibility for designated clearance.
You must possess United States’ Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
Must be available to work various shifts and overtime, as needed.
You must be willing to undertake extensive travel, at times overnight, as required.
You must meet and maintain medical requirements as stated in the TSA Medical Guidelines for Transportation Security Specialist – Explosives (for more information, click here).
Exposure to potentially lethal devices and dangerous chemicals is inherent in this position.
Specialized Experience Requirement: For the SV-H Band: Applicants must possess at least one year of specialized experience (equivalent in difficulty and complexity to the SV-G Pay Band or GS-11 in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector) that includes performing duties such as:
Assisting with bomb program management responsibilities such as participating as a team member on a bomb squad to include ensuring program requirements were followed, making recommendations on procedures or helping implement processes under the direction of a program manager.
Responding to alarms involving possible explosives, IED components, or actual IEDs. Assessing the interrelationship between initiators, power supplies, switches, and chemicals to determine if the device is an improvised explosive, commercial explosive, or homemade explosive.
Basic Qualification Requirement: You must be a graduate from an accredited IED/bomb disposal course coupled with field experience as a military or civilian EOD technician or Hazardous Devices Technician. The accredited bomb disposal schools are Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (the joint service military EOD school) or the Hazardous Devices School (civilian). Graduation certificate must be attached to the application or certification in electronic applications with class number and date along with all assignments to squad and military EOD units.
Quality Ranking Factor: Specialized experience acquired within the last five years immediately preceding application has been identified as a Quality Ranking Factor for this position. This means that applicants who have specialized experience within the last five years will receive additional credit for this experience as part of the candidate evaluation process.
National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Note: Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime.
Eligibility to apply for other Federal positions: TSA is an Excepted Service agency exempt from most of Title 5 United States Code, including regulations which apply to displaced Federal employees (CTAP/ICTAP) of other agencies, and employment with TSA does not confer “Competitive Status” that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established an Interchange Agreement, which allows most permanent TSA employees to apply and be considered for vacancies in Competitive Service agencies. Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at: http://www.opm.gov .
To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into this position.
DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.
TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancies announced in their absence.
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual’s employment experience will be used only to determine the person’s qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Although an individual’s personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information, click here .
Payment of relocation expenses (Permanent Change of Station) is not authorized.
Qualified non-competitive eligible candidates may be referred for consideration on a separate, unranked list.
More than one position may be filled from this announcement.
If you are entering TSA employment on an appointment without time limitations, you must serve a basic trial period unless you have already met the requirement.
This position is within the Technical category of TSA’s Core Compensation Plan.
TSA policy requires verification of Selective Service registration for male applicants born after 12/31/59. For more information click here .
View common definitions of terms found in this announcement.
Veterans and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the documentation that is required, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.
This position is not a Law Enforcement position; therefore, it is not covered by Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) or Law Enforcement Retirement.
This is an Emergency Essential position.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
The assessment process for the TSS-E is a multiple hurdle process. Initially, applicants will be evaluated/assessed through an on-line application process. Applicants will be asked a series of occupational assessment questions linked to the KSA/Competencies determined necessary for successful job performance. These questions will be used to rank applicants according to relative merit for this position. The most qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration through the remainder of the assessment process. Referred candidates will then be required to complete the structured interview. Only applicants successfully passing the structured interview will be referred for selection consideration. The score for applicants who successfully complete their structured interview is valid for one year. Applicants who fail their structured interview are not eligible to be tested again for six months.
You will be evaluated based on a comparison of the position requirements against the quality and extent of the experience and/or related education as reflected in your resume and supporting documentation. You are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show possession of the competencies required for this position. We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If, after reviewing your resume and any supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your category placement may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.
When completing the assessment questionnaire for this position, you will be prompted to elect if you wish for your application to be considered as External (where Veterans’ Preference applies), as Status (current or former Federal Employees), and/or Internal to TSA as a current permanent or competitive temporary employee. At that time, please select the answer(s) that apply to you and your application to this position.
Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Grouping procedures. Under Category Grouping, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:
Best-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all Selective Placement Factors (SPF) and appropriate Desirable (Quality Ranking) Factors as determined by the job analysis.
Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrates acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.
Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
In addition to a resume and the assessment questions, you must submit copies of any of the following documents if you are applying based on current or former Federal Government Status (if you are not a current TSA employee), Veterans’ Preference, or education or a combination of education and experience:
SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action – Current TSA employees are not required to submit an SF-50 to support eligibility for internal/status consideration.
If you are not a current TSA employee: you must submit your most recent personnel action SF-50 (or equivalent document) to support your eligibility for Status consideration. If you elect Status for the consideration of your application without submitting an SF-50 demonstrating your current or previous permanent Federal employment status, and you are not a current TSA employee, your application may not receive Status consideration.
DD-214 – If you are claiming Veterans’ Preference, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4) Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 5-point preference.
SF-15 and VA Letter – If you are claiming Veterans’ Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 10-point preference.
Professional Certification – Bomb Disposal Graduation Certificate/Certification from an accredited program MUST be submitted.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select “Benefits.” Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
Employees who transfer to TSA from an agency that allows employees to maintain an annual leave balance higher than the maximum accumulation for the appointed position will have their leave ceiling set to the maximum accumulation for the appointed position (e.g., United States duty location – 240 hours, foreign duty location – 360 hours, or TSES position – 720 hours). TSA will not make a monetary payment for any leave forfeited under these circumstances.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.