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Corporate Security Officer: Job Duties and Requirements

Corporate security officers require a little amount of formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Corporate security officers work for numerous businesses where they surveil the area and protect their assets. These officers generally only need a high school education and a clean background. Most security guards must also be licensed; additional requirements exist for those who carry firearms.

Essential Information

Corporate security officers and security guards are employed by private companies to guard physical property and personnel from vandalism, theft, bodily harm, fire or illegal activity. They work in a variety of settings, from stores, office buildings, entertainment venues and banks to mobile security units. Because of the hazardous nature of the job, some security guards are required to carry firearms. The minimum requirement for this position is a high school diploma, and many employers also require a background check and licensure.

Required Education High school diploma minimum requirement
Other Requirements Must be physically and mentally fit, pass a background check, and possess licensure or certification if applicable; licensure for carrying firearms may be required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for all security guards
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $24,630 for all security guards

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

Corporate security officers working in the retail industry are employed by large and small stores and shopping malls, mainly to deter theft and vandalism. They may monitor security cameras, patrol parking lots, apprehend shoplifting suspects or assist undercover store detectives with loss prevention.

Security officers who work in corporate office buildings and financial institutions are hired to guard the entrances and exits to buildings, protect employees and customers, respond to company alarms and provide general surveillance. Mobile security guards patrol areas on foot or in vehicles. They are responsible for detaining and removing offenders, and are usually in contact with others by radio, and can answer service calls or radio others for help.

Common duties throughout the corporate security world include writing daily activity reports, answering phone calls during off-hours and contacting the fire department or law enforcement during certain circumstances, such as criminal violation, fire and trespassing. They may be asked to circulate among patrons and customers, or remain at one station. They may also be required to escort certain personnel to and from events. Many jobs require individuals to spend long hours on their feet.

Requirements

Most employers require their applicants to submit to fingerprints and a background check. Applicants should have no police record, good character references and be in excellent physical and mental health. Good observation and communication skills are also important. A high school diploma or equivalent is usually the only mandatory education, though some companies prefer college coursework. Some employers prefer to hire retired or active law enforcement professionals or former military personnel. A driver's license is usually necessary.

Licensure

Most states require security guards to be licensed. The process involves classroom training in emergency procedures, property rights, and detention of suspects. Armed security officers must be licensed to carry weapons, and must receive certification as special police officers, which allows them to make limited arrests.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Security guards earned an annual median salary of $24,630 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Security guards could expect a 5% increase in jobs from 2014-2024, per the BLS, which was about as fast as the average occupation at that time.

Security officers in corporate buildings patrol and guard the premises. They should be able to endure long periods of standing on their feet. Professional requirements include licensure, a high school diploma, and absence of a criminal record - all differing slightly by employer.


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