I have seen the ads for transportation security officers in the paper. My question is, what is the pay scale for that job? The data must be in the public; i.e. what is the starting wage?

I have seen the ads for transportation security officers in the paper. My question is, what is the pay scale for that job? The data must be in the public; i.e. what is the starting wage?

— Andruss N., by email

Well, Andruss, you won't get rich with an entry level job at the Transportation Security Administration, but it certainly pays enough to keep food on the table.

Of course, you have to brace yourself to face a seemingly endless line of airline passengers, asking them the same questions and announcing the same rules — over and over and over and over. You do get to wear a cool uniform and latex gloves while taking away people's toiletries and performing pat-downs to make sure that none of the herd includes a wild bull trying to sneak C4 aboard the plane.

And, of course, you can amaze your friends and family with your uncanny resemblance to Jack Bauer as you tell them that you're a federal agent working for Homeland Security.

After passing the necessary screening, vetting and interview process, an entry-level transportation security officer can expect to make at least $29,131 a year, said a spokeswoman with the TSA's human resources division. Depending on an applicant's background and previous experience, that number could go as high as $43,697 but most entry level applicants qualify only for the base salary.

More information can be found at www.usajobs.gov.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.