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Current Vacancy Announcements

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

Vacancy announcments have been posted on http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/search.aspx?jbf574=HS*&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&vw=b&re=0&caller=basic.aspx&pg=1&q=canine.  Important informtion to note, these postings are not for new positions looking to be filled immediately, instead they are intended to create a "ready pool" of qualified applicants should a currently filled position become available. 


The federal government is still operating on a temporary budget, therefore TSA is postponing the hiring of new handlers for which the agency has already been approved for.  Over the next year approximatley 175 additional canine teams will be deployed to various transportation venues accross the country.  However, until the agency's actual budget is approved, no movement can be made on this.

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Okay.

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Ed, I just sent you an email before reading this and your message for the group, so I apologize.  Thanks for the info

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trenttall says ...



Ed, I just sent you an email before reading this and your message for the group, so I apologize.  Thanks for the info



Got your email Trent.  In response to your question, " I saw where TSA was "mass hiring" for handlers and was wondering if you could let me know about the hiring process and any tips/insight that you could provide me?” I submit to you the following:


The current vacancy announcements are to establish a ready pool of qualified applicants TSA would be able to pull from in the event an opening should come up due to a current Handler leaving his/her position.  Sort of a time saver to back fill positions.


All applications must be completed as described in the vacancy announcement.  You may apply to one or all the advertised locations, with the understanding that relocations expenses will not be provided.  Once your application is submitted, it is reviewed for qualifications.  After this first review, three lists are developed; Best Qualified, Qualified, and Not Qualified.  Usually only the names on the Best Qualified list are forwarded to the appropriate field offices for consideration.  At some time after the announcements close, those on the BQ list will be contacted for the writing assessment.  Upon successful completion of the writing assessment, and once the local field offices receive the BQ list, applicants will begin to receive contacts from those offices to schedule interviews.  Ideally we would prefer face to face interview, however on a case by case, telephone interviews may occur. 


Each part of the hiring process is awarded points; this is outlined in the announcement.  What I tell people, above all else, when applying to this or any job for that matter, is never sell yourself short.  What may not really matter to you may matter to someone else.  Therefore on your application, the questionnaire, your resume; sell it all!  If it relates to the job you are seeking in any way, mention it.  There are many people looking for this job, especially in today's world, so now's the time to really toot your own horn.  Good luck!

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

hraccess-assessment.tsa.dhs.gov/Forms/WSAPrepGuide.pdf


The above link is to TSA's Preparation Manual, Writing Skills Assessment.  This is a very useful tool in getting ready for the WSA which is a requirement for consideration as a TSA EDCH.  Please take the time to review it as it will certainly better your chances during the selection process.

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I would assume that you would need to either own or rent a place with a yard for the dog. Yet, the job announcement says nothing about that being a requirement... How does that work?

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KP296 says ...



I would assume that you would need to either own or rent a place with a yard for the dog. Yet, the job announcement says nothing about that being a requirement... How does that work?



KP296, thanks for the question.  Yards, for obvious reasons are a plus, but in no way a deal breaker for selection.  The reason the announcment makes no mention of it is because it is not a requirement.  We have handlers living in apartments.  The only requirement is that your home is capable of housing the canine safely and securely.  Once on the job, with your assigned canine, your home is subject to monthly inspections by your immediate supervisor as prescribed by our SOP.  The supervisor must give you 24 hours notice of the home inspection and is only required to see the area in which the canine is housed.

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Reminder to All: The current vacancy announcements close on 8Feb2011.  Do not wait for the last minute.  Those who do may get caught in a virtual traffic jam and not get thier application in on time.  Good Luck.

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 I was just wondering about how long the process takes for them to process applications to your EOD.  I know that it varies from person to person, but what would your estimate be based on your experience and your coworkers experience?

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redstrm00 says ...



