Certificate programs for aspiring security officers are more common than diploma programs. Security officer certificate programs prepare graduates for entry-level law enforcement careers as security guards or surveillance specialists. Programs train future security guards in practical fieldwork techniques. Prerequisites for the program are simply possession of a high school diploma or GED, completion of a college placement test, and a background check.
Security Officer Certificate Programs
Students in a certificate program will learn search and seizure practices, maintaining crime scene integrity, emergency preparation, and fire safety. They also have opportunities to gain oral and written communication skills and to become proficient in solving security-related problems. These programs, which typically require 16-24 credits for completion, can be completed within a year. Courses may include:
- Foundations in criminal law
- Law enforcement ethics
- Report writing
- Interviewing techniques
- Criminal profiling
- Crisis intervention
Popular Career Options
Security officers are often employed at corporations, prisons, malls, airports, hospitals, residential communities and private security firms.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2014-2024, employment of security guards was predicted to rise 5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). This was average growth compared to other occupations in the nation. The BLS also noted that in May 2015, security guards earned an average salary of $28,460 annually.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
In order to work as a security officer, many states require individuals to be licensed. Once an individual has earned experience as a security officer, he or she may decide to pursue voluntary certification through ASIS International (www.asisonline.org). Specific designations, such as Certified Protection Professional and Physical Security Professional, are available to applicants who meet eligibility requirements and pass a multiple-choice exam. For those seeking further education, earning a security officer certificate may be a stepping stone to an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field.
Certificate programs are available for prospective security officers. These programs involve hands-on fieldwork and focus on law enforcement techniques. Licensure may be required for this career, and voluntary professional certification is also available.