What does a security officer do?
Security officers patrol and check property to protect against illegal activity such as theft, fire, vandalism, and terrorism. They protect the property, enforce laws, and attempt to prevent criminal activity and other inappropriate issues. When a problem arises they call for assistance using radio and telephone communications. They are responsible for writing thorough reports describing their activities and observations during their assigned shift. Security officers may also prepare case reports, interview victims or witnesses, present evidence, and testify in court.
Some security officers are assigned to one specific location for a designated time and others move around by walking or driving to different locations on the property. They constantly observe the property for signs of crime or disorder by patrolling or monitoring alarm systems and TV or video cameras and conducting security checks of doors, windows, locks, and other paths of entry into the property. They may arrest or detain criminal offenders, issue traffic violation warnings, and answer and respond to calls about criminal activity.
What kind of training does a security officer need?
Security officers must have at least a high school diploma. Many employers provide on the job training. Training often includes public relations, protection, first aid, crisis deterrence, report writing, and specialized training according to specific tasks. Security officers that are armed receive more rigorous training on laws and retention of weapons. Most states require security officers to be licensed. Requirements vary by state, but typically include passing a background check, classroom training, and passing an examination. Continuing education is increasingly becoming a requirement for licensure renewal.
What are the prospects for a career as a security officer?
Employment of security officers is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 17% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Raised safety and security concerns regarding crime, terrorism, and vandalism will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be excellent due to growing demand of security services and from the need to replace security officers that retire or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do security officers make?
As of September 2009, security officers with 1 to 4 years experience earned annual salaries between $29,211 and $41,271. Security officers with 5 to 9 years experience earned annual salaries between $24,250 and $41,612 (2).
A career as a security officer is a great choice for people interested in providing security services to people and property. Security officers must be in good physical health, emotionally stable, and constantly alert. Great communication, keen observation skills, good judgment, and ability to deal with stressful and dangerous situations are also essential qualities.