what is a security officer?

As a security officer, you usually work in a team to ensure the safety of your location, the people working there and any valuables on site. You carry out active patrols in all weather, maintain access controls for vehicles and foot traffic, and operate monitoring equipment. You are one of the public faces of your organisation, and you maintain its reputation by greeting staff and visitors politely and with authority.

You inspect your assigned site's buildings and equipment and make sure that all doors, windows, fence perimeters, gates and assets are secure. You work in shifts to maintain security round the clock, check that exits are closed and locked, and ensure equipment and valuables are stored safely. You complete daily reports with observations of on-site activities and are alert and attentive.

As a security officer, you are a first responder to incidents, managing distress calls, disruptive activities or emergency alarms quickly and appropriately. You deal with trespass, suspicious behaviour, accidents, safety and fire incidents. You are also responsible for supervising traffic into and out of the site, permitting or refusing entry and restraining intruders.

security officer jobs

average salary of a security officer

The average salary of a security officer in Australia is $74,638 per year or an hourly rate of $38.28. In entry-level roles, your earnings are $56,610 annually, while experienced security officers take home over $114,828 yearly.

factors that affect the salary of a security officer

Your remuneration depends on where you work and your level of experience. When you work in companies that require a high level of protection, you may earn a higher salary due to the complexity of the role. A high level of security may require you to carry a firearm, which attracts higher remuneration and requires you to possess a licence. Your experience in handling various situations or previous experience in law enforcement increases your earning potential in the role.

Want to know more about what you will earn as a security officer? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

security officer jobs

types of security officers

As a security officer, your options for roles and working environments are varied. They include:

• warehouse security: your primary responsibility is to control access for vehicles and foot traffic to protect the warehouse content. This role often requires close monitoring (CCTV surveillance) and the coordination of patrol routes and schedules.

• general security: you protect public and commercial buildings, guarding against trespass and theft. You could be part of a team securing a single building or covering a large worksite. Alternatively, you could work alone as part of a single-operative shift pattern.

• corporate security: you are the public face of your employer as much as the reception staff, so you're skilled in employee and customer interactions. You may also have specialist training in providing security for high-value clients in stressful situations.

• hospitality security: your locations are entertainment and concert venues. You deal with drunk or aggressive attendees and medical emergencies requiring swift action. You are also responsible for crowd control, fire safety regulations compliance and maintaining a safe environment for all individuals present.

• vehicle security: as a crew member of a vehicle transporting valuables, you might be working directly or as a third party for banks, jewellers and other organisations that require the protection of high-value goods.

construction & property jobs at Randstad
construction & property jobs at Randstad

working as a security officer

Working as a security officer requires attention to detail to maintain high-quality surveillance. Read on to discover security officers' specific duties and job outlook.


education and skills

To become a security officer, you require the following training:

• certificate course: it is crucial to complete the training requirements of the state you wish to work for, and the state police must accredit your training. Some courses you can complete include Certificate II in security operations or Certificate IV in security and risk management. The courses provide training on safety awareness, self-defence and crowd control.

• licences: it is crucial to check the state licensing requirements for security officers. For instance, you usually need a first aid certificate. If you carry a firearm, you require a licence for it. You must also complete the national police check and apply for a security licence in your state or territory.

security officer skills and competencies

As a security officer, you require the following skills and qualities:

• patience: your shift mainly involves sitting or standing, waiting for a situation that requires an immediate response. You spend long hours repeating the same tasks, so patience is essential and increases your job satisfaction.

• attention to detail: detail-oriented skills enable you to spot unusual activities in your surroundings. Attention to detail helps you maintain awareness of your surroundings and identify anything suspicious. It also allows you to assess if the situation requires your immediate intervention.

• physical fitness: being fit helps you perform your duties as a security officer. For instance, your responsibilities may involve capturing intruders or running to catch a suspect before the police arrive.

• decision-making skills: during an emergency, you make quick decisions to manage crowds effectively and keep everyone safe. Good decision-making skills can help you save lives and prevent situations from escalating.


FAQs about working as a security officer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a security officer.

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