security guard patrolling outside with a two-way radio

6 Essential Security Officer Duties

Security officers oversee the safety and security of the establishment where they work. Working as a security officer requires physical strength as well as mental toughness and grit in equal measure. How much do security guards make? The median security guard salary in 2018 was $28,530 annually, and the demand for security professionals is expected to grow by 5% by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Roles with higher responsibilities and more independence tend to command a higher security guard salary. For example, a Chief Security Officer (CSO) is often an executive-level position at certain companies. What is a CSO? A CSO provides security for employees, facilities, and corporate assets and designs and directs the security strategy and protocol for an organization.

While job responsibilities may differ depending on the particular position, most security officer jobs require a certain set of essential job duties.


1. Safeguard property and equipment.

Security officer duties entail monitoring workers, facilities, and equipment. If you work in a retail store, you may patrol the area and prevent shoplifting and detain customers accused of theft. If you work in an office or factory, you'll serve as a gatekeeper, checking the credentials of those who enter the building. As a general rule, if something is of value and requires protection, security officers will provide that essential protection.


security guard at a community event


2. Enforce the safety protocol of an establishment.

Security officers must view surveillance equipment or conduct security checks to prevent illegal activity. Security officer duties require a serious, vigilant nature as you must remain on alert for unusual behavior at all times.


3. Document their observations while on duty.

As a security officer, you may be required to submit regular reports of what you observed during your shift. If you’ve had to intervene in an incident or handle a security breach, you may need to track down and interview witnesses before you complete your reports.


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4. Provide loss prevention.

Regardless of the environment in which you work, you’ll likely prevent loss of property and merchandise. You may need to regularly check for irregularities in the areas that you patrol. Often, security guards in retail spaces are tasked with identifying any suspicious behaviors of individuals to see if someone is attempting to steal. 


5. Carry out the organization’s legal requirements and standards.

As a security officer, you’ll need to carry out the essential job duties within the company’s standard protocol. You will uphold the company’s standards at all times. If you work as a CSO, you may establish the organization’s vision and strategy for protecting the employees and assets.


security officer with a two-way radio watching security camera footage on multiple computer monitors


6. Offer assistance to people in need.

Occasionally while on the job, you may encounter situations in which someone requires your assistance for a medical or other reason. You’ll need to offer immediate support to the individual while also phoning emergency personnel. Organizations might require self-defense training, as well as CPR certification.


Security guard salary can often depend on your range of responsibilities and whether you’re managing a staff of other security professionals or working as part of a team. Whether you’re wondering how to become a security guard or how much do security officers make, our resources can help. With our comprehensive job search tools, you can find your next security officer job today.

By iHire | January 21, 2020
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