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Become An Unarmed Security Officer

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Working As An Unarmed Security 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

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Unarmed Security 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 An Unarmed Security 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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Unarmed Security Officer Career Paths

Unarmed Security Officer
Security Officer Technician Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Officer Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Officer
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Emergency Medical Technician Security Supervisor
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Site Supervisor
Lead Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Legal Assistant Investigator
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Emergency Medical Technician Security Supervisor
Security Site Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Auditor Investigator
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Patrol Officer Investigator Security Manager
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Patrol Officer Lieutenant Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Patrol Officer Police Sergeant Security Manager
Assistant Director Of Security
7 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Officer Site Supervisor Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Emergency Medical Technician Safety Supervisor
Manager, Security And Safety
9 Yearsyrs
Protective Officer Loss Prevention Officer Lead Security Officer
Security, Shift Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Special Police Police Officer Lieutenant
Court Security Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Sergeant Senior Instructor Chief Petty Officer
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Agent Loss Prevention Specialist Lead Security Officer
Fire Safety Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Unarmed Security Officer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Protective Officer 2.6 years
Security Officer 2.5 years
Security Agent 2.3 years
Security 2.0 years
Security Guard 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Unarmed Security Officer
Cashier 17.6%
Server 2.6%
Internship 2.5%
Supervisor 2.1%
Top Careers After Unarmed Security Officer
Cashier 7.4%
Driver 3.2%
Supervisor 2.4%
Server 1.7%

Do you work as an Unarmed Security Officer?

Unarmed Security Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

52.4%

Female

32.5%

Unknown

15.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Black or African American

16.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.3%

French

9.2%

Arabic

5.0%

German

4.2%

Japanese

4.2%

Dutch

2.5%

Portuguese

1.7%

Polish

1.7%

Somali

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Chinese

0.8%

Persian

0.8%

Yoruba

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Dari

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Mandarin

0.8%

Italian

0.8%

Korean

0.8%
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Unarmed Security Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

10.4%

Prince George's Community College

7.9%

The Academy

6.1%

Strayer University

5.7%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

4.9%

University of the District of Columbia

4.9%

George Mason University

4.7%

ECPI University

4.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.3%

Liberty University

3.9%

Tennessee State University

3.7%

Norfolk State University

3.5%

Tidewater Community College

3.5%

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

3.3%

Miami Dade College

3.3%

University of Memphis

3.1%

Ashford University

2.9%

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College

2.9%

Remington College

2.8%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

34.5%

Business

15.1%

General Studies

6.7%

Medical Assisting Services

4.7%

Psychology

4.2%

Finance

3.8%

Nursing

3.6%

Computer Science

3.0%

Health Care Administration

3.0%

Information Technology

2.3%

Accounting

2.2%

Medical Technician

2.1%

Communication

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Education

1.9%

Law Enforcement

1.9%

Electrical Engineering

1.8%

Cosmetology

1.7%

Sociology

1.7%

Graphic Design

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

40.8%

Bachelors

24.6%

Associate

20.0%

Certificate

7.3%

Diploma

3.4%

Masters

2.6%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$19,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Inter-Con Security Systems
Highest Paying City
Philadelphia, PA
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
1.8 years
How much does an Unarmed Security Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Unarmed Security Officer in the United States is $31,261 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $49,000.

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Top Skills for An Unarmed Security Officer

  1. Vehicle Patrols
  2. Safety Hazards
  3. Emergency Situations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted foot and vehicle patrols ensuring facilities secure and detect equipment malfunction.
  • Observed and reported security and safety hazards or any other unusual incidents.
  • Required to utilize rapid and effective judgment in responding to unusual or emergency situations using appropriate escalation of force level.
  • Complete reports for daily activities and irregular incidents.
  • Challenge and report to appropriate authority individuals observed in the facility without proper identification.

How Would You Rate Working As an Unarmed Security Officer?

Are you working as an Unarmed Security Officer? Help us rate Unarmed Security Officer as a Career.

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