 I was just wondering about how long the process takes for them to process applications to your EOD.  I know that it varies from person to person, but what would your estimate be based on your experience and your coworkers experience?



redstrm00,


I wish I could give you a definitive answer to your question.  Above all others this is the toughest of all.  What I can tell you is that typically, when these positions are sitting vacant, each field office will and must fill them as soon as possible.  But please note, the current announcments that you see on USAJOBS are not for currently vacant positions waiting to be filled.  They are intended to establish a qualified list of candidates who are waiting in the wings in the event a position opens up should one of us leave.

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EdSantos1227,Thanks for posting this great advice.Its been a great help. I've been on the fence about applying for the current announcement. The TSA program appears to be a great opportunity. I've got 20+ yrs on the job with 5+ yrs handling an EDC in our K-9 unit. Have you seen retired LEOs make the move to TSA? I'm going to apply for the NYC area airports. If hired my goal would be to work this area for 5 yrs or so then look for TSA EDCH position in another part of the country. Does that seem reasonable ? Are these positions made available internally before going to the public on USAJOBS ?    

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whatagoodboy says ...



EdSantos1227,Thanks for posting this great advice.Its been a great help. I've been on the fence about applying for the current announcement. The TSA program appears to be a great opportunity. I've got 20+ yrs on the job with 5+ yrs handling an EDC in our K-9 unit. Have you seen retired LEOs make the move to TSA? I'm going to apply for the NYC area airports. If hired my goal would be to work this area for 5 yrs or so then look for TSA EDCH position in another part of the country. Does that seem reasonable ? Are these positions made available internally before going to the public on USAJOBS ?    



whatagoodboy,


First please allow me to thank you for your years of service on the job.  In TSA's creation, the vast majority of the employees were retired LEO's and military personnel.  I have had the priveledge of working with many across the country.  In my shop alone we have at least 5 that I can think of.  Ideally each field office would like to retain thier personnel for as long as possible however, transfer opportunities do come up from time to time.  One very important point to keep in mind regarding transfers, if by the time you decide to transfer and see an opportunity present itself to a location of your interest, and you have reached a pay band greater than G (i.e. H or I), you would have to take the voluntary demotion in order to transfer.  Now there may be some instances in which this is waived, however highly unlikely.

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Thanks for posting this Ed. Good info for any brother or sister left out in this wave of cuts....  


"We are all ignorant, but we do not ignore the same things"
Albert Einstein, about the Copenhagen Interpretation.
“It has to be right, because it works so well. As per the nature of it, I make no hypothesis”
Sir Isaac Newton, regarding the Laws of Motion.

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BrooklynHillsCop says ...



Thanks for posting this Ed. Good info for any brother or sister left out in this wave of cuts....  



That's why I do it.  First to make sure that I contribute to my brothers and sisters what I can for all that they contribute everyday; and with times being what they are, good opportunities for good people are hard to come by.  I consider myself to be pretty fortuante to be in the position that I am in right now and think it only right that I share that fortune with those I appreciate.

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EdSantos1227 says ...



BrooklynHillsCop says ...



Thanks for posting this Ed. Good info for any brother or sister left out in this wave of cuts....  



That's why I do it.  First to make sure that I contribute to my brothers and sisters what I can for all that they contribute everyday; and with times being what they are, good opportunities for good people are hard to come by.  I consider myself to be pretty fortuante to be in the position that I am in right now and think it only right that I share that fortune with those I appreciate.



BUMP brother.... !


"We are all ignorant, but we do not ignore the same things"
Albert Einstein, about the Copenhagen Interpretation.
“It has to be right, because it works so well. As per the nature of it, I make no hypothesis”
Sir Isaac Newton, regarding the Laws of Motion.

