Security Operations Manager: Salary & Responsibilities

May 22, 2019

If you are considering a career as a security operations manager, the following article provides important information about the job description, education requirements, median annual salary, and career outlook.

What Does a Security Operations Manager Do?

Security operations managers, also known as security managers, oversee all aspects of an organization's public safety initiatives. Managers assume responsibility for the safety of staff, the facility, and the facility's assets. They serve in supervisory as well as advisory capacities. As supervisors, they are responsible for interviewing candidates and hiring, training, overseeing, and evaluating security staff. They also serve as mentors in security employee development and also assume responsibility for disciplinary actions, including employee termination if necessary. Security operations managers work with various upper-level management with regard to staffing needs and payroll. They plan, establish, and implement security and public safety measures for an organization. They analyze and assess an existing organization's public safety and security protocols and procedures and suggest and implement improvements for the organization's safety and security infrastructure.

Many larger organizations such as universities host special events, and it is the responsibility of the security operations manager to ensure that proper levels of staffing are met for these events. As such, they communicate with departments hosting events to ascertain the specific security and public safety measures that need to be met. Protection of the facility physical plant and its assets are crucial to the role of the security operations manager. As such, they evaluate security systems and procedures including fire protection systems and theft protection, as well as ensuring that potential safety hazards are addressed. Intrinsic to the security operations manager's role is the research of emergent security-related technologies and consultation with management with respect to implementation and maintenance. Security operations managers are tasked with developing and implementing emergency preparedness procedures as well as training personnel to ensure optimal readiness in the event of any emergency that threatens the well being of staff and the physical plant and its assets.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Expertise in security systems and procedures, very strong communication skills, formidable organizational abilities, strong analytic skills, ability to prioritize tasks, strong supervisory skills
Median Salary (2018)* $107,480 (managers, all other)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 8% (managers, all other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A bachelor's degree is preferred by employers although some will accept equivalent work experience in a security-related field in lieu of a degree. Prior practical work experience in a supervisory or management capacity is commonly desired. Law enforcement or military experience is usually preferred.

Required Skills

Security operations managers require expertise in security and public safety systems and procedures because they are directly responsible for the safety and security of the organization's staff, the physical plant, and any physical assets. Strong communication skills are a must because these managers design and implement security and safety procedures and it is imperative that these procedures are well understood by staff. Managers require strong supervisory abilities because they oversee all security and public safety personnel for an organization; they hire, train, evaluate, and perform disciplinary actions as needed. Analytic skills and problem-solving abilities are necessary because security operations managers must evaluate existing security and safety protocols and work to improve efficiency by analyzing and implementing emergent procedures. Security managers need to be able to prioritize tasks because they are directly responsible for the day-to-day oversight of safety and security for the organization as well as coordination for special events and managing emergency preparedness procedures.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an 8% growth rate between 2016 and 2026 for managers not otherwise categorized, including security managers. This growth rate is classified as average by the BLS compared to all other occupations. In 2018, the BLS reported that the median income for security managers was $107,480.

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