Security officers are responsible for protecting the people, products and premises of their employers. For some companies, loss prevention may be the main focus. This involves keeping an eye on customers and employees to prevent theft or fraud. Other security officer jobs, particularly for the government and major businesses, are created to prevent trespassers and protect both authorized employees and the property. Employees who exhibit the right skills and dedication could see a promotion from security officer to Corporate Security Manager.
Daily Security Offer Tasks Include:
Securing premises by patrolling property
Monitoring surveillance equipment
Controlling traffic by directing drivers
Operating x-ray or metal detector equipment
These are just a few tasks that security officers perform; more diverse and niche requirements may be needed, depending on the organization and position.
Security Officer Job Education Requirements
Most employers prefer security officer candidates with a high school diploma or some college coursework to qualify for the position. Candidates with a bachelor's in criminology or psychology will stand out, as they will have the objectivity, emotional control and judgment skills necessary for the job. Other important skills include surveillance knowledge and, in some cases, physical strength and fitness.
Security officers on the career path to become an organization's Security Director should continue their training and education throughout their careers, and even consider a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice.
Security Officer Job Market
There are currently more than 1 million Americans employed as security officers, and more than 130,000 new security officer jobs will be created between now and 2022. This 12 percent projected job growth makes security officers in-demand, with new specialty jobs in the field developing every year. The states with the highest demand for security jobs include the District of Columbia, Nevada and New York. This is because of the high density of government buildings in DC and casinos in Las Vegas that require highly-trained security personnel.
Security Officer Job Salary Information
The average starting salary for security officers is $11.55 an hour, or $24,000 annually. In states with high security demand, like Washington DC, the average mean wage rises to $17.67 an hour, or $36,700 annually. Employees who work their way up the ladder to management positions could someday reach six-figure salaries, as security managers have been known to make as much as $99,000 annually. This means the right training and education, when paired with experience, can turn a security officer position from a first job to a long-term career.