A protective officer is in charge of preventing theft and damages in stores and other establishments. Among their responsibilities include monitoring alarm systems and surveillance cameras, patrolling areas, keeping an eye on suspicious activities and behavior, developing strategies to enforce security protocols, and responding to distress. There are also instances where they must conduct inspections and produce reports. Furthermore, as a protective officer, it is essential to coordinate with law enforcement should the situation require.

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Protective Officer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real protective officer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Arm weapons for PSO, baton, OC .. and PSO skills if need ..
  • Assist in basic operations during EMT emergencies.
  • Collaborate with and build relationships across CPO team.
  • Work independently to check alertness and compliance of public order.
  • Work as a CPO security officer for DCH regional medical center.
  • Maintain a DAR and secure entrance and other designate spaces after hours.
  • Certify in firearms, handcuffing, batons, mace, CPR and first aid.
  • Prepare at all times to perform CPR or use an automate external defibrillator if necessary.
  • Be proficient in firearms, baton, oc gas, handcuffing, and self-defense techniques.
  • Monitor CCTV system and conduct visual inspection regularly.
  • Maintain alertness and notify proper authority of indications of trespassing fire and emergency.
  • Provide diplomatic protection, access control monitoring, facility patrol, and counter surveillance operations.
  • Patrol designate areas according to establish procedures and documents patrols in daily shift activities and calls within report writing system.
  • Control ingress/egress to DOJ buildings and possibly to internal areas within the facility as required.
  • Maintain high state of alert to any and all vehicles parking on or around DOJ property.

Protective Officer Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a protective officer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a protective officer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, protective officers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of protective officer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 40,600.

Protective officers average about $19.49 an hour, which makes the protective officer annual salary $40,529. Additionally, protective officers are known to earn anywhere from $28,000 to $58,000 a year. This means that the top-earning protective officers make $20,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a protective officer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a security agent, criminal investigator, security specialist, and security guard.

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Protective Officer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Protective Officers are proficient in Customer Service, Emergency Situations, and Patrol. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Good judgment, and Observation skills.

We break down the percentage of Protective Officers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 13%

    Recognized by bank leaders for exceptional security and safety services, superior professionalism and outstanding customer service.

  • Emergency Situations, 7%

    Assisted in pedestrian traffic control and responded to and investigated emergency situations, law enforcement, and security related calls.

  • Patrol, 6%

    Patrol designated areas according to established procedures and documents patrols in daily shift activities and calls within report writing system.

  • CCTV, 6%

    Monitored CCTV system and conducted visual inspection regularly.

  • Security Systems, 6%

    Directed personnel responsible for electronic and physical security systems, evaluated personnel and developed processes and procedures to minimize security risks.

  • Safety Hazards, 6%

    Watch for irregular/unusual activity that may create security concerns or safety hazards.

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Some of the skills we found on protective officer resumes included "customer service," "emergency situations," and "patrol." We have detailed the most important protective officer responsibilities below.

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a protective officer to have. According to a protective officer resume, "security guards and officers must communicate effectively with others, even in stressful situations." Protective officers are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "provided a security profile while using closed communication television security systems. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many protective officer duties rely on good judgment. This example from a protective officer explains why: "security guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises." This resume example is just one of many ways protective officers are able to utilize good judgment: "acted quickly in emergency situations; analyzed circumstances and adopted effective courses of action; exercised sound judgment under pressure. "
  • Protective officers are also known for observation skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a protective officer resume: "security guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "assure observations and incident reports are consistently and accurately completed and that follow-ups are completed as necessary. "
  • In order for certain protective officer responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "patience." According to a protective officer resume, "security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "respond to emergency situations like transport of patience to er keeping elevators clear. "
  • See the full list of protective officer skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a protective officer. We found that 38.3% of protective officers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 5.5% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While some protective officers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every four protective officers were not college graduates.

    Those protective officers who do attend college, typically earn either criminal justice degrees or business degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for protective officers include general studies degrees or psychology degrees.

    When you're ready to become a protective officer, you might wonder which companies hire protective officers. According to our research through protective officer resumes, protective officers are mostly hired by Walgreens, Meijer, and Macy's. Now is a good time to apply as Walgreens has 16 protective officers job openings, and there are 12 at Meijer and 10 at Macy's.

