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Security officer

Alternative titles for this job include Security guard

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

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a security officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a course run by a private training organisation

Other Routes

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

You may also take a Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Providing Security Services.

When you have completed the right course for the type of security work you want to do, you can apply for a front-line SIA licence. You must have this before you can work legally in the private security industry in any job that is on the front-line.

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

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.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your duties will depend on where you work. You could:

  • patrol premises and secure doors, windows and other entrances
  • monitor CCTV cameras
  • respond to alarms
  • check staff and visitors in and out of buildings
  • guard cash or other valuables in a security vehicle
  • operate scanning equipment and devices, like at airports
  • search luggage
  • guard the boundaries of important facilities, like airports or power stations

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor, then senior or chief security officer.

With further qualifications like a Level 3 Security first line manager, you could go into security management or training. You could set up your own security company.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current 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

Principles of Providing Security Services

  • Start date: 25 October 2021
  • Location: Gloucester

Level 3 Preparation for the Security Industry

  • Provider: DCG
  • Start date: 07 February 2023
  • Location: Ilkeston

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