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What is a TWIC Card and WHY should I get one?

TWIC stands for Transportation Workers Identification Card and the card is proof that you have passed a background check by the Department of Homeland Security.

I decided to get my Transportation Workers Identification Card due to the fact that I've been working the last year up and down the east coast of the US.

The Transportation Workers Identification Card is part of an anti-terrorism policy that surrounds our ports, sea ways, shipping and oil rigs.

Why get a TWIC Card?

This past summer during the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster, many employers were asking for people that already had their TWIC Cards. It's already a federal law that anyone involved in oil spill remediation must have their updated HAZWOPER certification.

People with their HAZWOPER certifications were being hired but people with their HAZWOPER and TWIC were billing out at a higher hourly rate and being hired more quickly.

Federal agencies are expanding their control over port and harbor activities as it is an apparent weak spot in our border's security.

Based on my past experiences on the UXO grid, the more certifications that you possess, the better off and more likely you'll be employed.

The US Army Corps of Engineers oversees UXO work done and requires the OSHA HAZWOPER. If you're supervising HAZWOPER employees, you need the HAZWOPER Supervisor.

If you're on a federal property working on new construction, you need the OSHA 30 Hour Construction and you need all of the above if you're doing UXO work on a construction site on a federal property.

The above paragraphs were difficult to write but it makes the point that the agencies are going to protect each other by making certain credentials and certificates necessary justifying their own existence.

NOTE: Approximately 15 people are killed everyday on construction sites in the US. OSHA does have a positive roll in protecting us from unsafe practices.

If you believe you'll be involved in any work on a federal base or near a port or water way, I highly recommend getting your TWIC Card and 40 Hour HAZWOPER.

How to get a TWIC Card?

What you'll need to is go to the DHS TWIC enrollment site to register online and schedule an appointment to fill out more paperwork and get your fingerprints done.

The paperwork asks if you have been convicted of anything related to National Security, weapons, etc.

The process at the office takes about 30 minutes. You'll have a photo taken for your ID and be on your way.

Rumor has it that you'll have your card in about 2 weeks provided you pass the background check. You may want to get your own background check before starting the process so you're not blind sided if something comes up. Click Here!

When it does come in, you must be the one that picks it up. Employers or family members cannot pick it up for you.

You'll receive an email when your card is ready for pick up. When I went for my first appointment, I went with James Corder, listed under the Success Stories section, to fill out our paper work and do the finger prints. He's never had a clearance and received his within about 10 days.

I've had Secret, Top Secret, Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information (CNWDI), NATO Secret and NATO Top Secret, yet it took about 5 weeks to get mine.

When you go to pick it up, you'll do one more finger print to confirm you match the original set and enter a 4 to 6 digit pin, sign the terms and conditions paper saying you won't abuse the card, etc. I'm thinking using it to get the government discounts at hotels.

After that, you're good to go! The card is good for 5 years.

As I'm currently working in Seattle at the port, I decided to use my TWIC Card to enter a secure area. I don't think the guard had seen one before but he did accept it.

So is the TWIC Card something you need? Maybe not but having it will open some doors, it looks good on your resume, it is a clearance so to speak and having it may put you higher on the list of guys that are being looked at to be hired.

Combining it with the HAZWOPER is one of the best ways to get you hired more quickly when disaster strikes.

If you have any specific questions about TWIC, HAZWOPER or making your resume stand above the others, use the Contact Me page and I'll get back to you ASAP.

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