Security Officer / Security Guard

Security officers/guards protect people, assets, and property by reporting, investigating, monitoring, and controlling threats.

How much does a security officer/guard earn?

Security officers/guards earn depending on the type of work they do and experience.

  • Security officers/guards usually earn between $20 to $30 per hour.
  • Experienced security officers/guards often make between $30 to $70 per hour.

What does a security officer/guard do?

They may do some or all of the following:

  • Monitor and control crowds at events 
  • Control access to sites for staff, customers and contractors
  • Monitor electronic security systems including cameras and alarms
  • Patrol sites to check for threats like hazards and intruders
  • Enforce rules or laws on sites and call for assistance from emergency services
  • Write reports about what they observed on shift.

How do I enter the security industry?

There are no specific requirements to become a security officer or security guard. However, you will need a Certificate Of Approval (COA) issued by the Ministry of Justice to work. Vision College offers an 18-week security training programme to gain an NZ Certificate in Security (Level 3) and a three-week Certificate of Approval Training programme to gain the units needed to apply for your COA to move into employment in a range of security roles.

A minimum of three-year secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include digital technology and physical education.

A first-aid certificate may also be useful.

How do I get a Certificate of Approval?

To get your Certificate of Approval, you will need to:

  • Complete mandatory training. We provide a three-week Certificate of Approval Training programme to gain the units needed to apply for your COA
  • Pass a police background check and public notification
  • Apply for your COA certificate

Skills and knowledge

Security officers/guards need to have skills and knowledge of:

  • Security and surveillance methods and equipment
  • Legal procedures for arrest
  • Conflict management techniques
  • The laws on trespass, assault and personal property.

Personal requirements

Security officers/guards need to be:

  • Able to stay focused for long periods of time
  • Able to remain calm and make decisions under pressure
  • Honest and able to keep the information confidential
  • Excellent communicators

Useful experience

Useful experience for security officers/guards includes:

  • Work in hospitality, retail or tourism
  • Police officer work
  • Work as a member of the armed forces
  • Customs officer work

Job opportunities in the security industry

Chances of getting a job as a security officer/guard are good because:

  • Not enough people are trained to meet the demand for workers
  • Turnover is high so positions are often available
  • The size of the security industry is expected to continue to grow over the next decade
  • Private security companies are getting more work from the government agencies and police

Types of employers

Security officers/guards may work for:

  • Private security companies
  • Government agencies 
  • Private businesses that serve crowds like bars and stadiums
  • The police
© Activate Training Centres 2021