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Become A Petty Officer First Class

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Working As A Petty Officer First Class

  • 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 A Petty Officer First Class 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 Petty Officer First Class

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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Petty Officer First Class Career Paths

Petty Officer First Class
Security Officer Technician Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Specialist Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Consultant
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Operations Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Officer Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Officer
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Officer Project Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Electrician Supervisor
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Lead Technician Program Manager
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Team Leader Platoon Sergeant
Chief Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Analyst Investigator
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Operation Supervisor Site Supervisor
Lead Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Platoon Sergeant Security Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Emergency Medical Technician Lieutenant
Senior Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Platoon Sergeant Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Lead Instructor Chief Petty Officer
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Petty Officer First Class

  1. Personnel Files
  2. Safe Operation
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Convoy Driver- Responsible for the safe operation of Tractor/Trailers in a contingency environment.
  • Developed and scheduled extensive training requirements on emergency casualty procedures and routine engineering requirements for all underway engineering watch organization.
  • Awarded Navy Achievement Medal for superior performance Lead Petty Officer Main Propulsion Division
  • Assisted in training of over 500 newly assigned Sailors ensuring work assignments, security fundamentals and regimented physical training program.
  • Empowered personnel by using discussions and the provision of feedback to maximize personal and professional growth opportunities.

Petty Officer First Class Demographics

Gender

Male

79.8%

Female

12.7%

Unknown

7.6%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Chinese

5.0%

Vietnamese

5.0%

German

5.0%

Persian

5.0%

French

5.0%

Mandarin

5.0%

Carrier

5.0%

Russian

5.0%

Arabic

5.0%

Italian

5.0%
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Petty Officer First Class Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.3%

University of Maryland - University College

9.0%

Excelsior College

8.2%

Saint Leo University

6.3%

Columbia Southern University

5.5%

American University

5.1%

National University

4.7%

Thomas Edison State University

4.7%

Tidewater Community College

4.7%

Coastline Community College

4.3%

Liberty University

3.9%

Strayer University

3.9%

Kaplan University

3.9%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.1%

Ashford University

2.7%

Grantham University

2.7%

Thomas More College

2.4%

ECPI University

2.0%

The Academy

2.0%
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Majors

Business

28.0%

Criminal Justice

13.0%

General Studies

5.7%

Electrical Engineering

5.0%

Computer Information Systems

4.8%

Management

4.2%

Information Technology

4.2%

Education

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

Homeland Security

3.3%

Computer Science

2.9%

Psychology

2.9%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Human Resources Management

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.4%

Finance

2.2%

Political Science

2.1%

Law Enforcement

2.1%

Engineering

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.7%

Other

24.7%

Associate

17.7%

Masters

15.0%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Top Petty Officer First Class Employers

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