    Since salary is important to some protective officers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at National Security, Inter-Con Security Systems, and Northrop Grumman. If you were to take a closer look at National Security, you'd find that the average protective officer salary is $59,938. Then at Inter-Con Security Systems, protective officers receive an average salary of $56,470, while the salary at Northrop Grumman is $47,460.

    View more details on protective officer salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a protective officer include Securitas AB, Securitas AB, and G4S Technology. These three companies were found to hire the most protective officers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious protective officers are:

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    What Security Agents Do

    Security Agents guard the entrance and exit of a building, watching CCTV footage for unusual activities, and holding trespassers until authorities arrive. Being a security agent is usually a shift-based job and can sometimes last overnight. Security Agents must have first aid knowledge and basic skills with self-defense.

    We looked at the average protective officer annual salary and compared it with the average of a security agent. Generally speaking, security agents receive $5,350 lower pay than protective officers per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both protective officers and security agents positions are skilled in customer service, emergency situations, and patrol.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a protective officer responsibilities require skills like "patients," "criminal justice," "vehicle inspections," and "security industry." Meanwhile a typical security agent has skills in areas such as "safety oversight," "hotel guests," "aoa," and "front desk." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Security agents receive the highest salaries in the hospitality industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $37,992. But protective officers are paid more in the professional industry with an average salary of $38,169.

    On average, security agents reach similar levels of education than protective officers. Security agents are 1.5% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Criminal Investigator?

    A criminal investigator is a law enforcement professional who endeavors to solve felony crimes. Criminal investigators may work alone or as a member of an investigative team whose goal is to uncover the certainty of a case and potentially keep suspects to prevent the ensuing criminal activity. Their tasks and responsibilities depend on various job functions and specialties. They may specialize in the information and evidence of a crime scene, conduct interviews and searches, or perform surveillance.

    The next role we're going to look at is the criminal investigator profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $13,991 higher salary than protective officers per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of protective officers and criminal investigators are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patrol," "criminal justice," and "local law enforcement. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, protective officer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "customer service," "emergency situations," "cctv," and "security systems." Meanwhile, a criminal investigator might be skilled in areas such as "investigative reports," "resourcefulness," "firearms," and "treasury." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    It's been discovered that criminal investigators earn higher salaries compared to protective officers, but we wanted to find out where criminal investigators earned the most pay. The answer? The government industry. The average salary in the industry is $52,921. Additionally, protective officers earn the highest paychecks in the professional with an average salary of $38,169.

    In general, criminal investigators study at higher levels of education than protective officers. They're 5.5% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Security Specialist Compares

    A security specialist is responsible for maintaining the security of an organization's database, ensuring that it's free from cyber threats and unusual activities. Security specialists' duties include upgrading hardware and software applications, configuring networks to improve optimization, addressing any unauthorized access on the database, troubleshooting system discrepancies, conducting security audits on the system, and improving automated processes. A security specialist must have a strong command of programming languages and system codes, as well as broad experience with technical expertise.

    The security specialist profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of protective officers. The difference in salaries is security specialists making $9,363 higher than protective officers.

    By looking over several protective officers and security specialists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "customer service," "emergency situations," and "patrol." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from protective officer resumes include skills like "safety hazards," "patients," "loss prevention," and "vehicle inspections," whereas a security specialist might be skilled in "ladders," "security incidents," "security clearance," and "security program. "

    Security specialists typically study at similar levels compared with protective officers. For example, they're 1.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Security Guard

    Security guards are responsible for maintaining and ensuring the peace and safety of the building they are assigned to. They ensure that everyone who enters the building has official business to be done in the building. They are also in charge of patrolling and monitoring activities within the area. Security guards are also tasked to immobilize anyone who seems to pose a threat to the peace and safety of the building. They are also responsible for preventing any untoward incidences or crimes that may happen in the area. Security guards must be observant and alert to be able to succeed in their roles.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than protective officers. On average, security guards earn a difference of $8,546 lower per year.

    While both protective officers and security guards complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like customer service, emergency situations, and patrol, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a protective officer might have more use for skills like "patients," "security procedures," "criminal justice," and "vehicle inspections." Meanwhile, some security guards might include skills like "ladders," "law enforcement," "front desk," and "fire hazards" on their resume.

    In general, security guards make a higher salary in the utilities industry with an average of $30,916. The highest protective officer annual salary stems from the professional industry.

    The average resume of security guards showed that they earn similar levels of education to protective officers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.9% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.3%.