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What Does A Security Officer Do?

A security officer is responsible for maintaining the peace and safety of everyone by regularly patrolling and monitoring surveillance equipment within the assigned premises. Security officers' duties also include reporting suspicious behaviors, restricting trespassers and unauthorized personnel from entering the establishment, providing incident reports for policy violations, and adhering to the standard protocols and legal requirements set by the management. Security offers must also have excellent decision-making and critical-thinking skills and extensive knowledge of emergency drills in case any unfortunate circumstances arise.

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

  • Protect facility from unlawful vehicle and pedestrian ingress, and respond to police/fire/medical and other emergency calls as they occur.
  • Reduce suspicious activity at properties with recent reports of vandalism and thief by increasing frequency of patrols and communication with supervisors.
  • Distribute id photo badges to employees and contractors.
  • Employ as an unarm Virginia DCJS license security officer.
  • Inspect all vehicles that are requesting access into AOA.
  • Maintain licensure as an unarm, security officer per DCJS standards.
  • Do not admit access until client has provide regulatory id badge for access of the facility.
  • Protect and secure JFK's access points to the restricted aeronautical operations areas (AOA).
  • Perform foot or bike patrol for mall common areas and facility perimeters to ensure consumer safety.
  • Certificate at standard first aid and CPR certify, also take mandatory classes on self-defense, handcuffing, and chemical agents.
Security Officer Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Good judgement involves being able to make a decision between 2 or more options in order to reach the best possible outcome in a short amount of time.
Observational skills show that you are capable of gathering information about the workplace around you through a means of communication.

Security Officer Overview

When it comes to understanding what a security officer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a security officer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, security 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 security officer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 40,600.

A security officer annual salary averages $29,144, which breaks down to $14.01 an hour. However, security officers can earn anywhere from upwards of $23,000 to $36,000 a year. This means that the top-earning security officers make $13,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a security 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 an unarmed security guard, security specialist, community services officer, and enforcement officer.

Security Officer Jobs You Might Like

Security Officer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 22% of Security Officers are proficient in Customer Service, Communication, and General Public. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Good judgment, and Observation skills.

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

  • Customer Service, 22%

    Utilized strong customer service skills and bilingual abilities to maintain safety and security for various facilities.

  • Communication, 16%

    Reduced suspicious activity at properties with recent reports of vandalism and thief by increasing frequency of patrols and communication with supervisors.

  • General Public, 10%

    Communicate effectively with the general public, evaluate situations effectively, observe and report critical issues quickly and accurately.

  • Facility, 8%

    Prepared and maintained daily logs of activity at the facility and reported any violations to the appropriate security personnel or supervisor.

  • Security Services, 6%

    Provided security for nuclear carriers including perimeter security services while arriving at the facility to pick up or deliver nuclear materials.

  • Emergency, 5%

    Implemented emergency procedures during situations involving fire evacuation and bomb threats in order to minimize risk to personnel and property.

"customer service," "communication," and "general public" aren't the only skills we found security officers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of security officer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a security officer to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "security guards and officers must communicate effectively with others, even in stressful situations." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that security officers can use communication skills to "provided customer service for professional employees via physical security, access control, communications security and informational security. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many security officer duties rely on good judgment. This example from a security 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 security officers are able to utilize good judgment: "maintained public contact regarding potential law enforcement problems and to preserve good relationships. "
  • Security 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 security 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: "conduct observation patrols enforce company policies monitor various surveillance cameras respond to alarms and incidents complete incident reports complete daily activity reports"
  • A security officer responsibilities sometimes require "patience." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions." This resume example shows how this skill is used by security officers: "assisted diverse populations with compassion, patience and understanding that led to positive feedback to the client site. "
  • See the full list of security officer skills.

    We've found that 17.9% of security officers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 1.6% earned their master's degrees before becoming a security officer. While it's true that some security officers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every two security officers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

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

    Once you're ready to become a security officer, you should explore the companies that typically hire security officers. According to security officer resumes that we searched through, security officers are hired the most by Allied Universal, G4S, and G4S Secure Solutions. Currently, Allied Universal has 17,438 security officer job openings, while there are 836 at G4S and 773 at G4S Secure Solutions.

