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

    You can work as a Security Officer or Guard without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in security operations might be helpful.

    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

    All Security Officers and Guards

    • $1,318 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 63,800 workers Employment Size
    • Entry level Skill level rating
    • 68% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 45 hours Average full-time
    • 41 years Average age
    • 16% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Security Officers and Guards (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 63,800 in 2018 to 70,100 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 44,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 8,800 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2018.
    • Location: Security Officers and Guards work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Public Administration and Safety; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Retail Trade.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,318 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (68%, similar to the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 16% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200847600
    200948600
    201048600
    201153800
    201255400
    201354000
    201454200
    201552300
    201647700
    201757500
    201863800
    202370100

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings13181460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Public Administration and Safety71.1
    Health Care and Social Assistance3.8
    Retail Trade3.6
    Accommodation and Food Services3.3
    Other Industries18.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW29.131.6
    VIC25.125.6
    QLD19.920.0
    SA6.77.0
    WA12.210.8
    TAS1.72.0
    NT1.91.0
    ACT3.31.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSecurity Officers and GuardsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-191.4-5.05.0
    20-249.1-9.39.3
    25-3424.9-22.922.9
    35-4421.7-22.022.0
    45-5422.0-21.621.6
    55-599.2-9.09.0
    60-647.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate5.1-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree10.2-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma12.6-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV27.3-21.121.1
    Year 1223.5-18.118.1
    Year 115.9-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below15.4-12.512.5

    You can work as a Security Officer or Guard without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in security operations might be helpful.

    Registration with the relevant state or territory board is needed to work as a Security Officer or Guard.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • security licence
    • firearms licence
    • driver's licence
    • national police check
    • first aid certificate

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Property Services and Public Sector VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Customer and Personal Service

      55% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. Public Safety and Security

      54% Skill level

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

    3. Psychology

      45% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    4. English Language

      45% Skill level

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

    5. Education and Training

      35% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-9032.00 - Security Guards.

    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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      94% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    2. Contact With Others

      89% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      89% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Being Exact or Accurate

      88% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    5. Telephone

      87% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-9032.00 - Security Guards.

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