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Become An Officer

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Working As An 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

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Officer Do

An Officer is a person who has a position of authority in a hierarchical organization. They may work in the military, shipping industry, law enforcement, or government.

How To Become An 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.


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.


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.


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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Officer jobs

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Real Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Casualty Underwriting Officer National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburg New York, NY Jan 01, 2014 $325,000
Casualty Underwriting Officer National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. New York, NY Jan 01, 2016 $325,000
Nanotechnology Translation Officer Selecta Biosciences, Inc. Watertown Town, MA Dec 20, 2013 $225,000 -
Travel Underwriting Officer National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. New York, NY Nov 16, 2015 $150,000
Funding and Derivatives Officer Bank of The West San Ramon, CA Feb 22, 2016 $148,000
Relationship Officer Citibank, N.A. Miami, FL Jun 09, 2016 $130,000
Officer MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Jersey City, NJ Sep 22, 2014 $130,000
Web Standards Officer Ripple Labs Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 16, 2015 $130,000
Officer MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Jersey City, NJ Dec 15, 2015 $130,000
Officer MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Jersey City, NJ Jul 12, 2015 $126,422

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Top Skills for An Officer


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Top Officer Skills

  1. Public Safety
  2. Military Personnel
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Served as the office's lead media liaison for all public safety, crisis communications, legislative, and budget matters.
  • Directed, coordinated, and integrated various programs that supported the well-being and personal development of military personnel.
  • Trained new employees and new attorneys on work flow procedures.
  • Trained To respond to emergency situations as a member of the Special Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.)
  • Supervised the addition of a new corrosion control facility that supported over 10,000 items.

Top Officer Employers

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Officer Videos

Marine Corps Training : How to Become a Marine Officer

Police Jobs : How to Become a Police Officer

Day in the life of a Cop