Security Officer Certification and Diploma Program Information
Diploma programs in security officer training do not exist. Individuals interested in a security officer diploma program can look to a certificate program instead. After gaining experience in the field, security officers may be eligible to earn industry certification and credentials.
Security Officer Certificate
Security officer certificate programs prepare graduates for entry-level law enforcement careers as security guards or surveillance specialists. At the certificate level, programs train future security guards in practical fieldwork techniques. Students also gain oral and written communication skills and learn to solve security-related problems.
Applicants to a security officer certificate program may need to complete a college placement test. Some programs require applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, a background check may be required.
Certificate programs,which typically require 16-24 credits for completion, can be completed within a year. Courses may include:
- Foundations in criminal law
- Law enforcement ethics
- Report writing
- Interviewing techniques
- Criminal profiling
- Crisis intervention
- Search and seizure practices
- Maintaining crime scene integrity
- Emergency preparation
- Fire safety
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Security officers are often employed in corporations, prisons, malls, airports, hospitals, residential communities and private security firms. Beginning in 2008 and ending in 2018, employment of security officers is predicted to rise 14%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The same government agency noted that, in 2008, security officers averaged $25,840 annually.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
In order to work as a security officer, many states require individuals to be licensed. Once an individual has earned experience as a security officer, he or she may decide to pursue voluntary certification through ASIS International (www.asisonline.org). Specific designations, such as Certified Protection Professional and Physical Security Professional, are available to applicants who meet eligibility requirements and pass a multiple-choice exam. For those seeking further education, earning a security officer certificate may be a stepping stone to an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field.
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