You probably see security officers (or security guards, as they're often called) in many different places, from patrolling shopping malls to managing access to office buildings to monitoring security scanners at the courthouse. But have you taken the time to think about what this important job entails?
First, some interesting facts about the security profession. The United States has about 1.1 million security officers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 data. The majority are employed by security services like DePaul Security, though some are directly employed by medical facilities, schools, tourist sites or local government.
Annual wages vary based on the position, responsibility level and location. Oregon, for instance, had 7,920 security guards in 2015, who earned an average wage of just under $30,000 annually.
Security officers typically must be licensed by the state, and each has slightly different requirements. Oregon requires that security officers are 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, do not have any criminal disqualifiers, and complete a 14-hour course taught by a certified private security instructor (such as the training course offered by DePaul Security).
Some key responsibilities of security officers include:
- Monitoring a premise to prevent theft, violence or rule infractions, and warning violators of rules and regulations.
- Thoroughly examining doors, windows and gates to ensure proper function and security.
- Observing and reporting or expelling people engaging in suspicious or criminal acts.
- Reporting any facility issues such as fire hazards or leaking water pipes.
- Requesting emergency personnel for high-risk situations.