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Ed, I first like to say thanks for the information you have provided.  I'm so glad I stumbled upon your profile doing a search on TSI.  Great pictures btw.  And as I say to all fellow vets thank you for serving our great country!  I do have a few questions that come to mind as I'm typing.  First, if selected for Canine, do you knock out both training sessions back-to-back (Ft. Sill then Lackland) or is each one scheduled separately?  Now for the next question I first like to say I'm all for hiring the right person for the right job, but in your experience does the hiring staff usually look highly upon veteran preference?  For me I'm a 30% disabled vet which qualifies for the 10pt preference....but in all honestly does that even hold water?  The next question I'm not sure if you are able to give me any insight or not.....but I applied for all 4 TSI spots only for Sioux Falls, SD (in case you are wondering we love our cold weather up here!!).  Now I'm not sure if you know but Sioux Falls doesn't have TSA staff (screeners) it is one of the few airports that is contracted out like SFO.  My question is this, is there even a TSI staff in South Dakota?  In the job annoucements they do have positions for both Rapid City and Sioux Falls.  If not, would you think TSA is looking at adding them to those locations?  I remember you posed a section about the budget and probably hiring staff to replace those who moved on somewhere else....so no need to repeat that.  Last year when TSA did a massive pool they also had Sioux Falls listed but it didn't amount to anything then.  So I'm not getting too excited unless I'm offered to take the writing exam.  Although on a personal level it is difficult for me NOT to get too excited since a lot of the tasks performed by a TSI is exactly what I want to do for a new career.  I will get off the soap box now.  Thanks again for the info.


Semper Fi

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Just wanted to jump in and stick around this forum for a while. Applied in the SE area for EDCH this week - hopefully the budget gets approved and the positions get filled.


I'm coming from Military Police and worked with MWD, hold a BSCJ, and hoping I make the cut for this announcement.


USMCerik - The 10pt preference sure does hold water with fed hiring. The only issue is if there's 10 others with that preference applying as well - then it makes it competitive. If you're the only one with a 10pt pref and at the top of the list between you and a non vet pref - you get the job.

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usmcerik says ...



Ed, I first like to say thanks for the information you have provided.  I'm so glad I stumbled upon your profile doing a search on TSI.  Great pictures btw.  And as I say to all fellow vets thank you for serving our great country!  I do have a few questions that come to mind as I'm typing.  First, if selected for Canine, do you knock out both training sessions back-to-back (Ft. Sill then Lackland) or is each one scheduled separately?  Now for the next question I first like to say I'm all for hiring the right person for the right job, but in your experience does the hiring staff usually look highly upon veteran preference?  For me I'm a 30% disabled vet which qualifies for the 10pt preference....but in all honestly does that even hold water?  The next question I'm not sure if you are able to give me any insight or not.....but I applied for all 4 TSI spots only for Sioux Falls, SD (in case you are wondering we love our cold weather up here!!).  Now I'm not sure if you know but Sioux Falls doesn't have TSA staff (screeners) it is one of the few airports that is contracted out like SFO.  My question is this, is there even a TSI staff in South Dakota?  In the job annoucements they do have positions for both Rapid City and Sioux Falls.  If not, would you think TSA is looking at adding them to those locations?  I remember you posed a section about the budget and probably hiring staff to replace those who moved on somewhere else....so no need to repeat that.  Last year when TSA did a massive pool they also had Sioux Falls listed but it didn't amount to anything then.  So I'm not getting too excited unless I'm offered to take the writing exam.  Although on a personal level it is difficult for me NOT to get too excited since a lot of the tasks performed by a TSI is exactly what I want to do for a new career.  I will get off the soap box now.  Thanks again for the info.


Semper Fi



usmerik,


At the present timeTSA Canine initial training only occurs at Lackland AFB for 10 weeks.  The Training and Evaluation Branch is currently reviewing new training programs which may occur outside Lackland in the near future.  Currently we have several teams training at an academy other than Lackland however it is my understanding that this is experimental until TSA develops its own training curriculum in this particular function. 


Consideration for employment vith Veterans Pref is law therefore hiring practice in TSA is in accordance with such.  When it comes to locations, other than the locations listed on the announcement, I could not tell you about any additional locations.  Placement of teams is focused on operational needs.  Unfortunately I cannot speak to any more on what operational needs entail. Hope you understand. 

