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Working As A Security Patrol 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

  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Security Patrol 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 Security Patrol 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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Security Patrol Officer Career Paths

Security Patrol Officer
Security Officer Officer
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Driver Officer
Transportation Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Police Officer Investigator
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Investigator Loss Prevention Manager
Asset Protection Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Site Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Security Security Guard Officer
Lead Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Security Specialist Investigator
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Public Safety Officer Lieutenant Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Public Safety Officer Safety Officer Environmental Health Safety Manager
Manager, Security And Safety
9 Yearsyrs
Public Safety Officer Police Sergeant Police Captain
Chief Of Police
10 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Lieutenant Lead Security Officer
Security, Shift Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Emergency Medical Technician Lieutenant
Court Security Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Technical Support Specialist Information Security Analyst
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Intelligence Analyst Security Manager
Assistant Director Of Security
7 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Securities Consultant Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Deputy Sheriff Police Sergeant Security Manager
Fire Safety Director
6 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Lead Instructor Chief Petty Officer
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Unarmed Security Officer Special Police Security Assistant
Senior Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Protective Officer 2.6 years
Security Officer 2.5 years
Security Agent 2.3 years
Security Guard 2.0 years
Security 2.0 years
Patrol Driver 2.0 years
Patrol Guard 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Security Patrol Officer
Cashier 8.1%
Supervisor 3.0%
Driver 2.7%
Volunteer 1.7%
Security 1.6%
Top Careers After Security Patrol Officer
Cashier 3.8%
Driver 3.2%
Supervisor 2.7%
Officer 2.4%
Security 2.1%
Volunteer 1.8%

Do you work as a Security Patrol Officer?

Average Yearly Salary
$29,000
Show Salaries
$22,000
Min 10%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Great Southern Bank
Highest Paying City
Castro Valley, CA
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Security Patrol Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Security Patrol Officer in the United States is $29,485 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $38,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Top Skills for A Security Patrol Officer

  1. Vehicle Patrols
  2. Public Safety
  3. Emergency Situations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted nightly vehicle patrols to customer locations.
  • Patrolled assigned area to ensure public safety.
  • Delegate needs and prioritize staff response to emergency situations while maintaining accurate records of daily operations.
  • Reported any suspicious activities to appropriate individuals which includes Site Supervisor, Property Management, Police/Fire/EMS.
  • Responded to security alarms and performed physical security checks.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Security Patrol Officers

  1. Maine
  2. Maryland
  3. Delaware
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Nevada
  6. West Virginia
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Alaska
  9. South Dakota
  10. California
  • (104 jobs)
  • (316 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (182 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (667 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (2,236 jobs)

Security Patrol Officer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,427 Security Patrol Officer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Security Patrol Officer Resume

View Resume Examples

Security Patrol Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

73.8%

Female

21.4%

Unknown

4.8%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

20.6%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.9%

French

11.4%

Arabic

2.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

Thai

1.9%

Navajo

1.9%

Italian

1.9%

Samoan

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Hawaiian

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

German

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Dakota

1.0%

Kinyarwanda

1.0%
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Security Patrol Officer Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

11.6%

College of Southern Nevada

6.3%

Kaplan University

6.3%

Ashford University

5.3%

Houston Community College

5.3%

Bunker Hill Community College

5.3%

Remington College

5.3%

San Jose City College

5.3%

ECPI University

4.2%

American River College

4.2%

Brigham Young University

4.2%

California State University - East Bay

4.2%

Contra Costa College

4.2%

Strayer University

4.2%

Savannah State University

4.2%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

4.2%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

4.2%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.2%

Atlantic Cape Community College

4.2%

University of California - Berkeley

3.2%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

40.7%

Business

12.0%

General Studies

5.0%

Psychology

4.1%

Law Enforcement

3.9%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

Computer Science

3.6%

Law

3.2%

Finance

3.1%

History

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.4%

Automotive Technology

2.1%

Medical Technician

2.1%

Communication

1.7%

Medical Assisting Services

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Sociology

1.7%

Management

1.5%

Music

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%
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Degrees

High School Diploma

39.9%

Associate

19.7%

Bachelors

17.7%

Certificate

11.3%

Diploma

7.8%

Masters

2.1%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Updated May 18, 2020