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Helping you find a career as a Security officer

Security officers ensure peoples safety at public events or look after buildings and valuables for institutions and businesses. Roles as a security officer range from protecting a single individual to working in prisons or as a bouncer. A wide range of industries and sectors use security officers.

You will have to be at least 18 years old and be able to pass criminal checks in order to gain an SIA license (Security Institution Authority license). An SIA license is necessary for a career in security.


What does a Security officer do?
  • Monitoring CCTV screens

  • Patrolling premises

  • Guarding valuables

  • Specialised security tasks e.g. airport security or close protection

  • Acting as a door supervisor

  • Restraining people if absolutely necessary
Skills & interests required for a Security officer
  • Confidence to challenge people where necessary

  • Ability to make decisions quickly and effectively

  • In some roles physical fitness and strength is a benefit

  • Ability to work with CCTV equipment

  • An authoritative manner is helpful in some roles
What hours does a Security officer typically do?
Your work hours and work base depend entirely on your employer and the industry within which they operate. A night watchman at a warehouse for example would work solely night shifts, where a bouncer will work evenings and weekends. Some roles have more conventional hours though, for example a security supervisor at a supermarket.
What environment is a Security officer based in?
This varies across employers and industries. Anywhere where extra security is necessary! You could be on the door of a night club, in a supermarket or airport, or working in an institution like a hospital or government building.
How much does a Security officer travel?
This will depend on your role. In some roles you will work in dedicated spaces and little travel will be required. Some security companies are hired by particular groups and you will need to travel to specified locations. In another capacity, you may be hired as a personal bodyguard and will travel with the client as they go about their business. Most companies will fund your travel in these last two cases.
How much does a Security officer get paid?
A starting salary for a security officer is around £13,000 to £16,000 per annum. More experienced security officers can earn £22,000 to £26,000 per annum.
Perks & benefits
As there are variable roles within the security industry with different hours, it is possible to find a position that can fit around another job or your hobbies.
What qualifications does a Security officer need?
You will need to get an SIA licence which may require some training. Beyond this, there are no formal educational requirements.