Air marshals who are sometimes called "sky marshals" or "federal air marshals" (FAMs) are employed by the federal government and work under the oversight of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Their job is to ensure that the United States civil aviation system is safe and that standards for homeland security are kept at a high level. Essentially they are federal law enforcement officers who blend in with passengers on an aircraft most often on flights to and from high-risk areas.
Most air marshals travel frequently although some hold positions in organizations such as the National Counterterrorism Center and on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. All air marshals must be ready to serve during times of high alert. Aspiring air marshals go through extensive training in safety measures and they must be certified in the use of firearms. They are also trained to recognize suspicious behavior during flights and they are well-versed in defense measures that will protect passengers and crew should any incidents occur during flights. Find a degree in law enforcement.
In general training for air marshals takes place in two phases. First they travel to a training center to complete a seven week course in basic law enforcement. Second they are trained in handgun accuracy and in the type of marksmanship skills that may be needed in the tight confines of an aircraft. Once they complete both training phases they are assigned to a field office which assigns them to the missions on which they will be sent. According to the website Payscale.com salaries for air marshals range from approximately $38000 to approximately $93000.