Students in a security management associate program learn how to recognize and evaluate dangerous situations, as well as utilize surveillance equipment and other security technologies. Some programs require students to complete internships with law enforcement agencies or security companies. Generally, applicants who hold high school diplomas or the GED equivalent meet the educational requirements for associate degree programs.
Associate Degree in Security Management
Security management degree programs can include topics such as business administration, policing techniques, and legal issues related to the security industry. Graduates possess the skills needed to implement updated security measures, investigate thefts, and interview persons of interest. They might use their knowledge of business and safety to create secure working environments. Courses can cover topics like investigation procedures, criminal justice, business operations, and loss prevention, as well as:
- Security management
- Public safety administration
- Investigative techniques
- Information security
- Emergency preparedness
- Criminal justice
Potential Career Options
Although post-secondary education may not be necessary to work in security, earning an associate degree in security management can prepare workers for careers in public safety administration and private security. Graduates could possess the training necessary to work in lower-level supervisory positions within the security industry. Gaming surveillance officers typically require some post-secondary education. Potential career titles for program graduates may include:
- Security guard
- Armored security team leader
- Loss prevention agent
- Gaming surveillance officer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected 5% job growth for security guards and gaming surveillance officers from 2014 through 2024 (www.bls.gov). During that period, the BLS also expects fast 5% growth for private detective and investigator jobs, which includes loss prevention agents. According to the BLS, mean earnings were $28,460 for security guards, and $33,880 for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators in May 2015. PayScale.com reported 2016 median earnings of $35,961 annually for loss prevention agents.
Many states require security professionals to obtain licensing, especially private detectives, investigators, and armed security. Licensing procedures usually include criminal background checks and written examinations. Becoming licensed or certified to use weaponry may require that individuals attend special courses and pass weapons safety exams.
Voluntary certification is available to security professionals who want to demonstrate their competency in the field to prospective employers. The Certified Protection Professional credential is available through ASIS International.
Upon graduation, students who attain an associate's in security management will be able to pursue a career as a loss prevention agent, gaming surveillance officer and security guard. Each field has expectant moderate income.