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JMABirdUNC  
#1 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 12:03:08 AM(UTC)
JMABirdUNC

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/16/2009(UTC)
Posts: 151





I have an interview for a TSO position on Tuesday (They told me to be 30
minutes early and the entire interview would take 2 hours, so I assume
this is when you get drug tested, fingerprinted, and do your paperwork).
I noticed the starting band for all TSOs is D Band with promotion potential to E. For example:

Salary Range: $29,131 - $43,697
Series & Grade: SV-1802-D/D
Promotion Potential: E

The TSA pay
scale website lists D band as $25,518 - $38,277 (slightly less than what was posted in the job description).

I
just recently received a TO from the IRS for a GS-5 seasonal tax
examiner position, but I could not accept the position because
relocation costs and cost of living would be too expensive to only work for a season (4-5 months).

As a college graduate, will TSA start
my salary off at D band, or do I have bargaining power with my salary?
Or will they start my salary at the same level as someone who only has a high school education?


Gienek  
#2 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 4:49:30 AM(UTC)
Gienek

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Posts: 22

Been wondering the same thing. 
tucker515  
#3 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 5:38:04 AM(UTC)
tucker515

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 5/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,290

Others who have worked for TSA can advise, but I see  not reason why they would negotiate salary with you- they have 100 other people who are willing to take the job if you turn it down.
I am sorry, but I do not have the time to respond to private messages. I will not respond to them.
Glideslope  
#4 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 5:46:04 AM(UTC)
Glideslope

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Posts: 110

Just curious, what is your degree in? What's compelling you to be a TSA baggage/person screener?

I'm certainly not trying to undercut your reasoning, i'm just attempting to understand your motivation to do what is probably less-than-rewarding work that does not require a college degree? Are you simply aiming to get your foot in the door? If so, there are better options for college graduates.
 
But to answer your questions, the discrepancy in the pay that you mentioned could have something to do with General Pay and Locality Pay.  I agree with the other poster above that TSA will likely see no need to negotiate salary with you given the number of applications they likely receive for these positions.
Gienek  
#5 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 5:53:06 AM(UTC)
Gienek

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In my case, I am just trying to get my foot in the door. I have not had any success with agencies in the intelligence sector, so I figured starting at TSA would be beneficial in gaining experience. 

Graduated with a BA in International Studies: Security and Intelligence. 
Glideslope  
#6 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 6:01:40 AM(UTC)
Glideslope

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Posts: 110

Gienek wrote:
In my case, I am just trying to get my foot in the door. I have not had any success with agencies in the intelligence sector, so I figured starting at TSA would be beneficial in gaining experience. 

Graduated with a BA in International Studies: Security and Intelligence. 
 
Ok, makes sense.  I'm surprised to hear that you have not had any success in the intelligence sector. Are you limited to a certain geopraphical area, or are you willing/able to move to a new city for the job? I browse USAJOBS often and see a plethora of intelligence analysis type positions....are you making sure that the jobs you apply for have experience thresholds commensurate with your education/experience level? From time to time I see people on this forum aiming for sky-high positions with little regard for their actual experience levels. Also, are you tailoring your resume to each individual job announcement? A common fallacy is to write one resume and submit that one resume to 100 jobs. Unfortunately, the resume scanner system that the government uses just doesn't work that way. If your resume does not reflect keywords from the job announcement, you'll get passed right over no matter what kind of experience you have. The key is to get past the automation and onto the desk of an HR person. You may already know this, but I thought i'd throw it out there just in case.
JMABirdUNC  
#7 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 6:29:51 AM(UTC)
JMABirdUNC

Rank: Advisor

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Joined: 9/16/2009(UTC)
Posts: 151





Glideslope wrote:

Just curious, what is your degree in? What's compelling you to be a TSA baggage/person screener?

I'm certainly not trying to undercut your reasoning, i'm just attempting to understand your motivation to do what is probably less-than-rewarding work that does not require a college degree? Are you simply aiming to get your foot in the door? If so, there are better options for college graduates.
 
But to answer your questions, the discrepancy in the pay that you mentioned could have something to do with General Pay and Locality Pay.  I agree with the other poster above that TSA will likely see no need to negotiate salary with you given the number of applications they likely receive for these positions.


I have a Bachelor's in Economics and a minor in Business Administration, and also the job market is still scarce. Concerning the "motivation", I am taking what is being presented at this time (I do not plan to work as a TSO the rest of my career). However, I do also have a potential interview next week as well for a Manager Trainee program with an anonymous bank.

One another question: How long would you have to be employed at TSA to be considered a status candidate, and also how long would you have to be employed to be considered an internal candidate?

Also, what "better" options do you recommend for college grads?
JMABirdUNC2010-02-26 15:29:22
Gienek  
#8 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 10:52:36 AM(UTC)
Gienek

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 11/5/2009(UTC)
Posts: 22


Glideslope wrote:
Gienek wrote:
In my case, I am just trying to get my foot in the door. I have not had any success with agencies in the intelligence sector, so I figured starting at TSA would be beneficial in gaining experience. 

Graduated with a BA in International Studies: Security and Intelligence. 
 
