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Security Manager

Education and Training: High school diploma; State licensure may be required
Average Salary: $30,891-$93,597 per year
Job Outlook: Very good

A security manager creates and enforces the security operations of an organization, business, or institution. The role of the security manager is to oversee security operations and instill policies that ensure employee and workplace safety. A security manager typically manages other safety personnel including security officers, security guards, or patrol members.

Security managers work in nearly every industry protecting the organization or business from all kinds of security breaches or criminal activity. Some security managers are armed and work in static locations. Daily activities include security briefings with staff, patrol and inspection, completing comprehensive reports, hiring security personnel, and putting together staff schedules. The security manager carries the most responsibility of all staff members in terms of security operations within the business. A security manager for a business is often the liaison between law enforcement and the criminal.

Education and Training Requirements

A high school diploma is required for a job as a security manager. Security personnel or guards who have post-secondary education may be eligible for advancement to a security manager position. On the job training is typically required where a security personnel member works alongside a mentor for one to two years before being eligible for advancement. Weapons training is required for security managers who are armed. For those carrying firearms the training is rigorous and often required periodically throughout the year.

Getting the Job

For most security manager positions, several years working as a security guard or staff personnel is required before moving into a management role. Training and experience is a must before individuals are considered for management. Security managers have paid their dues and worked alongside a mentor before moving into the management position. Before getting the job as a security manager extensive background checks and character references must be examined. Security managers should display physical fitness and have quick response times to ensure they can make fast decisions.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Favorable job opportunities are to be expected for security managers over the next several years due in part because of the increasing need for security operations among businesses and organizations. Competition is expected to grow but job expansion should take place at a higher rate. High level security operations are requiring more training which may deter competition. These high level security organizations include weapon installation firms and nuclear power plants.

Working Conditions and Environment

Most security managers spend half the shift on their feet while the other half is spent at a desk completing paperwork and reports. Assignments may involve patrol, inspection, or routine surveillance which requires the security manager to be away from the office environment. The job can be stressful in dealing with staff relations and possible security threats. Some security managers may carry weapons for protection which leads to a hazardous working environment.

Security manger shifts may vary depending on the structure of the organization. Night and weekend shifts are not uncommon and security managers may be required to work over 40 hours per week if short-staffed.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for most security managers varies from $30,891-$93,597 per year. The type of business or organization determines the salary range. The more experienced the security manager the higher the rate of pay.

Most security managers receive full benefit packages including health and medical insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation time, and sick leave.

Where to Go for More Information

American Society for Industrial Security
1625 Prince St.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2818

International Security Management Association
PO Box 623
Buffalo, IA 52728

National Security Agency
Fort George G. Meade
Maryland 20755

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw and Public Service