Security manager

Security operations manager

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Security managers are responsible for protecting an organisation’s buildings and keeping staff and visitors safe.

Salary range: £25,000 to £38,000

How to become a security manager

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You can do a security first line manager advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information


You can start as a security officer and become a team supervisor. You can then move into security management through on-the-job training and promotion.

Direct application

You can apply directly for security management jobs if you’ve got between 2 and 5 years’ experience in the security industry. You’ll also need a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence.

Employers may accept you if you have experience of managing a team in the armed forces, police or prison service.

More information


Professional and industry bodies

You can join the International Professional Security Association for training and development opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about working in security management from Skills for Security.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • leadership skills
  • business management skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

You’ll usually need a driving licence.

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties include:

  • managing a security team
  • planning work rotas
  • monitoring CCTV and alarms in a control room
  • co-ordinating responses to incidents
  • recruiting and training new staff
  • working with the police and other emergency services
  • organising security for events and VIP visits
  • developing and testing security, evacuation and emergency plans
  • investigating security breaches to learn lessons
  • acting as keyholder for access to buildings and controlled areas

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a control room or visit sites.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

You could become an area security manager, with responsibility for offices, shops or other facilities across a region.

You might specialise as a consultant, advising businesses on certain types of security, for example close protection, anti-terror measures or conflict management.

You could also set up your own security recruitment agency, or work for companies that develop and sell security systems, like biometrics or surveillance equipment.

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