How to Become a Director of Security?

Are you thinking of becoming a Director of Security or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Director of Security, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Director of Security job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
"Security Manager" was the nearest match for you query "Director of Security".

Steps to Become a Security Manager

Successful security managers excel at communication and team building, and they are very detail-oriented. As a security manager, you'll be responsible for overseeing the protection of your fellow employees and preventing the loss of company assets. Follow the steps below on your journey to becoming a security manager.

Commit to becoming an excellent security manager.

The first step to becoming a security manager is to grasp what the role entails fully. While formal training is an absolute must, security managers must possess skills that you can't learn in a classroom. Having a mentor in the field can give you insight into dealing with such a stressful role.


Pursue a relevant bachelor's degree.

While a high school diploma is enough to qualify you as an entry-level security guard, companies prefer security manager candidates with a bachelor's degree in security management, criminal justice, or a related field. A master's degree will make you stand out even more among potential hires and expand your career opportunities.

What skills do you need to be a Security Manager?

  • Azure Cloud
  • SOC
  • Audit
  • Team Leadership
  • Incident Response
  • Frameworks
  • Technical Leadership
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Security Manager in the United States.

Complete security guard training.

Even if you have a degree, there's no guarantee that you'll land a job in security management unless you have previous security experience. Plus, most states require all security personnel to complete a formal training program covering emergency preparedness, self-defense, and security procedures.


Apply for a security guard license.

After you complete your security guard training, you'll need to apply for a security guard license, depending on your state's eligibility requirements for security personnel. Typically, you'll have to submit to fingerprinting and a background check when you apply for a license. If you want to work as an armed guard, you'll need to prove that you've completed the necessary firearms training. In many states, you'll need to complete firearms training every year to maintain your status as a licensed guard.


Gain experience as a security guard.

As you complete your bachelor's degree, working as a security guard will give you the security experience that employers are looking for in a potential security manager hire. You'll also get to know experienced security workers and expand your professional network. Plus, it's a great way to earn some cash in college because the hours are flexible.


Apply for security management positions.

After completing your degree and gaining experience in the security field, it's time to start applying for security manager jobs. Don't get discouraged if you don't land your dream job right away. Depending on how much previous experience you have, you might only qualify as an assistant or junior manager. However, that's an opportunity to learn from senior management and work your way up.


Join a professional organization.

Professional organizations like the American Society for Industrial Security International (ASIS International) provide members with educational resources and offer certifications that help them advance in their careers. Plus, when you join a professional organization, you can attend conferences and other events to grow your professional network.

Director of Security Career Path

Director of Security

8+Years of Experience
$98K - $169K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior Director of Security

8+Years of Experience
$185K - $313K /yrMost Likely Range
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Vice President of Security

8+Years of Experience
$226K - $421K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Director of Security Career Path

Security Manager
Team Lead Security Manager
Assistant Director of Security
Principal Security Manager
Associate Director of Security
Director of Security
Senior Director of Security
Vice President of Security
Chief Security Manager
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Related Careers in the Information Technology Industry

Interested in other Information Technology careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Director of Security skills. Discover some of the most common Director of Security career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Security Consultant
25% skills overlap
28% transitioned to Security Consultant