Security Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

Security personnel, or a Security Officer, provides protection and surveillance for a person, group, organization or asset. Their duties include patrolling a specific area, providing protection when needed and maintaining incident reports.


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Security job duties and responsibilities

A competent Security Officer should be in a position to handle various duties and responsibilities within their work environment. Typically, all Security Officers have these main duties and responsibilities:

  • Protect the business’ property, staff and the environment by keeping the location secure.
  • Apprehend trespassers and remove people who violate the rules of the location they secure.
  • Report any suspicious incidences to management in detail.
  • Act in a lawful manner while in defense of the property, staff and environment they are in charge of.
  • Conduct regular and random patrols around the business building and perimeter.


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What does Security do?

Security personnel are typically employed by any organization that requires assistance keeping their building secure and employees protected. Depending on the type of security they provide, Security personnel might travel with people or assets from one point to another or patrol an indoor or outdoor area to keep trespassers out. Some Security personnel work with individuals while others work for companies or events. Many Security personnel have previous experience in the military or law enforcement before working in the field of security.


Security skills and qualifications

A successful candidate for a Security position will have various qualifications to make them an ideal candidate. The following skills are important for a Security Officer:

  • Great interpersonal and communication skills when dealing with business customers and other visitors to the premises
  • Detailed understanding of best security policies, practices and the law
  • Great physical strength and agility
  • Keen and observant eye to ensure any suspicious activity does not go unnoticed
  • Ability to act with integrity and in a professional manner
  • Ability to operate emergency equipment and intruder detection systems
  • First aid or CPR certifications


Security salary expectations

The average salary for a Security Officer is $13.18 per hour. The salary varies from location to location and also depends on the company. Therefore, before starting the salary in a job description, it is important to confirm the salary with other companies in the same category to ensure that the compensation is fair to the Security Officers who are interested in the position.


Security education and training requirements

In some locations where the business needs a very experienced Security Officer, the requirements may specify that they need former military members with highly specialized prior training. However, a certification in security training and superb physical fitness are enough for most Security Personnel jobs.


Security experience requirements

Previous experience is always an added advantage to an organization seeking to add staff to its ranks. Having relevant experience means that the company does not need to invest too much money in training processes. A Security Officer should have prior security-related work experience. Experience in working with security equipment such as alarm and monitoring equipment and telephones is required. However, some employers provide on the job training to new security personnel.


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Frequently asked questions about Security


What makes a good Security employee?

Security employees must have certain training, skills and attributes to perform the various duties associated with their role. Common qualities for excellent Security personnel include: 

  • Conflict resolution: Personnel who work in the security sector often need to resolve conflicts and disputes in a safe manner. 
  • Observation: Good Security employees have outstanding observation skills, so they know if there’s been trespassing or other damage done to their prescribed area. 
  • Physical fitness: It’s occasionally necessary for Security employees to chase or incapacitate trespassers to keep their company safe. 
  • Self-direction: Most Security personnel work independently without oversight from a manager. The ability to self-direct and stay focused on the task at hand is vital. 
  • Communication: Since Security employees often work on their own, it’s important they communicate the interactions and incidents from their shift with their employer verbally and in writing.


What's the difference between Security and Bodyguard?

Security personnel and Bodyguards share some of the same duties, but the circumstances of their employment and some of their daily duties do differ substantially. Security personnel often patrol specific areas and maintain safety for a business rather than a specific person or people. Bodyguards, by contrast, usually have a single client they’re in charge of protecting. In most cases, Bodyguards help their clients, who are often famous in some capacity, safely travel or keep them safe during public appearances.


What are the daily duties of a Security employee?

A Security employee’s duties can vary depending on the specifics of their role and the type of employer they work for. Generally speaking, most Security personnel can expect to perform a few basic tasks during the course of their daily shift. Most Security employees begin their work by reviewing the previous employee’s or day’s notes and reviewing the circumstances of any incidents. Then, most will patrol their given area and ensure all spaces are secure and free of trespassers. Some Security personnel may need to remove unwelcome people from the vicinity. 


What are the different types of Security?

There are a number of different specific positions under the umbrella of security. A few of the most common types of Security personnel include:

  • Security Guards: Also called Security Officers, Security Guards often keep businesses and buildings secure from intruders. 
  • Security Escorts: Security Escorts help people travel safely from one location to another. 
  • Security Managers: Security Managers oversee a team of Security personnel and perform supervisory and managerial duties in addition to some patrolling. 
  • Protection Officers: Protection Officers often provide security to people or locations that may have a higher threat level than a typical Security Guard would work with. 
  • Patrol Officers: Patrol Officers primarily patrol a large area, either on foot or in a vehicle, to ensure its security. 

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