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Become A Lead Security Officer

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Working As A Lead Security Officer

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • $33,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Security Officer Do

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and protect property against theft, vandalism, terrorism, and illegal activity.

Duties

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers typically do the following:

  • Protect and enforce laws on an employer’s property
  • Monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras
  • Control access for employees and visitors
  • Conduct security checks over a specified area
  • Write reports on what they observed while on duty
  • Serve as witnesses for court testimony
  • Detain violators

Security guards, also called security officers, protect property, enforce rules on the property, and deter criminal activity. Some guards are assigned a stationary position from which they monitor alarms or surveillance cameras. Other guards are assigned a patrol area where they conduct security checks.

Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators act as security agents for casinos. Using audio and video equipment in an observation room, they watch casino operations for suspicious activities, such as cheating and theft, and monitor compliance with rules, regulations, and laws. They maintain and organize recordings from security cameras, which are sometimes used as evidence in police investigations.

Guards and officers must remain alert, looking out for anything unusual. In an emergency, they are required to call for assistance from police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards are armed.

A security guard’s responsibilities vary from one employer to another. In retail stores, guards protect people, records, merchandise, money, and equipment. They may work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers and employees, detain shoplifting suspects until the police arrive, and patrol parking lots.

In office buildings, banks, hotels, and hospitals, guards maintain order and protect the organization’s customers, staff, and property.

Guards who work in museums and art galleries protect paintings and exhibits by watching people and inspecting the contents of patrons’ handbags.

In factories, government buildings, and military bases, security guards protect workers and equipment and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises.

Guards working in parks and at sports stadiums control crowds, supervise parking and seating, and direct traffic.

Security guards stationed at the entrances to bars and nightclubs keep underage people from entering, collect cover charges, and maintain order among customers.

Security guards working in schools and universities patrol the buildings and grounds, looking for suspicious activity.

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How To Become A Lead Security Officer

Most security guard jobs require a high school diploma. Gaming surveillance officers sometimes need experience with security and video surveillance. Most states require guards to be registered with the state, especially if they carry a firearm.

Education

Security guards generally need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not have any education requirements. Gaming surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent and may need experience with video surveillance technology depending upon assignment.

Training

Although most employers provide instruction for newly hired guards, the amount of training they receive varies. Most guards, however, learn their job in a few weeks. During those few weeks, training from their employer typically covers emergency procedures, detention of suspected criminals, and proper communication.

Many states recommend that security guards receive approximately 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8–16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. This may include training in protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training related to the guard’s assignment.

Training is more rigorous for armed guards because they require weapons training. Armed guards may be tested periodically in the use of firearms.

For gaming surveillance officers and investigators, some employers prefer candidates with previous work experience in casinos or individuals with a background in law enforcement. Experience with video technology can also be helpful in using surveillance systems and software.

Drug testing may be required as a condition of employment and randomly during employment.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require that guards be registered with the state in which they work. Although registration requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete training

Guards who carry weapons usually must be registered by the appropriate government authority. Armed guard positions have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards. Rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, are required for armed guards in most states.

Some jobs may also require a driver's license.

Advancement

Some guards advance to supervisory or security manager positions. Those with experience or postsecondary education should have an advantage. Armed security guards have a greater potential for advancement and enjoy higher earnings.

Some guards with management skills open their own security guard business. Guards can also move to an organization that needs higher levels of security, which may result in more prestige or higher pay.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises. 

Patience. Security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions.

Observation skills. Guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary.

Physical strength. Guards must be strong enough to apprehend offenders and to handle emergency situations.

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Average Length of Employment
Head Of Security 3.1 years
Security Officer 2.5 years
Security Agent 2.3 years
Security 2.0 years
Security Guard 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Lead Security Officer
Cashier 7.0%
Supervisor 3.1%
Manager 2.6%
Officer 2.5%
Internship 2.4%
Top Careers After Lead Security Officer
Supervisor 3.7%
Manager 3.1%
Driver 3.0%
Cashier 2.4%
Officer 2.2%
Security 2.0%

Do you work as a Lead Security Officer?

Lead Security Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

67.0%

Female

22.3%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.6%

French

5.6%

German

3.5%

Arabic

2.8%

Hindi

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Swedish

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Thai

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Estonian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Somali

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Danish

0.7%

Norwegian

0.7%
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Lead Security Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.8%

Community College of the Air Force

11.3%

The Academy

7.9%

Ashford University

6.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

Kaplan University

4.2%

American University

3.8%

Colorado Technical University

3.8%

Liberty University

3.4%

Miami Dade College

3.4%

Columbia Southern University

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

College of Southern Nevada

3.1%

Strayer University

3.1%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

2.5%

American InterContinental University

2.5%

Western Illinois University

2.5%

Houston Community College

2.3%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

2.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.1%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

36.0%

Business

19.6%

Psychology

4.7%

General Studies

4.4%

Computer Science

3.4%

Management

3.4%

Information Technology

2.6%

Law Enforcement

2.4%

Communication

2.2%

Accounting

2.2%

Finance

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Nursing

1.9%

Education

1.9%

Medical Assisting Services

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.8%

Homeland Security

1.8%

Political Science

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

32.4%

Bachelors

30.7%

Associate

19.2%

Masters

8.8%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$33,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$19,000
Min 10%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Arup Group
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Lead Security Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lead Security Officer in the United States is $33,353 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $55,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Lead Security Officer?

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Top Skills for A Lead Security Officer

  1. Security Procedures
  2. Ensure Safety
  3. Emergency Situations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in the development and implementation of security procedures in coordination with Government agencies and company management.
  • Work in conjunction with airport officials and law enforcement to ensure safety in air travel for all.
  • Respond to emergency situations involving the safety and security of the facility.
  • Perform regular facility assessments identifying conditions or hazards and security risks.
  • Prepared and maintained security logs and incident reports of daily activities.

How Would You Rate Working As a Lead Security Officer?

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Security Officers

  1. Alaska
  2. District of Columbia
  3. North Dakota
  4. Virginia
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Wyoming
  8. Nebraska
  9. Vermont
  10. Hawaii
  • (56 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (966 jobs)
  • (129 jobs)
  • (1,026 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (120 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)

Top Lead Security Officer Employers

Jobs From Top Lead Security Officer Employers

Lead Security Officer Videos

A Day in the Life of a CIO

Mall of America Security: Protect, Train, Lead.

Ed Montooth, Chief Security Officer, DuPont Corporation

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