Security officer

Security officers make sure that buildings, valuables and people are safe and secure.

Average salary (a year)

£13,000 Starter


£26,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 48 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a Security officer

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • a course run by a private training organisation


You may be able to start by completing an intermediate apprenticeship in providing security services.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Other routes

You can take a training course approved by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Many of these courses are run by private security companies.

More information


Career tips

Experience of working in the police or armed forces could help you get into this job.

Further information

You can find out more about working and training in security from Skills for Security.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills for dealing with emergencies
  • concentration skills to stay alert and aware of your surroundings
  • customer service skills for challenging people politely but firmly
  • excellent verbal communication skills for negotiating with people
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

If you work as a security contractor on a building site, you'll also need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card (CSCS).

An employer will carry out checks on your personal and work history (up to 10 years). You need to let them know about any criminal convictions before you apply for a security licence.

You won't need a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence for in-house security jobs at your employer's premises.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your role could include:

  • patrolling, securing and monitoring premises
  • guarding cash or other valuables in a security vehicle
  • supervising on the door for a large organisation

If you work in airport security you could be:

  • searching aircraft, passengers and luggage
  • guarding the airport boundaries

Working environment

You could work at a store or from a vehicle.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior or chief security officer, then supervisor.

With further qualifications you could go into security management or training, or set up your own security company.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Security officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Certificate in Public and Security Services 2 x GCSE re-sit - Level 2

  • Provider: DERBY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 August 2019
  • Location: Ilkeston

Principles of Providing Security Services

  • Provider: Gloucestershire College
  • Start date: 18 March 2019
  • Location: CHELTENHAM

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