Security Advisor: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a security advisor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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Security advisors are the individuals who consult with businesses to point out the buisiness's potential security weaknesses, develop security policies and minimize risk to computer systems. They are expected to have a background in security and can obtain degrees in network security and certifications with the International Association of Professional Security. Those entering this field may find themselves earning a median income of nearly $70,000 a year.

Essential Information

Security advisors provide consultation services to businesses or individuals on the security for a residence or commercial property. In addition to physical security, some advisors or consultants specialize in the security of computers and information systems. A bachelor's degree in a computer or technology-related field is the standard requirement for this position, along with experience in security consulting.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in network security, computer systems or similar field
Other Requirements Experience in security consulting may be preferred; certifications in network security may lead to career advancement or increased opportunities
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 4.8% for all business operations specialists
Median Salary (2015)* $68,170 for all business operations specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Security advisors evaluate existing security systems to determine the potential risk of a breach. The consultant develops policies and procedures that minimize the risk to properties, employees and computer systems. Consultants may also provide evaluations and assessments in collaboration with sales staff for the security business.

These consultants may work independently, providing evaluations on a client's current security system and recommendations for improvements without an affiliation to a security firm or the business that will install the recommended measures. Security consultants may inspect a residence to assist homeowners in finding the best security system to protect the property.

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Duties

Security consultants conduct tests on a current system to determine weak areas, which are vulnerable to an attack from outside the company or residence. Tests may include attempts to hack into the computer system or enter a locked residence. After evaluating security systems, consultants prepare reports for clients, detailing the weak security areas and make recommendations to correct the problems. Security advisors may conduct regular tests to ensure security measures are protecting the business or home.

Salary and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2015 that business operations specialists, a group that includes security advisors, had a median annual income of $68,170. These professionals were expected to see a slower-than-average growth of 4.8% in employment opportunities from 2014 until 2024.

Job Requirements

Security consulting firms may require experience in the security field performing evaluations and preparing assessment reports for a position as an advisor. Consultants specializing in computer systems may need to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and certifications in network security. Professional certifications, such as the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) or the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) designations will enhance job opportunities.

Bachelor's degree programs for computer systems security advisors include computer science, information technology or information management. Computer science degree programs include courses in advanced mathematics, programming languages, data structures and computer security.

The International Association of Professional Security Consultants offers certification for security professionals. This designation requires experience in security consulting and a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

Security advisors conduct tests on businesses and their properties to determine security weaknesses in their buildings, policies or even technology. They are typically expected to have past experience in security and may pursue a degree in computer technology, such as network security, or earn certifications with the International Association of Professional Security Consultants. Job growth is projected to be almost 5% in this field through 2024, and the median wage was $68,170 in 2015.

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