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.

Security Specialist Responsibilities

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

  • Formulate security strategies in compliance with corporate and government regulations including NISPOM, DCID and ICD.
  • Patrol industrial and commercial premises to prevent and detect signs of intrusion and ensure security of doors, windows and gates.
  • Review as necessary new civilian hire packages by validating position description clearance eligibility requirement with current JPAS eligibility.
  • Test CCTV, access control, intrusion detection, and area illumination systems for operational effectiveness, vulnerabilities, and reliability.
  • Work as a security escort at NSA.
  • Monitor and report on potential insider threat activities.
  • Protect top secret materials and areas of NSA.
  • Perform routine PIV responsibilities in support of credential issuance.
  • Assist badge holders with the registration and enrollment process for the PIV I.D.
  • Process a variety of NCIC queries and provide timely response as appropriate or require.
Security Specialist Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Problem-solving skills is the way that one is able to effectively solve a problem in a timely manner.

Security Specialist Job Description

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

On average, the security specialist annual salary is $69,514 per year, which translates to $33.42 an hour. Generally speaking, security specialists earn anywhere from $35,000 to $136,000 a year, which means that the top-earning security specialists make $101,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a security specialist. 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 patrol officer, enforcement officer, protective officer, and public safety officer.

Security Specialist Jobs You Might Like

Security Specialist Resume Examples

Security Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 16% of Security Specialists are proficient in Physical Security, Incident Response, and Facility. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Detail oriented, and Problem-solving skills.

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

  • Physical Security, 16%

    Reviewed physical security requirements and ensured their proper implementation; authored various security related correspondences for own or Group Leaders signature;

  • Incident Response, 13%

    Assist in the identification, reporting, investigation and documenting security incidents in accordance with applicable policies and directives.

  • Facility, 7%

    Collaborate with Facility Manager on plans for new construction to ensure the installation complies with established security design building construction requirements.

  • Customer Service, 7%

    Served as Customer Service/Receptionist/Dispatcher/Console Operator.

  • Information Security, 5%

    Developed and distributed information security-related guidelines and procedures.

  • Clearance, 4%

    Determined vessels warranting inspection by completion of a complex verification process, which required the possession of Secret Clearance classification.

Some of the skills we found on security specialist resumes included "physical security," "incident response," and "facility." We have detailed the most important security specialist responsibilities below.

  • A security specialist responsibilities sometimes require "communication skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "security guards and officers must communicate effectively with others, even in stressful situations." This resume example shows how this skill is used by security specialists: "manage the proper handling of communication security and sensitive information. "
  • As part of the security specialist description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "good judgment." A security specialist resume included this snippet: "security guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "exercised independent judgment in managing physical security team in annapolis. "
  • Another skill commonly found on security specialist resumes is "observation skills." This description of the skill was found on several security specialist resumes: "security guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day security specialist responsibilities: "provide physical security and maintain observation of my surroundings. "
  • See the full list of security specialist skills.

    Before becoming a security specialist, 47.8% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 7.0% security specialists went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most security specialists have a college degree. But about one out of every six security specialists didn't attend college at all.

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

    Once you're ready to become a security specialist, you should explore the companies that typically hire security specialists. According to security specialist resumes that we searched through, security specialists are hired the most by Target, Security Industry Specialists, and Allied Universal. Currently, Target has 519 security specialist job openings, while there are 81 at Security Industry Specialists and 36 at Allied Universal.

    Since salary is important to some security specialists, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Phillips 66, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Principal Financial Group. If you were to take a closer look at Phillips 66, you'd find that the average security specialist salary is $131,185. Then at Booz Allen Hamilton, security specialists receive an average salary of $129,131, while the salary at Principal Financial Group is $127,008.

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

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

      What Patrol Officers Do

      The job of patrol officers is to enforce ordinances, laws, prevent crime, control crowds, arrest violators, and regulate traffic. They also perform other duties that may include monitoring an assigned area for unauthorized or suspicious activity, responding to reports of emergencies and possible crime such as robberies, and building good relationships with community members. To be a successful patrol officer, you should have solid judgment, excellent communication skills, and decision-making skills in stressful situations.

      We looked at the average security specialist annual salary and compared it with the average of a patrol officer. Generally speaking, patrol officers receive $24,138 lower pay than security specialists per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between security specialists and patrol officers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like customer service, access control, and public safety.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a security specialist responsibility requires skills such as "physical security," "incident response," "facility," and "information security." Whereas a patrol officer is skilled in "police department," "crime scenes," "present evidence," and "general public." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Patrol officers really shine in the technology industry with an average salary of $27,808. Whereas security specialists tend to make the most money in the technology industry with an average salary of $71,586.

      The education levels that patrol officers earn is a bit different than that of security specialists. In particular, patrol officers are 3.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a security specialist. Additionally, they're 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties 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.

      Next up, we have the enforcement officer profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a security specialist annual salary. In fact, enforcement officers salary difference is $17,818 lower than the salary of security specialists per year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both security specialists and enforcement officers are known to have skills such as "customer service," "access control," and "public safety. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, security specialist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "physical security," "incident response," "facility," and "information security." Meanwhile, a enforcement officer might be skilled in areas such as "traffic control," "issue citations," "motor vehicle," and "federal laws." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, enforcement officers earn a lower salary than security specialists. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, enforcement officers earn the most pay in the finance industry with an average salary of $31,024. Whereas, security specialists have higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $71,586.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, enforcement officers tend to reach similar levels of education than security specialists. In fact, they're 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Protective Officer Compares

      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.

      The third profession we take a look at is protective officer. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than security specialists. In fact, they make a $16,965 lower salary per year.

      Using security specialists and protective officers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "physical security," "facility," and "customer service," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from security specialist resumes include skills like "incident response," "information security," "public safety," and "dod," whereas a protective officer might be skilled in "communication," "safety hazards," "company assets," and "loss prevention. "

      Additionally, protective officers earn a higher salary in the utilities industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $48,813. Additionally, security specialists earn an average salary of $71,586 in the technology industry.

      When it comes to education, protective officers tend to earn similar education levels than security specialists. In fact, they're 2.0% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Public Safety Officer

      Public relations assistants are professionals who are responsible for creating and distributing promotional materials to help clients increase their public image and awareness of their products and services. These assistants are required to help develop and distribute public relations materials such as brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, and sell sheets. They must handle all the communications of their clients to the public by supervising social media content, press releases, and emails. Public relations assistants must also gather materials to be used in trade shows or client presentations.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than security specialists. On average, public safety officers earn a difference of $16,199 lower per year.

      According to resumes from both security specialists and public safety officers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "physical security," "customer service," and "access control. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a security specialist might have more use for skills like "incident response," "facility," "information security," and "clearance." Meanwhile, some public safety officers might include skills like "motor vehicle," "communication," "safety officers," and "traffic control" on their resume.

      In general, public safety officers make a higher salary in the health care industry with an average of $36,785. The highest security specialist annual salary stems from the technology industry.

      In general, public safety officers reach similar levels of education when compared to security specialists resumes. Public safety officers are 4.0% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.