I recently started working for myself as a security industry trainer (having previously worked as a security trainer for another company), and I have spent much more time answering questions and enquiries from people starting out on their careers in the security industry in Ireland.
One of the questions that comes up time and time again from students and members of the public is “what kind of different jobs are there in the security industry?” and “how can I get up the ranks of the security companies quickly?” I am going to try and answer both those questions together in this blog and give a quick overview of ranks and positions in the industry. I will do my best to keep it simple and please remember this is a general overview, all the major companies are slightly different.
The vast majority of new people coming into the industry study a security course (you can see my courses here https://samurai-services.ie/) and when successfully completed they apply for their license with the PSA (Private Security Authority, the Irish regulator).
They then apply for a job with a security company, usually as a security guard – this would be the first level or rank in the security industry. If they spend some time at this rank and gain some experience, they may have the opportunity to apply for a security supervisor/ security sergeant/ lead security post, this is generally a promotion to a senior officer position. You may be the senior officer on a small site or one of several supervisors on a larger site.
The next step on the ladder for many is a driving job, ERD (Emergency response driver), key-holding response, mobile lockup’s and patrol officer. This type of job is usually based in the security companies control center, the officer may start duty from there, collect his van and then be mobile or ‘on the road’ for the shift, opening keyholding buildings, locking up premises and responding to alarms in a specified geographical area. This job may or may not include a supervisory function, checking in on subordinate officers, checking paperwork, training and supporting officers out on assignment.
Another job in the security control center is a security controller, this is a position where an experienced officer handle calls (check in for duty & safety check-in calls) and communications from clients and management. The controller would run C&C (command and control) systems and may also monitor CCTV.
A lot of officers who make it to senior operations positions, often continue their careers by then advancing to security management positions, these jobs may include customer service managers, operations managers, or control center managers. As you may expect, these managers may well progress to senior management positions within their given companies or groups.
This is a simple overview of security ranks today as there are many officers who specialize in areas of security like data center’s, retail and indeed door and event security but it gives you an idea of the levels within the industrial security sector. Needless to say, as officers get promoted and move up the ranks their pay and conditions improve and there is ample opportunity for advancement within the security sector.