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
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.1 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Security Officer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$32,049 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $32K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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.

Security Officer
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Security Officer Insights

Read what Security Officer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Security Guard
Apr 19, 2020

“sexually harassed and assaulted many times and nothing was done but a slap on the wrist”

VSG Vision Security GroupVSG Vision Security Group
Security Officer
May 21, 2021

“Pay wasn't great and expected to go above and beyond but didn't receive much in return”

Inter-Con SecurityInter-Con Security
Security Officer
Mar 2, 2021

“Good hours plus they offered Covid pay which is good an extra 24hrs in each check.”

Armed Security Officer
Aug 2, 2019

“Then I arrive at work the people great to work with it is the training and head department.”

Sunstates SecuritySunstates Security
Security Guard
May 4, 2021

“Got to Make my own schedule while i was Per Diem and co workers were really friendly.”

Allied UniversalAllied Universal
Security Guard
Nov 26, 2020

“Having new guys do nothing because they're white and I'm a colored woman.”

River Valley Community College
Chief Security Officer
Nov 15, 2019

“The staff and faculty who work here and teach here are top notch and caring.”

Datamine (New Zealand)
Sep 20, 2019

“I am still learning so much and get to work with great people and projects across multiple industries.”

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Security Officer Interviews

Related Careers

Police Officer
25% skills overlap
Correctional Officer
38% skills overlap
Loss Prevention
25% skills overlap
Security Manager
13% skills overlap

Security Officer Jobs

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a security officer

When working as a security officer, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Excellent Communication, Computer Literate, Written Communication, CPR First Aid, and Excellent Customer Service.

The most similar professions to security officer are:
  • Police Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Loss Prevention
  • Security Manager

The most common qualifications to become a security officer include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.