What does a Security Officer do?
Security officers are responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of a company's employees, visitors, and associated property. Security officers are tasked with patrolling a designated area, responding to safety and security threats, and establishing a security presence. Security officers work in office buildings, retail stores, hospitals, colleges, casinos, and much more.
Security officers do not need to have a formal education aside from a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers require security officers to be licensed. While licensure requirements vary by state, most states at least require security officers to be 18 years old, pass a background check, and complete a minimum number of hours of training. Requirements generally vary for unarmed versus armed security officers. Security officers must be alert, strong communicators, and physically fit.
- Assume overall responsbility for the safety and security of designated areas
- Patrol designated areas in accordance with outlined security procedures
- Identify potential security risks and respond accordingly
- Complete incident reports and required documentation for all security incidents
- Ensure all employees and visitors have proper credentials for accessing buildings (ID badges and passes)
- Respond to emergencies and incidents within designated areas promptly and according to policy
- Assist employees and visitors with any concerns they might have
- Escalate emergency situations to law enforcement as needed
- Monitor alarms and security cameras
- High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Ability to pass a background check
- Valid security guard license in state of employment
- Previous security-related work experience preferred
- Ability to stay levelheaded and respond quickly in stressful situations
- Proficient written and oral communication skills
- Comfortable kneeling, carrying, bending, walking, and standing for extended periods of time
- Ability to perform continuous physical exertion as needed
- Working knowledge of basic security techniques
Security Officer Salaries
Average Base Pay
Security Officer Career Path
Learn how to become a Security Officer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Security Officer Insights
“I’ve o my worked here a short time and so far everyone is really welcoming and helpful.”
“Pay wasn't great and expected to go above and beyond but didn't receive much in return”
“nothing really the people you work with are sometimes the best and worst things about the job”
“Good hours plus they offered Covid pay which is good an extra 24hrs in each check.”
“Having new guys do nothing because they're white and I'm a colored woman.”
“Got to Make my own schedule while i was Per Diem and co workers were really friendly.”
“Note: I did enjoy my job and I also enjoyed some of the people I worked for and with.”
“I liked my job and the management was professional but they simply cannot cover payroll.”
Security Officer Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of security officers
The typical day for a security officer centers around keeping businesses safe from intruders. They do this by patrolling the perimeter and interior of the building, guarding entrances, inspecting bags, and checking the identity of unfamiliar visitors. If there are security cameras, security officers monitor the video feed and check for irregularities.
Yes, security is a good step in your career. Some people work as security officers before joining the police academy. An important advantage of being a security officer is being settled in a stable, routine career. Security officers are in a position of trust and should be responsible and diligent in executing the requirements of the position.
The average salary for security officers is about $40,352 annually. Overtime pay can definitely boost the average salary and some employers also give Christmas bonuses. Security officers with a background in law enforcement may have higher starting salaries because they have more experience and capabilities than the typical candidate.
A challenge of being a security officer is that professionals who aren't authorized to carry a weapon may still be placed in dangerous situations, such as having to subdue an armed individual. Working as a security officer can also be a stressful job because the safety of the business depends on the your performance.