Security officer

bouncer security staff door staff security professional security guard watchman
Security, uniformed and protective services

Career outlook for security officer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would keep buildings, valuables and people safe, prevent theft and damage and deal with emergencies.

You might be working for any kind of organisation. Your tasks would depend on where you work.

You could:

  • Patrol, secure and check premises, sometimes helped by closed circuit television (CCTV)
  • Guard cash or other valuables in a security vehicle that is travelling between locations
  • Guard an airport and search planes, passengers and luggage
  • Supervise on the door for a large organisation
  • Sign in visitors and give directions
  • Work with guard dogs

You may have to keep records and write short reports, which could be used by the police or courts.

Working conditions


You could work up to 48 hours a week, including evenings and weekends. Shift work is very common.


You may work inside a building or vehicle, or outside supervising the door or providing crowd control during an event.


Some jobs involve driving. For work involving cash or valuables in transit, you will spend much of your time in a security van.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Verbal communication
  • Observation
  • Problem solving

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You do not need formal qualifications to enter this job but experience in police, armed services or other security roles will be very helpful.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Physical education

You will also need

You will need to be physically fit and may need to have a medical examination.

You will need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland and may have to pass other security checks.

You may require Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence or specialist SIA qualifications for some roles. 

You may also require a full, clean driving licence or higher category licence to drive the larger, heavier vehicles for transporting cash or prisoners (category C1 licence).

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show expertise in security services such Security Industry Authority (SIA) qualifications or Scottish Vocational Qualification in Electronic Security Systems (SVQ Level 3).