How Do You Become a Program Specialist with the Transportation Security Administration?

Anyone who wants to become a program specialist with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) must apply for the position through the USAJOBS website. Program specialists work in a variety of departments, such as communications and human resources.

Apply for a Job through the USAJOBS Website

Those who seek federal employment will need to create an account at the USAJOBS website. Most USAJOBS job ads require candidates to complete an online application. This means they must submit a resume, answer a self-assessment questionnaire and include supporting documentation. Job candidates are evaluated based on a comparison of the job’s requirements against the quality of their experience and education as demonstrated in the resume and supporting documentation.

Job applicants are encouraged to ensure that their work experiences clearly demonstrates the core competencies required for the position. Federal HR professionals will compare resumes and supporting documentation against the self-assessment questionnaire. Candidates who erroneously present themselves as being qualified will be excluded from consideration. Potential job candidates are ranked as either best-qualified, well-qualified or veterans. Former service members with a disability may receive additional ranking points.

Prepare to Become an HR Program Specialist at TSA

The TSA employs HR program specialists to monitor employee performance and evaluate educational training programs. Their goal is to ensure that programs offer the most up-to-date training at both government and private educational organization. They serve as pedagogical experts on education and training initiatives that directly affect operational activities and functioning. They make recommendations to managers regarding training gaps, goals and current trends. They may implement and monitor new training opportunities, so they can track training requirements and completion statistics.

HR program specialists at the TSA will need experience operating and maintaining training tools and databases. They must know how to generate statistical training data, analyze current procedures, conduct internal research and develop qualitative and quantitative metrics. They must have experience making modification recommendations to leadership, leveraging industry expertise to uncover needs and coordinating national training initiatives and programs. They must be comfortable managing and reporting on training budgets and spending.

Prepare to Become a Communications Program Specialist at TSA

The TSA employs communications program specialists to ensure employees maintain timeliness with assignments and provide communications support to management. They ensure that official correspondence is well-written, controlled and meets public relations and legal needs. They must maintain respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, Office of the Inspector General audits and Government Accountability Office inquiries. They are responsible for planning and executing the production and distribution of various documents.

Communications program specialists must sometimes conduct and oversee complicated research projects into current programs and controversial issues. They must ensure a continual high level of quality control on all released communications. They participate in the creation of online, website and social media written and multimedia content. They provide guidance to employees regarding internal communication policies and procedures. They participate in a variety of audits, meetings and committees. They will need experience sharing communication strategies and techniques with executives and program managers.

Related Resource: 5 Homeland Security Internships

Anyone who wants to become a program specialist with the Transportation Security Administration should accumulate volunteer experience to strengthen their application. This includes volunteer work done through national programs, such as AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, and recognized local civic, business and community organizations.