Ok, makes sense.  I'm surprised to hear that you have not had any success in the intelligence sector. Are you limited to a certain geopraphical area, or are you willing/able to move to a new city for the job? I browse USAJOBS often and see a plethora of intelligence analysis type positions....are you making sure that the jobs you apply for have experience thresholds commensurate with your education/experience level? From time to time I see people on this forum aiming for sky-high positions with little regard for their actual experience levels. Also, are you tailoring your resume to each individual job announcement? A common fallacy is to write one resume and submit that one resume to 100 jobs. Unfortunately, the resume scanner system that the government uses just doesn't work that way. If your resume does not reflect keywords from the job announcement, you'll get passed right over no matter what kind of experience you have. The key is to get past the automation and onto the desk of an HR person. You may already know this, but I thought i'd throw it out there just in case.

I am able to move anywhere in the country, since my geographical area does not offer much opportunity. My resume is tailored to each position that I apply, having it reworked many times to fit the KSA's. Since I do not come from a military background, the security clearance is holding me back from applying to many positions. So I think working as a TSO for a year, I can move up in the DHS ladder to find something that suits my are of study. 
Zephyrus  
#9 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 8:35:18 PM(UTC)
Zephyrus

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Posts: 1,376

"Since I do not come from a military background, the security clearance is holding me back from applying to many positions."

Forgive me if I am misunderstanding this comment.  Government contractors tend to favor applicants with military backgrounds or existing clearances.  For vacancies on USAJobs (i.e. government hire), you don't have to have the clearance at the time of application.  If you make it through the application/referral/interview/selection process, you receive a conditional offer then you undergo a background investigation to get the clearance.  
Gienek  
#10 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 10:47:42 PM(UTC)
Gienek

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 11/5/2009(UTC)
Posts: 22

Zephyrus wrote:
"Since I do not come from a military background, the security clearance is holding me back from applying to many positions."

Forgive me if I am misunderstanding this comment.  Government contractors tend to favor applicants with military backgrounds or existing clearances.  For vacancies on USAJobs (i.e. government hire), you don't have to have the clearance at the time of application.  If you make it through the application/referral/interview/selection process, you receive a conditional offer then you undergo a background investigation to get the clearance.  

I understand that, but I have applied to about 50 different positions within the federal intelligence community and not one interview was granted. Been applying to numerous defense contractors and in most cases a clearance is necessary to even get referred. Military vets and internal applicants usually get preference anyhow, so why would DHS or any other agency hire someone without a clearance when they already have a surplus of cleared applicants. It only makes sense to save time, money and resources, right?
Zephyrus  
#11 Posted : Saturday, February 27, 2010 12:35:45 AM(UTC)
Zephyrus

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Posts: 1,376

O.k.  I see now where you are coming from.  I do understand.  I have seen and applied a number of CPOL vacancies that would be perfect based on my experience in the private sector.  I don't even bother anymore.  I instead focus on other non-military based agencies.
spence  
#12 Posted : Saturday, February 27, 2010 9:17:08 AM(UTC)
spence

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Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
TSA is in the excepted service, not the competitive service, so you would not automatically gain status to apply for competitive-service jobs because of working as a screener.  However, there is an interchange agreement so you may be considered for status jobs after 1 year working for TSA under a permanent appointment, and you would have to still be working for TSA when you apply for the status job:
http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/tsa_interchange_agreement.pdf

I found this out because I saw it explained at the bottom of some of the USAJobs postings for TSA jobs when I went to look after seeing this thread. 

Their wordage in the USAJobs postings is:
"Status and Eligibility to Apply for Other Federal Positions:
TSA is an excepted service agency exempt from most of title 5 United
States Code; therefore, employment with TSA does not confer the
"competitive status" that generally results from selection and
service in competitive service agencies.  Under the OPM-DHS
Interchange Agreement, permanent employees who have at least one
year of continuous service with TSA can apply and be considered for
positions in other Federal agencies open to current/former Federal
employees with competitive status.


For more information please visit http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/tsa_interchange_agreement
.pdf
. "

JMABirdUNC wrote:

One another question: How long would you have to be employed at TSA to be considered a status candidate, and also how long would you have to be employed to be considered an internal candidate?

If your main priority is competitive status, it might have made more sense to go for the 4-month seasonal IRS Tax Examiner job (less stressful, too) in my opinion, assuming it was under a career-conditional appointment.  The cost of living in Austin (if that's where it was) is not high, especially if you live further out, and you would have been eligible for unemployment in the offseason.  But anyway, what's done is done.  It'll all work out for you.  Good luck!

Another thing, have you applied for Economist positions with the Bureau of Labor Statistics?  They hire lots of people and recruit at college job fairs.  It's harder to get in now that they don't use their written test, but it might still be worth a shot.  0110 is the job series number.

spence2010-03-04 00:37:29
CL22  
#13 Posted : Sunday, February 28, 2010 1:01:03 AM(UTC)
CL22

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Joined: 6/25/2009(UTC)
Posts: 19

"It only makes sense to save time, money and resources, right?"
 

 

You would think so, but it is not the case. There is a difference between having a clearance and being found suitable for employment (a.k.a. adjudication) You do not need a clearance to get hired, you need to be eligible to obtain a clearance when you are hired. That is the difference. Your partillay right about the preference that is given to internal agency applicants / military, but it has nothing to do with a security clearnce. Unless it is within the same agency,  individual agencies conduct their own background investigation because each agency has different criteria for adjudication. You might have a Top Secret clearance with CBP, but that does not mean anything if you are applying to the FBI. They have to find you suitable for employment first, and then find you eligible for a Top Secret clearance with them. Hope this helps. 

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