Transportation Security Specialist - Explosives Detection Canine Handler

Department Of Homeland Security Anchorage , AK 99501

Posted 2 months ago

  • Duties




Securing Travel, Protecting People

  • At the Transportation Security Administration, you will serve in a high-stakes environment to safeguard the American way of life. In cities across the country, you would secure airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America's transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. For additional information about our agency please: Click Here

Learn more about this agency


As a Transportation Security Specialist

  • Explosives Detection Canine Handler (TSS-EDCH) with Security Operations (SO), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will be responsible for conducting Passenger Screening Canine (PSC) and other Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) threat assessment/mitigation activities to ensure the safety of the traveling public and mitigate potential threats, in coordination with Airport Screening Operations. You will also apply knowledge gained through formal canine handler training to develop skills necessary to evaluate and reward canine behavior, guide canines during threat mitigation activities, and ensure effective utilization of canines. Other duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Utilizing canines to assess passengers in screening queues for potential explosives threats.

  • Interacting with traveling public to respond to inquiries, establish a calm environment, and maximize the canine's ability to search.

  • Coordinating and collaborating with other EDC program members, in scheduling work and training activities.

  • Traveling to explosives storage magazine to obtain identified explosives to be used for canine training and ensuring variation of aids used to ensure canine proficiency. Loading explosives in designated containers and transporting to airports or other training locations.

  • Utilizing risk-based security techniques and intelligence information to determine areas in which to use canines to conduct random sweeps, support ATLAS exercises, and to act as a visible deterrent to potential terrorist threats or criminal activity and to align training to mitigate known threats.

  • Evaluating potential threats based on canine response (passenger or object) to determine action to be taken (e.g., have canine respond or call appropriate authorities).

  • Performing a variety of administrative functions to include: logging work activities/time; updating training and utilization in canine-specific tracking systems to ensure documentation of canine behavior, potential training needs, and actions taken to correct canine behavior(s); entering vehicles usage/maintenance data; and entering/validating time and attendance, etc.

  • Utilizing a variety of technology (e.g., iPhone, iPad, laptop, radio) to perform core work functions.

If selected for the Transportation Security Specialist

  • Explosives Detection Canine Handler position, in addition to the duties outlined above, you will also be responsible for performing daily care of the canine including health maintenance, feeding/watering, exercising, and grooming, as well as maintaining safe and sanitary conditions of TSA-issued equipment (e.g., kennel, vehicle, office space, and home environment).

Note: The duties of this position are observed and reviewed frequently for technical accuracy, application of canine handling methods and techniques, and results.

Travel Required

Occasional travel

  • A minimum of one (1) week of travel in a full-time duty status will be required within 90-days of entry on duty to complete TSA's in residence New Hire Training. This training will occur away from the employee's duty station of record. Employees will be paid for compensable hours and reimbursed for authorized travel expenses per TSA Travel Policy.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

1801 General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, And Compliance Series

  • Requirements



Conditions of Employment

  • You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.

  • You must complete a favorable Background Investigation (BI).

  • Must pass pre-employment drug screening AND random drug/alcohol testing.

  • You must successfully complete a training course & pass medical evaluation.

  • Selective Service registration is required.

  • See additional "Conditions of Employment" and "Other Information" sections.

You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

This position is not covered by Law Enforcement Availability Pay or Law Enforcement Retirement.

This is an emergency essential position.


To qualify for the SV-G Pay Band, you must meet one of the qualification requirements (A, B, OR C) as outlined below:

A. Experience: For those qualifying using experience, your application must clearly outline three (3) years of progressively responsible general experience, one (1) year of which was equivalent to at least the SV-F or GS-4 grade level in the Federal service or equivalent in the private sector. Such experience will demonstrate the ability to: analyze problems, gather pertinent data, and recognize solutions; plan and organize work; and communicate effectively orally and in writing.


B. Education: Bachelor's or higher-level degree in any field from an accredited college or university.


C. Combining of Education and Experience: Combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements, and may be computed by first determining the total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the position; then determining the education as a percentage of the education required for the position; and then adding the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for the position.

Note: For positions requiring positive education requirements, or if you are using education to meet all or part of the qualification requirements, you MUST submit a copy of your transcripts or an itemized list of college courses from an accredited college or university, which includes equivalent information from the transcript (course title, semester/quarter hours, and grade/degree earned) in your resume. The information must be provided with the application by the closing date of the announcement. If selected, the applicant must supply a transcript or certification of degree.

National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime.

Physical Demands: You must be able to perform the essential job functions described in the TSA Medical Guidelines for Explosives Detection Canine Handlers (for more information, click here). Other physical demands include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to lift and carry up to 80 pounds for a continuous distance of 100 feet at waist or chest level

  • Ability to push and pull up to 50 pounds

  • Ability to walk continuously for a minimum of 1.5 hours without a break

  • Ability to stand continuously for a minimum of 1.5 hours without a break

  • Ability to sit continuously for up to 2 hours

  • Maintain physical ability to bend, kneel, squat, reach overhead, and run

  • Maintain ability to ascend and descend steep stairs and walk backwards

Conditions of Employment: TSA canine handlers are generally granted the use of a Government vehicle, typically referred to as Home-to-Work authority, for the efficient care and transportation of canines. The Department of Homeland Security prohibits authorization of Home-To Work Transportation to employees who live more than 50 miles from their duty station of record. Therefore, as a condition of employment, all persons hired to canine handler positions must reside within 50 miles (driving miles) of the official duty station for the position (unless waiver request is approved prior to entering on duty).

  • Work may require driving or traveling by motor vehicle and occasionally involves regular and recurring exposure to moderate risk or discomforts that require special safety precautions.

  • You must meet and maintain medical requirements for EDCH as stated in the TSA Medical Guidelines for Explosives Detection Canine Handlers (for more information, click here).

  • You must pass a Background Investigation (BI) and maintain eligibility for a clearance at the Secret level.

  • You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.

  • You must pass pre-employment drug screening AND you will be subject to post-employment random drug and alcohol testing.

  • You must hold and maintain a valid driver's license.

  • You must obtain and maintain SIDA (Security Identification Display Area) driving privileges.

  • You must maintain, at all times, housing suitable for the canine.

  • You must successfully complete the TSA Canine Handler Training Course.

  • You must successfully meet and maintain annual certification standards.

  • You must successfully complete all NEDCTP-lead (National Explosives Detective Canine Team Program) training and assessment requirements.

  • You must be available to work various shifts to include nights and weekends.

  • You must be willing to undertake extensive travel, at times overnight, as required.

  • You must be able and willing to safely work with various hazardous explosives and hazardous chemicals used in the regular and reoccurring training of canines.

Candidates who accept a Tentative Job Offer will be required to successfully complete a medical evaluation, drug test, and pre-hire background investigation before they are eligible for a Final Job Offer. Moreover, current TSS-EDCH employees who are seeking a reassignment via the competitive hiring process must successfully complete each step in the hiring process, including retaking the CHAB after their results expire, as well as, undergoing the medical evaluation.

  • Please only select consideration for locations within 50 miles of your current residence or which you are willing to relocate at your own expense. Payment of relocation expenses (Permanent Change of Station) is not authorized. Vacancies for each location are not guaranteed until that duty location indicates that they have a vacancy.*


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Transportation Security Specialist - Explosives Detection Canine Handler

Department Of Homeland Security