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The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest power provider. As of 2011, it handles the energy needs of nine million people, primarily in Tennessee and surrounding states such as Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Virginia. Among its facilities are three nuclear power plants, which require protection by security officers from terrorist threats and other criminal disruptions.
TVA security officers, more commonly called police officers, are responsible for security at all TVA facilities, including nuclear power plants. In terms of salary, this government company does not distinguish between those assigned to nuclear facilities and those assigned to non-nuclear ones. All TVA police must meet the same qualifications of being at least 21 years old, being a U.S. citizen with no criminal convictions, having a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or associated field and having two years related law enforcement experience. Six years service as a full-time law enforcement officer can substitute for the education.
Applicants must pass medical, psychological, physical and drug tests as well as background investigations. Successful recruits begin training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, where they begin receiving a salary. Pay for all security officers average $33,020. Nuclear security police can be assigned to Browns Ferry near Athens, Alabama, which has the largest capacity; Sequoyah, beside the Chickamauga Reservoir in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee; or Watts Bar near the northern end of the Chickamauga Reservoir, in east Tennessee.
As part of their compensation package, TVA nuclear security officers receive several benefits. This includes a medical and dental plan, with three options each; a health care Flexible Spending Account to cover out-of-pocket health expenses; life, accidental death and dismemberment and disability insurance; and employee discounts on computer purchases and banking. Annual vacations range from 13 to 26 days per year with up to 240 hours that can be carried over to the following year. Ten holidays are also paid. Onsite fitness centers, intervention programs, tobacco cessation program and health care information form part of the TVA’s wellness program.
Once vested, full-time nuclear security officers receive retirement benefits. The non-contributory portion includes a pension and supplemental benefit for medical insurance. The contributory part includes fixed and variable funds, and a 401(k) plan that the TVA will match. Those who become disabled can receive disability benefits. Upon death, retiree benefits go to designated beneficiaries as either a lump sum or monthly payment.
- Tennessee Valley Authority: About
- Tennessee Valley Authority: Application Process for TVA Police Officer Positions
- Tennessee Valley Authority: Military Skills and TVA Careers (Page 3)
- Tennessee Valley Authority: Nuclear Energy
- Tennessee Valley Authority: Benefits
- Tennessee Valley Authority Retirement System: Benefits
Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.