How to become a Security Officer

Security officers protect people and property, and maintain crowd control.

Personal requirements of a Security Officer

  • Physically fit (may be required to pass a medical examination)
  • Good hearing and eyesight (may be corrected)
  • Observant
  • Responsible and trustworthy
  • Assertive with good interpersonal skills
  • Good communication and negotiation skills
  • Australian citizenship, or eligibility for citizenship, for Australian Protective Service Officer positions

Education & Training for a Security Officer

To become a security officer you usually have to complete a VET qualification in security operations or security and risk management. Applicants may be required to undergo a pre-training National Police Check and/or attend an interview. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a security officer through a traineeship in Security Operations or Security and Risk Management. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Security Officer

Security officers may perform the following tasks:

  • patrol areas and check doors, gates and windows for signs of unauthorised entry
  • watch for irregularities (such as fire hazards, leaking water pipes, lights left on, equipment malfunctions, unlocked security doors) and report incidents or problems to the appropriate authority
  • record times of inspections and presence of authorised persons
  • respond to alarms and check alarm systems
  • provide armed escort for payroll deliveries
  • observe and report suspects to police, or apprehend offenders when appropriate and detain them until police arrive
  • monitor computer alarm systems, closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems and communicate by radio with mobile units to attend alarms
  • issue security passes, give directions and make security arrangements for authorised visitors
  • check travellers and their hand luggage to detect concealed weapons and explosives
  • detect and report fraud, shoplifting and other unlawful acts by employees or patrons of business establishments
  • provide armed protection for specific organisations (banks, for example)
  • provide assistance to the public and clients.

Working conditions for a Security Officer

Security officers usually do shiftwork and may work at nights, on weekends and public holidays.

Employment Opportunities for a Security Officer

The Australian Federal Police conducts recruitment for Protective Service Officers on an annual basis. Protective Service Officers undergo an intensive 13-week training course in Canberra. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and hold a manual drivers licence. Security officers are employed by private security firms, banks, large department stores, industrial and commercial organisations and property companies that own office blocks and hotels. Security officers may be promoted to supervisory or managerial positions or to central control duties, checking that visits or patrols have been undertaken. Opportunities for promotion are generally better with larger organisations, although it is possible to move from a small employer to a more senior position with another firm.


Air Security Officer

An air security officer provides security at major airports as well as on domestic and international flights into and out of Australia. They are employed by the Australian Federal Police Protective Services (AFPPS).

Australian Protective Service Officer

An Australian protective service officer provides security at Australian Government premises. They are employed by the Australian Federal Police Protective Services (AFPPS).


A bodyguard carries out the personal protection of another person.

Crowd Controller

A crowd controller maintains order at large gatherings of people such as at night clubs or concerts.


A gatekeeper makes sure that only authorised people or vehicles enter or leave particular premises. They may also check parking areas and vehicle loads.

Mobile Patrol Guard

A mobile patrol guard moves by car or motorcycle between a number of establishments such as building sites or factories in an industrial estate to prevent fire or flood damage, theft and vandalism.

Security Agent

A security agent performs all the duties of a security officer, but may also hire out and supply a guard dog for the purpose of protecting or guarding a person or property. A security firm must be licensed to carry out this additional security task.

Store Security Officer

A store security officer protects the property of retail stores by detecting and preventing shoplifting, investigating criminal offences and carrying out other security tasks.

Additional Information
On completion of this training, you can apply for a licence from the relevant body in your state or territory. You must be over 18 years of age, obtain a National Police Certificate and hold a current Provide First Aid Certificate. People involved in security work usually need a drivers licence. Security officers working in licensed venues (where alcohol is served) will need a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. RSA short courses are widely offered by TAFE institutes and Registered Training Organisations.
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