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

What does a security officer do?

As a security officer, you could work for all kinds of organisations. Your role could vary depending on the industry you work in, and could include:

  • patrolling, securing and monitoring premises, sometimes helped by closed circuit television (CCTV)
  • guarding cash or other valuables in a security vehicle that is travelling between locations (in transit)
  • airport security - searching aircraft, passengers and luggage, and guarding the airport boundaries
  • supervising on the door for a large organisation

What do I need to do to become a security officer?

You do not usually need academic qualifications to start work as a security officer but a good standard of general education would be helpful. Previous experience of working in the police or armed forces could also be useful.

Employers will carry out checks on your personal and work history going back up to ten years, and you will need to let them know about any criminal convictions.

If you are employed by an agency (or contractor) that provides contract security services to clients, you will need a Security Industry Authority (SIA) front line licence. To qualify for this you must:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • pass identity and criminal record checks
  • complete relevant approved SIA training
  • You can take an approved SIA course at a college or training centre before applying for work.

Related skills

  • Customer service
  • Physical fitness

Essential qualifications

  • There are no formal qualifications needed to be a security officer.

Where to find out more

Security Industry Authority (SIA) 

Skills for Security 

British Security Industry Association (BSIA)  

International Professional Security Association (IPSA) 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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