How to Become a Federal Air Marshall


Federal Air Marshall Job Overview

Learn about the selection process, requirements, qualifications salary of a Federal Air Marshall

Table of Contents

3 Known Facts About Federal Air Marshall Jobs

They're Vigilant

The Federal Air Marshal Service detects, deters and defeats hostile acts against aviation

They're Armed

Federal Air Marshals are armed officers deployed on airlines to protect against crime and terrorist attacks.

They're Incognito

Federal Air Marshals usually keep a low profile on flights, and passengers won't even know they're on duty.

Watch How to Become a Federal Air Marshall

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How to Become a Federal Air Marshall

The Federal Air Marshall is a very important component of Homeland Security. The Air Marshal program was one of the first law enforcement unit developed by Homeland Security after 9/11. They were put together mainly because of the devastation of 9/11.

Air Marshall Job Description

On average a Federal Air Marshal will fly 181 days a year. They will typically fly 15 days a month on average 5 hours a day, giving them a total of 900 hours in an airplane a year. The Federal Air Marshals Service has a mission. To help secure America by “Promoting confidence in our Nation’s civil aviation system through the effective deployment of Federal Air Marshals to detect, deter, and defeat hostile acts targeting U.S. air carriers, airports, passengers and crews.” To accomplish this mission requires dedicated and professional team members.

Federal Air Marshal Jobs are expanding within the Department of Homeland Security. They work closely with other with other agencies to ensure that the safety of air travel is of utmost importance. They are spread among a wide variety of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies. Federal Air Marshals can be found at the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the National Counter terrorism Center as well as the National Targeting Center and several other law enforcement agencies.

Federal Air Marshals are highly trained. They must learn to work independently and without almost any other support agency. They maintain some of the highest standards of handgun accuracy. They must learn to blend in with their surroundings, rely on their investigative techniques, recognize threatening behaviors, be proficient in close quarters combat as well as in tactics that are aircraft specific. Each Air Marshall field office also has explosive response personnel. This job specific training ensures airline travel safety on all levels.

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Federal Air Marshall Jobs

Federal Air Marshal jobs can be found at one of twenty one offices around the United States, located close to the Nations Airports. Strategically placing Federal Air Marshals around the United States ensure that the Department of Transportation can respond to quickly changing terrorist threats as well as natural disasters

Federal Air Marshal Application Process

Choosing to apply for a Federal Air Marshal job will require a unique application process. Applicants will be asked to have a panel interview, meet physical requirements as well as medical screening. Due to the nature of federal employment with the Department of Homeland Security, background checks will also be conducted to further ensure that safety and security in all areas of civil aviation is met. Federal Air Marshal jobs allow you to give back to your Country and help to ensure the safe travel of all those who travel by air. Find out more about how you can serve with the Federal Air Marshals.

Requirements & Qualifications

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and can be up to 37 years of age upon appointment (previous federal law enforcement experience may exempt applicants from the age restriction). They must also meet stringent physical, health and medical requirements and have three years of work experience. Pertinent experience may be in administrative, professional, technical or investigative work, or in other progressively more responsible jobs.

You’ll also need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, and one year of specialized work experience equivalent to the FV-G level. Examples of this include law enforcement experience (e.g., conducting criminal investigations; performing inspections or evaluations to determine compliance with laws and regulations affecting aviation; developing or implementing policies or procedures affecting aviation security; and providing security risk, threat or vulnerability assessments related to aviation security).

Federal Air Marshal Salary: Pay scale

The TSA is unique among United States federal government agencies in that it does not use the same GS pay scale. Instead, the TSA utilizes an SV grading system, with different pay bands designated by a letter from A to M. 

If you’d like to make a good salary while protecting people from the threat of terror in the air, check the TSA website for additional Air Marshal requirements. Then get the information you need from the schools below, and start your Air Marshal training today!

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