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  Hi. I was wondering what are the physical requirements to be a canine handler? For example, are females allowed to be handlers? Is there a physical fitness test similar to the military's pt tests or a law enforcement pt test?  Also, I was wondering if previous law enforcement experience is needed, or would someone with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology/Animal Behavior and animal care experience (zoo keeper) be just as qualified for the job? I've always wanted to be a K-9 handler but never really wanted to go through a law enforcement agency in hopes of being selected to be a K-9 handler. 

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Ed,


 


I will be applying for the handler position with no experience in law enforcement or security. I've been told it is impossible to get this job if you don't have some experience with either. I qualify on the job posting due to a college degree and am also a 10 percent  disabled veteran. Have plenty of work experience, just not this kind.  What kinds of new hires have you been seeing?  Do you remember when you trained how many of the handlers had experience or where they hired from a completely unrelated field?  Thanks in advance, can't tell you how much you've helped.

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When it comes to locations, other than the locations listed on the announcement, I could not tell you about any additional locations.  Placement of teams is focused on operational needs.  Unfortunately I cannot speak to any more on what operational needs entail. Hope you understand. 



Maybe I confused you a little bit, Sioux Falls is on the list of locations....it looks to me on your reply that you read my post as if Sioux Falls wasn't.  Besides the point I completely understand on what can and cannot be discused due to security and operational needs.  I'm just trying to gain as much intell as possible for my local area.  But thank you for offering as much information as you are able to tell.  Here is a question that I don't beleive I've seen anyone ask.  What is the part of your job that you hate the most?  Thanks.

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animal_lover89 says ...



  Hi. I was wondering what are the physical requirements to be a canine handler? For example, are females allowed to be handlers? Is there a physical fitness test similar to the military's pt tests or a law enforcement pt test?  Also, I was wondering if previous law enforcement experience is needed, or would someone with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology/Animal Behavior and animal care experience (zoo keeper) be just as qualified for the job? I've always wanted to be a K-9 handler but never really wanted to go through a law enforcement agency in hopes of being selected to be a K-9 handler. 



Hello,


The following was copied directly from the vacancy announcment:


PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Must maintain physical agility to meet work requirements of regular and recurring physical exertion such as prolonged standing, bending, and stooping to inspect individuals, baggage and cargo operations.  Work will require driving or traveling by motor vehicle.  The work involves regular and recurring exposure to moderate risk or discomforts that require special safety precautions.


-You should be able to carry your dog should you ever have a need to an you must be able to walk backwords while still being able to read your dogs behavior and not trip all over the place. We have female handlers at just about every single field office.  Sex is irrelevant.  Experience is relative.  Any formal experience with animals puts you at a competative edge compared to those who's only real experience was that they had a pet dog when they were a child. At the present time there is no physical fitness exam associated with this position, however word on the street is that future positions may require it.  LE background, although great to have, not at all a requirement.

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 Thanks for the info Ed! I have always wanted to be a canine handler, just never really wanted the police officer side of it, so this job is a dream job. Hopefully I'll meet the requirements they're looking for in an applicant and get the job, if they're able to work out the budget. I've run into this problem with two other government jobs, but hopefully this one will work out. 

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usmcerik says ...




When it comes to locations, other than the locations listed on the announcement, I could not tell you about any additional locations.  Placement of teams is focused on operational needs.  Unfortunately I cannot speak to any more on what operational needs entail. Hope you understand. 



