Security Officer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 24, 2022

A Security Officer, or Security Guard, is responsible for deterring criminal activity by adhering to a facility’s security measures. Their duties include reviewing video surveillance equipment to identify odd behaviors, patrolling the interior and exterior of a property in set intervals and only providing property access to authorized individuals.

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Security Officer Duties and Responsibilities 

The responsibilities of a Security Officer can vary from employer to employer but job descriptions for a Security Officer may contain the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Protect an employer’s property and enforce laws.
  • Monitor closed-circuit TV cameras and monitor alarms.
  • Respond to any emergencies.
  • Control visitor and employee building access.
  • Conduct security checks for specified areas.
  • Complete reports on anything they observed while on duty.
  • Detain any violators.

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What Does a Security Officer Do? 

Security Officers typically work for a variety of businesses or private entities. These include private homes, business parks, factories, warehouses, pharmaceutical plants, hospitals, shopping malls or government buildings. They work closely with other Security Officers to uphold security procedures, identify potential entry points for trespassers and resolve disputes between visitors or employees accordingly. Their job is to study building blueprints and notify officials of any suspicious activities. They may also be responsible for apprehending trespassers and detaining them until law enforcement arrives.

Security Officer Skills and Qualifications

Security Officers need to be alert, constantly be watching for anything unusual. In the case of an emergency, they are responsible for calling for assistance from ambulance, police or fire services. A job description for a Security Officer may contain the following skills and qualifications:

  • Communication skills to effectively communicate with others, especially in stressful situations
  • Good judgment in order to quickly identify the best course of action for dealing with dangerous situations as they arise
  • Observation skills in order to immediately notice anything out of the ordinary
  • Patience as they often spend long periods of time standing and observing what’s going on around them

Security Officer Salary Expectations   

The average salary for a Security Officer is $12.97 per hour. This information is based on 72,734 anonymously submitted salaries to Indeed from employees and users along with past and present job title job postings on Indeed within the last 36 months. 

Security Officer Education and Training Requirements 

A Security Officer position often requires a high school diploma or equivalent. While additional instruction is often provided by an employer, the specific amount of training individuals receive depends on each employer. The majority of Security Officers learn a new position quickly with the employer covering emergency procedures, proper communication and detention of suspects. 

Many states suggest Security Officers receive eight hours of training before starting the job, eight to 16 hours of training on-the-job and eight hours of annual training. This training may include specialized training related to their specific assignment, first aid, deterring crises, report writing, public relations and protection. Armed Security Officers typically receive more rigorous weapons training along with periodic firearms use testing. 

Security Officer Experience Requirements 

Security Officers in specialized areas like gaming surveillance often need prior work experience in casinos or surveillance. Experience working with video monitoring technology is especially helpful and often gained working as a Security Officer. 

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions 

If this job description for a Security Officer isn’t quite what you’re looking for, consider these similar positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Security Officers


What is the difference between a Security Officer and a Police Officer?

The difference between a Security Officer and a Police Officer is the types of entities they work for, their job responsibilities and the types of training they receive. For example, Security Officers typically work for businesses or individuals to protect property. In contrast, Police Officers work for the local, county, state or federal governments to enforce laws and protect citizens within a given area. 

To qualify for a job as a Security Officer, candidates likely need to complete on-site job training and pass a background check. In contrast, prospective Police Officers need to pass an entrance exam and attend a six-month police academy program to qualify.


What are the daily duties of a Security Officer?

On a typical day, a Security Officer arrives at their workplace before their shift starts. They use this time to speak with on-duty Officers about concerns, expected visitors or things to look out for during their shift. Security Officers undertake several activities throughout their shifts, including watching video surveillance footage, securing parts of the facility after operations cease and completing routine inspections around the property once or twice each hour. Before changing shifts, they notify new Security Guards about how the shift went and whether they need to be aware of anything.


What qualities make a good Security Officer?

A good Security Officer has a keen attention to detail, enabling them to catch small details and prevent trespassers from entering a property. They have excellent interpersonal communication, allowing them to resolve conflicts between customers or employees. Further, a good Security Officer has good physical stamina, which helps them survey properties or stand for long periods. A good Security Officer also takes the time to refresh their memory on building layouts, potential entry points and likely threats to their employer.


Who does a Security Officer report to?

Security Officers usually report directly to a Senior Security Officer or the Head of Security at their facility. These individuals act as a point of communication for Security Officers when they encounter suspicious activities. Senior Security Officers also contact Security Officers by radio to inform them of activities they captured on video surveillance. Security Officers may also report indirectly to members of law enforcement when they need additional assistance at their facility.

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