Currently, there are around 500,000 people employed in the security industry. This number includes static and patrol guards, uniformed retail security guards, store detectives, CCTV operators, dog handlers and private investigators.

Security officers make sure that buildings, valuables and people are safe and secure. People working in these roles need the ability to write short reports and follow written instructions, the confidence to challenge people when necessary, the ability to use your initiative and make quick decisions and the ability to work with technical equipment like CCTV.

Responsibilities could include: patrolling, securing and monitoring premises; guarding cash or other valuables in a security vehicle; airport security including searching aircraft, passengers and luggage, and guarding the airport boundaries; and supervising on the door for a large organisation.

Another role in this industry is that of store detective, helping to ensure the security of shops and prevent them being burgled. Responsibilities could be monitoring shoppers or staff who behave suspiciously, calling the police and reporting issues or crimes, taking evidence from witnesses, writing short reports, giving evidence in court, and stopping anyone trying to leave the store with stolen goods.

There are also more administrative based jobs, taking care of the security of systems and databases (working with sensitive and confidential data), for which employees require a strong attention to detail and strong and good organisational skills.

Security apprenticeships

School leavers wanting to enter the security industry via an apprenticeship could do an Intermediate Apprenticeship. Programmes are available in roles like door supervisor, CCTV operator and security officer.

They could also do an Advanced Apprenticeship in a role like security administration, taking care of administration of a security vetting system, including completion of forms involving sensitive and confidential information. Apprentices in this role could be carrying out checks security processes, scanning, indexing and disposing of confidential information, and ad hoc administration support.


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