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How to Become a Federal Air Marshal

Rahul Thadani
A Federal Air Marshal is entrusted with the task of providing in-flight safety on American flights, and ensuring general air safety through counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities on land. Here's all you need to know about a Federal Air Marshal...
In the United States, providing security and protection to air travelers is given huge importance, and there are several precautions and safety measures that the Federal Government takes in order to achieve this. One such protection agency is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and one of their jobs is to recruit and train Federal Air Marshals.
Over time the FAA has become the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), which is a part of the Transport Security Administration (TSA), and they recruit highly qualified individuals for a variety of positions that contribute towards airline security and other forms of in-flight security as well.
The primary job of a Federal Air Marshal is to ensure that the passengers on a plane are not threatened by any hostile situation, and that their safety is completely ensured at all times. Along with the security of the passengers, he or she is assigned with the task of protecting the cabin crew on the plane, and the property of the airline carrier as well.
There are several instances when a malicious party may try to cause damage, and the responsibility to thwart these parties then falls on the Air Marshal.
Apart from this, Air Marshals also have the task of ensuring that air safety is something that is not an issue in the public mind. Air Marshals will also carry out several land-based intelligence operations from time to time, so as to eliminate the danger of any form of terrorism or other threats that could affect the safety of airlines and flights.
Hence, an Air Marshal has to work in close collaboration with many other law enforcement agencies as well.

Becoming a Federal Air Marshal

Air Marshals thus get a lot of respect from not only the people who fly the flights, but also from the general public. As a consequence of this, there are several people who are interested in taking up this profession, since working for the Government not only provides prestige value, but also offers good salary figures and plenty of other benefits as well.
The first step for any individual is to get a high school education. A high school diploma will provide an individual with a platform and a springboard to achieve many things in the future, and becoming a Federal Air Marshal is definitely one of them.
But in order to work for the Federal Government, simply going through a high school education is certainly not enough. A college education is equally important, and this is one of the most basic requirements. Obtaining a college education in a field like criminal law, or other related fields, will also be a major advantage.
Needless to say, the period of your college education should be smooth. If your academic record is not very impressive, or if you have been in trouble with the law many times, then applying for the post may just be out of your grasp.

Training for Federal Air Marshals

The training is quite grueling and physically demanding. Moreover, an Air Marshal is expected to know how to shoot a gun properly. So if you have prior experience of working with guns and if you also have some professional combat training experience, then it will work in your favor.
But this is not a prerequisite, as the FAMS will train all Air Marshals very extensively. Hence, being in good physical shape and having excellent hearing and vision is something that is demanded by the FAMS for any aspiring Air Marshal.
The hiring process for an Air Marshal involves a complete background check, physical, medical and psychological assessment, a written test and an intensive interview process. To apply for this job, you simply have to visit the TSA website and follow the instructions given there. Remember, only someone below the age of 37 years can apply for the post.
Along with a pretty high salary, this job provides many other benefits as well. One of the most important benefits though, is the prestige and the respect that this job will undoubtedly generate. Apart from this, there are plenty of retirement plans, health benefits, life insurance plans and tax-saving benefits that working with Federal Government brings.
All of these factors will combine and provide the individual with a pretty comfortable life. Of course, there will be moments of danger during the job, but this is something that a Federal Air Marshal will be trained to deal with from the very beginning.
There are a number of online portals through which you can apply for such a job, and there are plenty of law enforcement schools and colleges that provide information for free as well. Approaching these bodies for further help is also highly advised if you are serious about becoming a Federal Air Marshal for the United States Government.