How to Become an Aviation Security Officer
If you’ve ever hopped on a plane you would have dealt with an aviation security officer. These security professionals are the ones who take you through screening at the airport, X-ray your luggage and monitor airport activities to ensure the safety of the passengers and staff.
Airport security professionals have a lot of responsibility on their hands and the role they perform is very important. Every day they turn up to work knowing that they are making a difference, which is why so many security officers are interested in getting into this rewarding line of work.
But being an aviation security officer is not the same as being a security officer. There are additional courses to complete and checks to go through. It can all feel a bit complicated and overwhelming at times understanding how to break into your new career but we’re here to help with our complete guide on how to become an aviation security officer.
What is an aviation security officer?
An aviation security officer is usually a qualified security guard who has completed additional training and security checks in order to work within the specialised area of transport security and aviation. There are many different kinds of jobs you can do in aviation security. You could work as a screening officer, in the departures department, or you could be screening luggage, or patrolling the airport.
There are lots of opportunities for growth in this industry and the diversity of job roles will keep you engaged and challenged.
How much do aviation security officers make?
Aviation security officers are paid under the security services industry award . Under this award the minimum hourly rate for full-time, day-time guards starts at $22.84 and goes up to $25.08 and the minimum casual hourly rate starts at $28.55 per hour on a level one rate and this goes up to $33.51 for weekday night work and $51.39 for Sunday work.
Skills you need
In order to excel as an aviation security officer, you will need excellent communication skills. Both verbal and written skills are important because you will need to be able to de-escalate situations and manage people and passengers in your role. As with any security role you will also need to complete a large volume of paperwork each shift so great written communication will also come in handy.
You will require the ability to think on your feet and remain calm in a crisis. Aviation security is a fast-paced environment, and these skills will help you handle the challenges you encounter on the job.
What do aviation security officers study?
Aviation security officers are usually licensed security officers. While a Certificate II in Security Operations is not a requirement, it is recommended prior to completing specialised transport security protection training. Having a security licence will also be beneficial for you in opening up other job opportunities outside of aviation.
Security Officer course
The Certificate II in security operations is taught over eight days in a face-to-face workshop in most states. Some other states require 15 or 17 days of training. The course covers everything you need to know to work as a security officer with a mix of real life scenarios and theory work. In the course you will learn how to:
- Apply effective communication skills to maintain security
- Apply legal and procedural requirements to work effectively within a security team
- Apply WHS, emergency response and evacuation procedures to maintain security
- Apply risk assessment to select and carry out response to security risk situations
- Provide quality services to a range of security clients
- Protect self and others using basic defensive techniques
- Patrol premises to monitor property and maintain security
- Screen people, personal effects and items to maintain security
- Monitor and control access and exit of persons and vehicles from premises
- Monitor and control individual and crowd behaviour to maintain security
- Apply security procedures to manage intoxicated persons
- Apply security procedures to remove persons from premises
- Escort and protect persons and valuables
- Provide first aid
The Certificate II in Security Operations course cost depends on few factors. There is a fee for service price which is $1500 but most people are able to access some kind of funding if completing in QLD. The most common is called Certificate 3 Guarantee funding and is open to people who meet the following requirements;
- be aged 15 years or older;
- be no longer at school (with the exception of school students in Year 10, 11 and 12 undertaking a VET in School (VETiS) program;
- permanently reside in QLD;
- be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident (includes humanitarian entrant), temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency, or a New Zealand citizen; and
- not hold, and not be enrolled in, a Certificate III or higher-level qualification, not including qualifications completed at school and foundation skills training. (This does not apply to AVI20118 Certificate II in Transport Security Protection).
If you are successful in gaining this funding it will bring the cost of your course down to either $14 or $42 depending on whether you hold a current concession card.
Funding is also available in NSW under Smart and Skilled and in the Northern Territory under Local Jobs Program for eligible participants.
If you don’t qualify for any funding, there are also scholarships and payment plans you can check out.
Aviation Security Officer Course
The Certificate II in Transport Security Protection is the required course you will need to work as an aviation protection officer. This course is taught in a blended study mode with an eight-day face-to-face workshop and some online course work to be completed before and after the class.
In the course you will learn how to:
- Undertake physical search of cargo and articles
- Identify and handle weapons, explosives and prohibited items
- Work effectively in a transport security industry
- Control access to and exit from a security sensitive area
- Establish and maintain a sterile sensitive area
- Manage disruptive behaviour and unlawful interference within a transport security environment
- Conduct frisk search of persons
- Conduct screening using explosive trace detection
- Manage the flow of items for screening by X-ray screening equipment
- Screen articles by interpreting X-ray images
- Operate body scanner
- Identify powders, liquids, aerosols and gels (PLAGs)
- Conduct vehicle search for access to security sensitive areas
- Apply awareness of dangerous goods and hazardous substances in the transport security environment
- Control persons using empty hand techniques
- Conduct security screening using walk-through metal detection equipment
- Conduct security screening using hand-held metal detectors
In order to study this course you will be required to obtain an ASIC job ready background check. Basically, to work at the airport you will need an ASIC card, so to enrol in this course you must obtain this job-ready background to ensure that this sensitive information is shared with safe and trust worthy candidates for the aviation security industry.
You can learn more about this background check here.
The Certificate II in Transport Security Protection costs $1750 plus the cost of your ASIC background check. But the course is covered by the Certificate 3 Guarantee funding for eligible participants. There are also payment plan options you can access.
Getting that job
Once you have finished the Certificate II in Security Operations course, you’ll need to apply for your unarmed security guard licence. This application is made to the Office of Fair Trading in Queensland. The process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the backlog of applications they are processing.
The process of putting in for your security guard licence will include background checks and fingerprinting. This is done so that only appropriate candidates can work as security guards.
Once you have your licence, we recommend coming back to ASSET for our free employer connections program. In this program we help our graduates to put their best foot forward in the job market. Taking them through how to write a resume for the security industry and how to nail that interview as well tips on dressing for the industry and following up on the interview process.
Once a graduate has completed the employer connections program, they are able to access additional support, such as a curated list of the security industry jobs available, employer connection events, assistance with applications, and invitations to group interviews with security companies. If you’d like to learn more about our employer connections program, you can check it out here.
If you would like some help planning out your security career you can get in touch with one our friendly course advisors here.