What Do TSA Workers Get Paid?

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TSA Agents are paid on a different scale than other federal workers.
TSA Agents are paid on a different scale than other federal workers. (Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Employees of the Transportation Security Administration handle the stressful task of security and luggage inspection for airports and other transportation hubs across the country. They must also check individuals, and often confiscate items that are forbidden on airplanes. Their average annual pay is $45,900.

TSA Worker Pay Scale

The pay scale for TSA workers employs the federal government's SV grading system for pay classes as opposed to the majority of positions in the federal government, including the FBI and the Secret Service, which use the GS pay grade system. The SV system uses lettered tiers A through M, with a minimum and maximum annual salary for each tier. The pay scale for each tier does not include bonuses or incentive pay, including locality pay and the cost of federal health benefits.

Minimum TSA Salary

The minimum annual salary for a TSA worker is $17,254, before locality pay, according to the TSA's website, as of 2014. According to tsasalary.com, though, the minimum starting salary is $30,240 per year.

Locality Pay Grades

Employees of TSA may receive locality pay depending on each employee's assigned location. Locality pay is an addition to each federal government employee's base salary to account for changes in cost of living where the employees must live to easily reach the working destination. It ranges from 16 percent of total pay at lower levels to as much as 35 percent of total pay in locations where the cost of living is much higher.

Maximum TSA Pay Grades

Annual salary for TSA workers can become lucrative at higher pay grades. According to the TSA's website, the maximum annual salary possible with their pay system is $157,100. The federal government caps locality pay at this level, only allowing a maximum salary of $172,550, as of 2014. TSASalary.com puts the highest annual salary at $64,800.

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