While there aren't any associate's degree programs in private security management specifically, coursework in the field may be available through 2-year Associate of Science in Criminal Justice programs. Students learn methods for tracking down and apprehending intruders, how to assist businesses with crime prevention strategies, and how to work as part of a team with other security managers and law enforcement officials. Some programs allow students to concentrate on loss prevention, security and criminal investigation. Prospective students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and pass a background check.
Degree programs at the bachelor's and master's level in security management, organizational security or criminal justice are also available.
Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
Most associate's degree programs in criminal justice are offered through vocational schools, technical colleges or community colleges. The curricula contains core courses that can lead to several careers, ranging from a private security officer to a law enforcement officer. Criminal justice courses that relate more specifically to security management include:
- Corporate security
- Physical security planning
- Loss prevention planning
- Elements of investigation
- Homeland security
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an associate's degree program in criminal justice who are interested in working in the private sector can find security management positions with insurance companies, individual businesses and security management companies. Some common entry-level job titles are:
- Security guard
- Loss prevention specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that security guards will see 5% employment growth during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Private detectives and investigators, which also includes loss prevention agents at stores, are also expected to have 5% employment growth during the same decade. The median annual wage in May 2015 was $24,630 for security guards, while private detectives and investigators earned a median annual wage of $45,610, according to BLS figures.
Private security management professionals seeking further relevant studies may earn a bachelor's degree in security management, organizational security or criminal justice. Master's degrees are offered in these subjects as well.
Students in criminal justice associate's programs learn about topics such as behavior and law, crime prevention, corrections. Graduates will be eligible to find work in the field of private security management, or something different, like loss prevention or criminal investigation.