Special officers, sometimes known as security guards, make sure that their workplace is safe and secure. They can work for a government office, hospital, private business, or any business that feels that they need extra security to protect their work. They do this by monitoring visitors, conducting sweeps of the building, and following any suspicious activity. Often, special officers use technology to help them with their work, such as X-ray machines or CCTV cameras. Special officers are also on call to deal with any emergency. If another staff member calls them or signals an emergency alarm code, they spring into action to defuse the situation or remove an intruder.

While some special officers have bachelor's degrees, it usually isn't necessary to do this job. Most special officers only have a high school diploma and previous experience as security officers. For some government positions, special officers may need to take a certification exam.

Special officers need to have a keen eye for detail, a cool head in an emergency, and the stamina to work long shifts at all hours of the day and night if necessary. In exchange for their vigilance, special officers earn an average salary of $30,346 a year.

What Does a Special Officer Do

There are certain skills that many special officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed observation skills, patience and communication skills.

Learn more about what a Special Officer does

How To Become a Special Officer

If you're interested in becoming a special officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 54.3% of special officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.9% of special officers have master's degrees. Even though most special officers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Special Officer

Special Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Special Officer

Special Officers in America make an average salary of $37,839 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $49,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Special Officer Salary
$37,839 Yearly
$18.19 hourly
$28,000
10 %
$37,000
Median
$49,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Special Officer
How To Become a Special Officer Career Overview

States With The Most Special Officer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active special officer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where special officers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Special Officer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California5,452$44,662
2New York2,973$41,700
3Texas2,703$35,038
4Pennsylvania2,543$37,098
5Florida2,410$36,568
6Illinois2,363$39,596
7Ohio2,053$35,758
8Massachusetts1,947$43,129
9Virginia1,695$37,761
10Georgia1,691$31,168
11New Jersey1,657$36,571
12North Carolina1,474$39,019
13Michigan1,430$36,181
14Minnesota1,404$44,763
15Arizona1,359$39,754
16Maryland1,313$39,834
17Washington1,275$49,537
18Missouri1,245$38,691
19Colorado1,159$41,107
20Indiana1,047$34,747
21Wisconsin964$37,978
22Tennessee917$33,982
23Kentucky910$34,101
24Oregon747$41,235
25Alabama695$34,469
26South Carolina687$34,223
27Connecticut662$37,356
28Oklahoma595$38,487
29Iowa549$39,175
30Louisiana501$33,074
31Nebraska490$47,752
32Nevada480$37,081
33Utah480$38,927
34Arkansas457$36,559
35Mississippi416$29,110
36Idaho399$38,369
37New Mexico393$34,706
38Kansas386$36,427
39New Hampshire350$38,742
40Rhode Island266$37,738
41Maine225$40,413
42West Virginia209$31,133
43Delaware208$36,016
44Hawaii189$41,521
45Montana182$36,069
46North Dakota172$50,959
47Vermont146$38,837
48South Dakota145$39,821
49Alaska142$54,899
50Wyoming84$42,219

Special Officer Education

Special Officer Majors

19.4 %

Special Officer Degrees

Bachelors

54.3 %

Associate

18.3 %

High School Diploma

12.0 %

Top Skills For a Special Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.7% of special officers listed real estate on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and patience are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Special Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Special Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Special Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Special Officer Resume
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Special Officer Demographics

Special Officer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
69%
Female
Female
31%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among special officers, 30.7% of them are women, while 69.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among special officers is White, which makes up 56.9% of all special officers.

  • The most common foreign language among special officers is Spanish at 55.0%.

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Best States For a Special Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a special officer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, North Dakota, Washington, and Nebraska. Special officers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $54,899. Whereas in North Dakota and Washington, they would average $50,959 and $49,537, respectively. While special officers would only make an average of $47,752 in Nebraska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nebraska

Total Special Officer Jobs:
490
Highest 10% Earn:
$60,000
Location Quotient:
1.2

2. North Dakota

Total Special Officer Jobs:
172
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
1.01

3. Minnesota

Total Special Officer Jobs:
1,404
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
Full List Of Best States For Special Officers

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Top Special Officer Employers

Most Common Employers For Special Officer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center$54,435$26.174
2Department of Homeland Security$46,833$22.5220
3Central Intelligence Agency$46,683$22.448
4U.S. Secret Service$46,664$22.439
5City of New York$41,253$19.836
6Bank of America$40,024$19.2411
7State Of Florida$39,660$19.077
8Credit Solutions$37,892$18.229
9Regions Bank$36,904$17.744
10NYC Health + Hospitals$36,130$17.3710