Security managers oversee the technology, policies, procedures, and staff that help prevent criminal activity. Unlike other security personnel who work on the floor, such as a loss prevention specialists, security managers usually work in an office and monitor and manage the activities of their staff. They are responsible for designing the security systems and protocols, which may include surveillance cameras, motion sensors, and video recorders. They also determine who will have access to sensitive areas and information.
Security managers often investigate security breaches and work closely with law enforcement officers to solve security breaches and identify suspects. In addition to strategic planning, security managers manage schedules, department budgets, and other administrative activities.
Typical daily activities of a security manager might include:
Developing and maintaining property loss prevention plan
Installing key card control access systems and determining access levels for various employees
Implementing parking procedures
Designing and installing security systems and alarms
Developing policies and procedures for protecting classified or proprietary information
Initiating background testing and maintaining information for security clearances
Security managers also often work with an IT security manager to develop policies and procedures for protecting data on a client's network.
Security Manager Job Education Requirements
The most common educational background for security managers is a bachelor's degree; approximately 70 percent of security managers possess this credential. About 15 percent have an associate's degree, while the other 15 percent hold master's degrees. Most security managers have a background in security management, criminal justice or criminology. Those who go into information security have degrees in computer science or information technology. Some security managers advance to the position after on-the-job experience as a security officer. Many have a military or law enforcement background.
Security Manager Job Market
The job outlook for security manager jobs is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for security managers will grow by 12 percent over the coming decade, which is average for all jobs. Security managers with an emphasis in information systems will grow at a higher rate, closer to 20 percent.
Security Manager Job Salary Information
The median salary for a security manager was $84,595 in 2014. The bottom 10 percent made $58,834 while the top 10 percent earned $110,900 per year. Security managers who worked for federal and state governments made the highest wages while those who worked in retail environments earned the lower end of the salary range.