Security Officers and Guards provide security and investigative services to organisations and individuals.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary. Security Consultants usually need a Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience. Crowd Controllers and Private Investigators usually need a Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • patrolling property and checking doors, windows and gates for unauthorised entry
  • watching for irregularities such as fire hazards, malfunctions of machines and equipment, lights left on, leaking water pipes and unlocked security doors
  • issuing security passes to authorised visitors and giving directions
  • monitoring alarms and contacting supervisors, police and fire brigades by radio or phone if security is breached or fire is detected
  • picking up and ensuring the safe delivery of cash, payrolls and valuables
  • operating coin and currency counting machines, and carrying out cash counting and packaging functions
  • maintaining order at venues where there are large gatherings of people
  • conducting investigations for clients and preparing evidence for court proceedings
  • detecting and investigating theft and other unlawful acts carried out in retail establishments
  • advising clients on security requirements and designing security specifications

Job Titles

  • Alarm, Security or Surveillance Monitor
  • Armoured Car Escort
  • Crowd Controller or Bouncer
  • Private Investigator
  • Retail Loss Prevention Officer
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Officer, or Security Guard
  • Other Security Officers and Guards
  • Alarm, Security or Surveillance Monitor

    Monitors security alarms, CCTV and other surveillance equipment, and contacts supervisors, police or fire brigades if security is breached or fire is detected. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Armoured Car Escort

    Provides armed escort for transportation and delivery of cash and other valuables. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Crowd Controller or Bouncer

    Carries out crowd control duties at entertainment, sporting or recreational venues. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Private Investigator (also called Private Inquiry Agent)

    Conducts investigations for clients and prepares evidence for court proceedings. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Retail Loss Prevention Officer

    Detects and investigates shoplifting, fraud and other unlawful acts of employees or customers of a retail establishment. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Security Consultant

    Advises clients on security requirements, and recommends and designs security specifications. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Security Officer, or Security Guard

    Patrols and guards industrial and commercial property, railway yards, stations and other facilities. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Mobile Patrol Officer, Railway Patrol Officer

  • Other Security Officers and Guards

    Includes Bodyguard. Registration or licensing may be required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,177 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    53100
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    84.8%
  • Female Share

    15.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    70.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 53,100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Security Officers and Guards work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Public Administration and Safety; Retail Trade; and Accommodation and Food Services.
  • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,177 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200550400
200650900
200750200
200848200
200948000
201052400
201154400
201251500
201356100
201454100
201553100
202058600

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsSecurity Officers and GuardsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11771230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySecurity Officers and GuardsAll Jobs Average
Full-time70.568.4
Part-time29.531.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.640

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety69.2
Retail Trade4.8
Accommodation and Food Services4.3
Transport, Postal and Warehousing4.1
Other Industries17.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSecurity Officers and GuardsAll Jobs Average
NSW24.531.8
VIC23.725.5
QLD19.619.8
SA7.96.8
WA1611.2
TAS2.42
NT2.81.1
ACT3.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSecurity Officers and GuardsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.5-5.45.4
20-249.1-9.99.9
25-3428.4-23.423.4
35-4419.8-21.721.7
45-5419.8-21.121.1
55-599.4-8.78.7
60-647.5-5.95.9
65 and Over4.5-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySecurity Officers and GuardsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males84.8Males53.6
Females15.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationSecurity Officers and GuardsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate7.8-8.68.6
Bachelor degree10-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma9.4-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV33-18.918.9
Year 1219.5-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1017.2-17.717.7
Below Year 103.1-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary. Security Consultants usually need a Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience. Crowd Controllers and Private Investigators usually need a Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Security Officers and Guards who can connect with others, are trustworthy, responsible and reliable.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Public Safety and Security

    78% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  2. English Language

    68% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    63% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. Psychology

    58% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  5. Education and Training

    55% Important

    Teaching and course design.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    91% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    90% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  3. Documenting/Recording Information

    89% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    88% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  5. Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings

    87% Important

    Checking objects, actions, or events, keeping an eye out for problems.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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