What’s It Like To Work In Airport Security?
Airport security is a very guarded industry and rightfully so.
In order to keep passengers, airline staff and everyone else safe – the procedures, systems, and policies used in airport security need to be safe guarded.
For this same reason anyone even wanting to study airport security has to be cleared for a Job Ready ASIC. This is a kind of background check that basically means someone could work in airport security and is required because the airport security training contains restricted material.
And because airport security is such a guarded industry, many people are curious – what is it like to work in airport security?
Don’t worry we’re not going to compromise national aviation security measures.
However, we do have some insider perspectives on what it is like to work in airport security from former ASSET students and current aviation security officers Yuri Popov and Lauren Paton.
Yuri, who hails from the Ukraine actually became interested in working in airport security because he got hooked on the show Border Security- Australia’s Front Line on YouTube. “I was literally hypnotised.”
“Each episode opens with the words ‘Thousands of men and women dedicate their lives to protecting Australia’s border’.”
“Every time it gave me goosebumps. It was clear to me, thats what I want to do,” Yuri says.
Because of the difficulty of getting into border security Yuri re-assessed his goals.
“Of course, for a foreigner and a guy of my age, working at the ABF is a long way to go. On the other hand, the airport security industry is close enough to what the ABF do, and was achievable at the time when I moved to Australia, in 2016.”
This change of careers turned out to suit Yuri perfectly, he thrived in his new career. Yuri says working in airport security is about constant challenge and change.
“I am a person who likes a constantly changing environment. At the airport you can get shifts in various locations. You deal with new people and new circumstances all the time. Thanks to the fact that there are hundreds of security staff members you get to work with many co-workers of diverse origins all the time.”
Yuri also noted that working in airport security can dramatically improve your communication and language skills.
“Another perk of this place – you can hugely pump up your language and interpersonal skills. You are a medium between the Earth and the Sky. Because of your job – helping people to move through the security procedures quickly and painlessly, you learn to communicate really well.”
Yuri has found that working in airport security boils down to keeping people safe.
“You make sure that the flights in Australia are safe. And when it’s time to go home after the shift you know that you have helped to make this happen.”
Lauren Paton who works as an Aviation Protection Officer at Brisbane airport says she’s always had a bad case of wanderlust and was travelling constantly from a young age in and out of airports.
“I caught the travel bug young. After many trips overseas and thus many airports I was fascinated by how everything worked.” Lauren says.
After studying with ASSET, Lauren made the move to aviation and has now been in aviation security as an APO for three years and she’s still loving the job.
“I’m still in love with the job. There are so many tasks to undertake and roles to experience.”
Lauren says working in airport security gives you the opportunity for constant growth.
“In my time at the airport I have worked in the primary screening areas at both International and Domestic terminals, worked in checked baggage screening, freight screening and even had shifts training new staff and leading the team. There are endless opportunities to learn and grow.”
Both Yuri and Lauren thoroughly enjoyed their time studying for their aviation security careers with ASSET.
Lauren says ““The training ASSET provided me was impeccable. First, I undertook the Certificate II in Security Operations course to obtain my QLD Security Licence. The training was interesting, comprehensive and quite entertaining!”
Lauren found the trainers in particular brought a lot of personal experience to the classroom
“Learning from the life experiences of the trainers and incorporating my prior knowledge of the security industry from working with guards in hospitality really made it an enjoyable experience.”
Lauren said once she finished the initial security course and she began her aviation security course it took the experience to the next level.
“Everyday was awesome. Learning all the processes and procedures of X-ray screening and passenger processing. Being new to the security and aviation industry, the load of new information can be overwhelming. This course gave me a head start and I hit the ground running when I started my new job at the airport.”
And they both had a some advice for anyone interested in working in airport security.
Yuri says, “Aviation security is an industry of critical importance. However, you shouldn’t be scared of it being difficult or of the responsibility. Some of us, myself included, started this job from scratch, level zero, and succeeded. Dozens of officers work beside me, of diverse backgrounds, of different education and work experience history, some are teenagers, some are people of retirement age. If working as an APO is what you want – roll up your sleeves and apply yourself and you’ll achieve your goal.”
Lauren had a piece advice to for anyone thinking about moving into a career in aviation security. “Go for it! You work within a large team of diverse people and learn something new everyday. For me it is an amazing work environment and am so grateful for the opportunity.”