Depending on their place of employment, those with the security officer job description have a wide range of responsibilities. However, the person with the security officer job usually gets a salary lower than the minimum wage. Of course, this varies depending on the place of employment and from job to job.
Therefore, the job description of a security officer remains pretty much the same across all types of jobs. Whether it’s for a security firm such as Allied Barton or Securitas, for a school campus, for an airport, a bank, or for a court of law, the responsibilities remain pretty much similar.
Job Overview: What Does a Security Officer Professional Do?
While most people with the security officer job description usually have the same base responsibilities, some of them also have another particular set of tasks depending on their exact job title.
For example, somebody with the HIPAA security officer job will have a different secondary set of responsibilities than someone with the transportation security officer job. Similarly, the chief information security officer will have more responsibilities than someone with the regular information security officer job description.
While the particulars of the job do tend to vary from one workplace to another, the base responsibilities and job description remain the same. To patrol, monitor, and protect property against a wide array of illegal activities, including vandalism, theft, and terrorism.
Security Officer Job Duties
- Keeping premises, people, and objects secure.
- Patrolling and monitoring properties, and using surveillance equipment.
- Inspecting equipment, buildings, and access points.
- Determining people’s level of access, and allowing or denying entry.
- Calling the authorities and reporting irregularities.
- Preventing losses and restraining any trespassers, as well as summoning help and sounding alarms.
- Informing potential violators of the procedures and policies.
- Directing drivers and controlling traffic.
- Recording all information, observations, and surveillance activities.
- Completing and filing reports, and contributing to team efforts.
- Obtaining signatures and interviewing witnesses, and always complying with the legal requirements.
- Maintaining the employer’s reputation and stability.
- Ensuring the perfect functionality of the equipment and troubleshooting any potential malfunctions.
- Evaluating new techniques and equipment.
Security Officer Job Essential Skills
Physical skills. The security officer has to be in decent physical condition, previous experience working as a security guard helps with this requirement.
Reporting Skills. While this professional must possess the ability to deal with uncertainty he must also have decent reporting skills. Knowing what to ask and how to ask is essential. He must have a good grasp of the English language and a great attention to details.
Management Skills. This professional must have the ability to manage and to be part of a team. He must also be skilled at safety management.
Surveillance Skills. He should have great surveillance skills, quick wit, and a good judgment. As well as a certain level of objectivity, all of these will always help him with fulfilling his duties. Moreover, reliability and dependability and high levels of integrity are also very important, as well as control over one’s emotions.
Becoming a Security Officer Professional
There is a number of technical and personal requirements and qualities which must be met for a candidate to be considered for the security officer job, the lack of the skill set required may even lead to risking serious injury at the workplace.
Some of the more advanced requirements that people hoping for the security officer job description have to meet have to do with education, certification, registration, licensure, as well as with some amount of training.
Qualifications and Training
First off, we have the matter of the licensure. This can be of one of two types – a regular security officer licensure and a firearms licensure. While the eligibility for the first one generally varies from state to state, the typical requirements to obtain it are to be 18 or older; to pass a simple drug test, and to have no criminal record. The firearms licensure is far more difficult to obtain.
Secondly, the educational requirements are pretty lax. Most employers want the security officers they employ to have at least a high school diploma. While this is the general rule across state borders, some employers might require that the security officers employed in jobs such as investigations or casino security also have some form of postsecondary degree or certification.
Last, but not least, we have the on-the-job training. Most places of employment offer training and instructions during the first couple of weeks after the new employee got the job. This training usually involves pretty much everything one must know about their responsibilities: writing reports to defense and protection techniques, and even how to deliver first aid.
While most employers do prefer their future employees to have at least some experience with the security officer job description, others settle for offering their security officers the best training programs they can get. While experience does usually affect one’s chances of getting hired, so does excelling at the interview and showing a desire to improve and learn.
One of the biggest challenges of being a security officer is dealing with long periods of non-activity. And this can also have a huge impact on a potential employee’s chances of getting hired.
The job often requires the use of audio and video monitoring equipment, radio stations, and, in some cases, even firearms. Many security officers have to pull 24-hour shifts, as well as to live in a constantly stressful and potentially dangerous environment.
However, the very low salary, the long working hours, and the often stressful work environment make the job less desirable; regardless of the benefits offered by most employers and the positive job outlook.
The schedule and responsibilities are usually designated by superiors, and there is rarely any opportunity for appeal. This also holds up if the person with the security officer job description is armed or unarmed. Or if they work for a retail pharmacy or in a corporate setting, and regardless of whether they happen to be a supervisor or a regular employee.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly salary of a security guard for 2016 stood at $25,840, with an hourly rate of $12.43. The level of employment for people with this job is estimated to grow 5% by 2024, at the same rate as the average for all professions in the United States. This is mainly owed to the fact that more and more companies are in need of security guards.
For example, an armed or chief security officer will usually get a higher pay than the hospital or facility security officer. It all depends on the responsibilities and the requirements of the position.
With perhaps a sometimes boring, yet at times exciting and dangerous professions, the security officer has to spend long hours paying attention to their surroundings. The security officer job description is complicated, but it usually requires little effort. For those interested in a similar position, you can also read about the correctional officer job description.