Maybe I confused you a little bit, Sioux Falls is on the list of locations....it looks to me on your reply that you read my post as if Sioux Falls wasn't.  Besides the point I completely understand on what can and cannot be discused due to security and operational needs.  I'm just trying to gain as much intell as possible for my local area.  But thank you for offering as much information as you are able to tell.  Here is a question that I don't beleive I've seen anyone ask.  What is the part of your job that you hate the most?  Thanks.



usmcerik


I apologize, I was trying to respond to your question while at work and between spare moments from my Droid cell phone. Ever try reading and replying to Policelink messages on such a small screen and small buttons? :) 
Anyway, in response to your question, "What is the part of my job that I hate the most?" -I would honestly have to say that I hate the fact that we are not Sworn LEO's. We deploy to venues to work directly alongside other federal and municipal LEO organizations in high profile events. Many times I have worked with non-uniformed LEOs with unmarked vehicles in very crowded locations with significant risks, yet we are in fully marked vehicles, in uniform to which the lay person and the potential "bad guy" who really does not know the difference, may look to us a LEO's and expect LEO type responses from us. While in the USAF as a SF member, I became accustom to performing high risk operations as I had the tools and resources to respond accordingly in order to protect life and property.

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animal_lover89 says ...



 Thanks for the info Ed! I have always wanted to be a canine handler, just never really wanted the police officer side of it, so this job is a dream job. Hopefully I'll meet the requirements they're looking for in an applicant and get the job, if they're able to work out the budget. I've run into this problem with two other government jobs, but hopefully this one will work out. 



Just happy to help in any way that I can.  Good luck.. Join this group so that I may follow up with you and see how things are going later.

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THREE DAYS UNTIL THE CLOSING OF THIS ANNOUNCMENT!!!  

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EdSantos1227 says ...



usmcerik


I apologize, I was trying to respond to your question while at work and between spare moments from my Droid cell phone. Ever try reading and replying to Policelink messages on such a small screen and small buttons? :) 
Anyway, in response to your question, "What is the part of my job that I hate the most?" -I would honestly have to say that I hate the fact that we are not Sworn LEO's. We deploy to venues to work directly alongside other federal and municipal LEO organizations in high profile events. Many times I have worked with non-uniformed LEOs with unmarked vehicles in very crowded locations with significant risks, yet we are in fully marked vehicles, in uniform to which the lay person and the potential "bad guy" who really does not know the difference, may look to us a LEO's and expect LEO type responses from us. While in the USAF as a SF member, I became accustom to performing high risk operations as I had the tools and resources to respond accordingly in order to protect life and property.

Ed,


No problem.  I really don't enjoy using my PDA to send messages myself so I can understand your situation.  I can see how the above situation can cause problems.  I'm sure you've come across those individules with some sort of LEO "ego".  I hope they are few in numbers.

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EdSantos1227 says ...



THREE DAYS UNTIL THE CLOSING OF THIS ANNOUNCMENT!!!  



I'm looking forward for the closing so we can see what is really going to happen instead of speculation.  I would have to say that this annoucement is quite different than the massive one we had last year.  Last years, if some would recall, was open for several months and had several cutoff dates.  At least this time the open period is shorter and there isn't any several cutoff dates.  If I'm invited to move forward into the process I'll be sure to post updates. 

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Ed,


What is the potential for advancements in the pay band?  I read on another forum that handlers are advanced to the I band after one year.  Is that correct?  Also, is there any potential for promotions?  Thanks.

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Wingwalker says ...



Ed,


What is the potential for advancements in the pay band?  I read on another forum that handlers are advanced to the I band after one year.  Is that correct?  Also, is there any potential for promotions?  Thanks.



Wingwalker,


The entry level for this position is the G Band.  The potential for promotion is up to I Band.  Promotion to I Band will be greater than one year.  Each field office is only alloted a small precentage of I Band positions.  I Bands are Lead Inspector positions which, due to the relatively new TSI Evolution principle now implemented in TSA, requires approximatley one year in the band before.  Potential does exist for promotion, but realistically I could not say how long it would take to make I band.  With the increase of the number of teams coming on board, I think it fair to say that the number of I bands per office may increase.  The following link details the 2010 pay scale for TSA: http://www.tsa.gov/join/careers/pay_scales.shtm.  These amounts do not include the locality pay as the precentage depends on where you are.  Also, be aware the President recently signed into law a 2 year pay and locality freeze.  That is for the next two years government employees will not see an annual base pay increase and locality pay increase. 

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