What is it like to work as a Security Officer?
What are the roles and responsibilities of a Security Officer?
The role of a Security Officer can involve many different aspects, and is much more than just guarding a door. Depending on the specific requirements of the site Security Officers are positioned on, duties can include:
- Carrying out patrols of premises and ensuring that doors, windows, and other entrances are secure.
- Monitoring CCTV cameras.
- Responding to alarm activations.
- Signing staff and visitors in and out of buildings.
- Guarding cash or other valuables in a security vehicle.
- Operate scanning equipment and devices, such as in nightclubs.
- Checking and searching bags or vehicles.
- Static manned guarding of private premises.
- Guarding the boundaries of important facilities.
The working environment will differ depending on your specific role and location. Security Officers may be based on the doors of different venues, in a patrol vehicle, or carrying out internal or external patrols of a site as well as many other possibilities. Each role will be unique to the needs of the client, so there can be a lot of variety in the work.
Working hours can vary a lot depending on the job at hand, so it is good to have some flexibility – you may be working night shifts, have very early starts or work on a shift rotation with other people meaning that your hours will differ slightly every week. We understand the importance of family and other personal commitments and will always do our best to be accommodating of any issues, however it is important that guards make management aware as early as possible if they are not able to attend their shift so that it can be covered by someone else quickly and efficiently – this will make for a happy client!
What skills make for a good Security Officer?
- Good knowledge of public safety and security – this will be gained through obtaining your SIA Door Supervisor licence and will improve with experience of working in the industry and undertaking any additional training where needed.
- Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
- The ability to work well with others, as part of a team of Security Officers or when liaising with other staff members at a site. This is also very important as officers may have to work alongside public services such as firefighters, police officers and medical staff.
- To be thorough in your work and pay attention to detail.
- Excellent thinking and reasoning skills for dealing with emergencies – Security Officers will often be the first point of contact for any incidents which may arise on a site.
- Concentration skills to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Good customer service skills for dealing with members of the public in a polite and helpful manner, whilst also having the ability to be firm and authoritative where necessary.
- The ability and confidence to be able to carry out simple tasks on a computer or hand-held device, such as incident reporting, clocking in/out of shifts etc.
- Excellent verbal communication skills for negotiating with people. The ability to talk to people and understand their point of view can be a key to solve any problems which could arise, and diffuse tense or volatile situations. This is especially important when working on crowded events or nightlife, where the risk of conflict is much higher.
What are the opportunities like as a Security Officer?
If you can offer the availability and flexibility to cover a range of different shifts as and when required then you will be able to develop a wide knowledge of what is expected on different sites and locations. This will put you in good standing as it will increase your experience of a variety of tasks which could include alarm response, CCTV/surveillance equipment monitoring, and locking or unlocking sites.
With the right training and qualifications, many guards who start out as Security Officers move into roles in close protection. There may also be the opportunity to specialise in CCTV and surveillance, work full time as a mobile response driver or move into working in other areas such as Health and Safety or events coordination. There could also be the chance to work your way up to a career in operations management.
Please view our ‘Careers’ section for more information.