Corporate security officers supervise business facilities, monitor the safety, and security of business professionals and recognize and prevent various security threats. Corporate security officers must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Many employers require a four-year bachelor's degree in criminal justice, psychology, or related field, though opportunities are available to entry-level officers with no formal collegiate education.
Corporate security officers are commonly required to have at least one to three years of experience in security management. Some employers prefer to hire corporate security officers who have certifications in facility security. Officers must have good communication skills, must be physically fit, and emotionally stable. Programs may be offered online.
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
A bachelor's degree in criminal justice prepares students for careers in corporate security. Students study basic and advanced concepts of criminology, criminal behavior, and judicial systems. Courses teach students about laws and civil rights, law enforcement tactics, and security management. Typical course topics include:
- Criminal law and justice theories
- Forensic science and research
- Policing and law enforcement concepts
- Community crime prevention
- Crisis intervention
- Crime and society
Corporate security officers are typically required to have one to three years of security or law enforcement experience. Entry-level positions are available for officers with little professional experience and a college degree. Many employers require corporate security officers to have experience in facility security, corporate security, or security administration.
Licenses and Certifications
Corporate security officers are not required to be licensed. Certification is voluntary and may be preferred by some employers.
Certification from the American Society for Industrial Security International
The American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International offers three types of voluntary certification for security professionals. Corporate security officers can benefit from obtaining Certified Protection Professional (CPP) credentials. To become a CPP, security officers must have a bachelor's degree and seven years of professional experience in a security administration capacity. Corporate security officers who do not have a bachelor's degree must have nine years of experience. Officers must take a comprehensive security exam to earn CPP certification.
Facility Security Officer (FSO) Certification Course
Some employers may require corporate security officers to have certification as a facility security officer (FSO). FSO certification courses are typically offered by private security management firms and can be completed in only one or two days of training. In these programs, students study the principles of security management and administration, loss and damage prevention, safety and security planning and security laws and regulations. After completing the course, officers must pass a security administration exam. Completion of the training course and exam grants FSO certification.
Workshops and Seminars
In addition to offering certifications, ASIS International offers professional workshops, training seminars and symposiums throughout the year. National and global chapters of ASIS International hold events each month. Conferences and workshops are presented by guest speakers and discuss a wide range of current security management issues, including officer safety, crime prevention, physical security and industry equipment and resources.
Newly hired corporate security officers may participate in seminars and workshops held by their employers. Because companies have different security procedures and policies, workshops may be held to introduce new officers to in-house security regulations and practices.
Additional Professional Development
With enough experience, corporate security officers can pursue supervisory or management positions with corporations and security companies. Corporate security directors and managers are typically required to have at least five to ten years of experience in security management, loss prevention and security and contingency planning.
Membership in ASIS International provides networking and career opportunities for corporate security officers. The organization has more than 200 chapters around the world and publishes industrial security's largest trade magazine, Security Management. With more than 30 training and informational events throughout the year, ASIS is the ideal source of professional development for corporate security officers.
Corporate security officers most often find training in the form of a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as criminal justice. Graduates have numerous options for expanding their education and qualifications after earning their degree, such as certification, licensure, and many continuing education courses and programs.