Unlike most federal employees who use the standard GS grading system, the Federal Air Marshal Service, under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) utilizes the SV grading system, which serves as a system of discrete grades with pay ranges that differ from GS pay ranges. The SV grading system uses letters rather than numbers, with the letters having minimum and maximum rates. They are as follows:
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Criminology, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Online Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis
- Saint Joseph's University - Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Liberty University - M.S. in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Leadership
Although pay grades are based on education and experience, entry-level air marshal salaries typically begin with the G grade, which is between $39,358 and $60,982.
Federal Air Marshal, Career Level 1, Pay Band G
This entry-level air marshal position requires the completion of a 7-week residential training course in Artesia, New Mexico, followed by an additional 7 weeks at the Federal Air Marshal Service Training Academy in Atlantic City, new Jersey
Candidates for this position are subject to random drug and alcohol testing, as well as participation in a physical fitness program and frequent physical fitness assessments. All candidates must pass a top-secret security clearance.
Pay Band G: Individuals qualifying for air marshal salaries under the Pay Band G (SV-G) must have at least 4 years of general experience, one year of which must be equivalent to the GS-4 level. Experience must show the candidate’s ability to:
- Analyze problems
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
- Gather pertinent data
- Plan and organize work
- Recognize solutions
Individuals without the required experience may substitute education for experience, which includes possessing a four-year course of study in any field that leads to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Candidates may also qualify if they have a combination of education and experience.
Pay Band H: Individuals qualifying for air marshal salaries under the Pay Band H (SV-H) must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the SV-G or the GS-9 level. Individuals without the required experience may qualify if they possess at least 3 years of education at the graduate level or possess a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctoral degree. Individuals who use education as a substitute for experience must have a degree in a directly related field.
Pay Band I: Individuals qualifying for air marshal salaries under the Pay Band I (SV-I) must have at least one year of specialized experience at the SV-H or the GS-12 level, with the experience being directly related to the line of work.
Federal Air Marshal, Assistant Federal Security Director, Law Enforcement,
Pay Band J
The federal air marshal salary for candidates in the Pay Band J does not include locality pay, a cost of living allowance, a retention incentive pay, or Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP). Candidates for assistant federal security director positions are current air marshals. They must be able to obtain and maintain a top-security clearance and a U.S. citizenship, and they must be able to disclose their financial information and pass random drug tests.
Pay Band J: Individuals qualifying for air marshal salaries under the Pay Band J (SV-J), which is equivalent to the GS-14, must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the SV-I or the GS-13 or the equivalent in the private sector. Specialized experience includes:
- Serving in primary law enforcement positions, security, or aviation security programs
- Assisting in the administration of manpower and other resources in a law enforcement environment
Supervisory Federal Air Marshal, Pay Band K
Supervisory positions include serving as first-line supervisors, which include setting priorities, reviewing and evaluating work, and assigning work. It may also include budget planning, recommending correcting or disciplinary actions, managing projects, and resolving problems associated with the objectives of the organizational unit.
Pay Band K: Individuals qualifying for air marshal salaries under the Pay Band K (SV-K), which is equivalent to the GS-15, must have at least one year of specialized experience at the SV-J pay band or the GS-14 in federal service, or the equivalent in the private sector. Specialized experience includes:
- Managing a law enforcement program
- Implementing law enforcement and security management laws, regulations, policies and procedures
- Applying expert knowledge of TSA aviation security guidelines and policies
- Managing budget, human resources, and material resources
- Evaluating current procedures and practices