    If you're interested in companies where security officers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at The Blackstone Group, Peak Holdings, and Lockheed Martin. We found that at The Blackstone Group, the average security officer salary is $39,153. Whereas at Peak Holdings, security officers earn roughly $38,995. And at Lockheed Martin, they make an average salary of $36,909.

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

    The industries that security officers fulfill the most roles in are the finance and technology industries. But the highest security officer annual salary is in the government industry, averaging $28,613. In the hospitality industry they make $27,711 and average about $27,700 in the health care industry. In conclusion, security officers who work in the government industry earn a 11.6% higher salary than security officers in the professional industry.

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

      What Unarmed Security Guards Do

      The primary responsibility of an unarmed security guard is to monitor and protect properties against damage or criminal attack. They must be alert, patrol the premises, and respond to emergencies. They also monitor alarm systems and video surveillance cameras. In cases of security breaches, they are expected to bring in law enforcement agents.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take unarmed security guard for example. On average, the unarmed security guards annual salary is $787 higher than what security officers make on average every year.

      Even though security officers and unarmed security guards have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require communication, general public, and security services in the day-to-day roles.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A security officer responsibility is more likely to require skills like "customer service," "facility," "physical security," and "traffic control." Whereas a unarmed security guard requires skills like "unarmed security," "security management," "security guards," and "supervisory staff." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Unarmed security guards really shine in the insurance industry with an average salary of $31,520. Whereas security officers tend to make the most money in the government industry with an average salary of $28,613.

      On average, unarmed security guards reach similar levels of education than security officers. Unarmed security guards are 1.6% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Security Specialist?

      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.

      Next up, we have the security specialist profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a security officer annual salary. In fact, security specialists salary difference is $20,023 higher than the salary of security officers per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of security officers and security specialists are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "customer service," "facility," and "security services. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real security officer resumes. While security officer responsibilities can utilize skills like "communication," "general public," "client site," and "safety hazards," some security specialists use skills like "information security," "clearance," "public safety," and "dod."

      On average, security specialists earn a higher salary than security officers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, security specialists earn the most pay in the government industry with an average salary of $61,289. Whereas, security officers have higher paychecks in the government industry where they earn an average of $28,613.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, security specialists tend to reach higher levels of education than security officers. In fact, they're 7.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Community Services Officer Compares

      Community service offers or CSO support in crime response, investigation, and prevention where police powers are not necessary. The community service officers assist the police officers in terms of upholding order and law in the community. They provide citizens with customer service, community outreach, and patrol. It is their job to implement city codes and other non-criminal police associated duties. They provide non-EMS in-home and on-site assistance to the citizens. Also, they respond to non-criminal complaints, building checks, and more.

      The third profession we take a look at is community services officer. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than security officers. In fact, they make a $15,868 higher salary per year.

      By looking over several security officers and community services officers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "communication," "general public," and "emergency." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from security officers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "customer service," "facility," "security services," and "client site." But a community services officer might have skills like "public safety," "special events," "police reports," and "crime scenes."

      Community services officers typically study at similar levels compared with security officers. For example, they're 3.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Enforcement Officer

      The enforcement officer is someone who promotes and enforces policies, instructions, and obligations of tenants. An enforcement officer aims to resolve two parties' issues that may arise from orders given by the admin or management. Among the enforcement officers' tasks is to assist in evictions, render payments, and inform them of new ordinances and instructions for tenants to abide by. An enforcement officer may also be tasked to ensure that a judgment or resolution is enforced and observed.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than security officers. On average, enforcement officers earn a difference of $2,205 higher per year.

      While both security officers and enforcement officers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like customer service, communication, and general public, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "facility," "client site," "safety hazards," and "company property" are skills that have shown up on security officers resumes. Additionally, enforcement officer uses skills like ensure compliance, data entry, issue citations, and public safety on their resumes.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The finance industry tends to pay more for enforcement officers with an average of $31,024. While the highest security officer annual salary comes from the government industry.

      In general, enforcement officers reach higher levels of education when compared to security officers resumes. Enforcement officers are 7.9% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 1.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.