Qualified security staff are in high demand, and with training delivered on the job, it’s a great career option to consider.
You see them everywhere, from the country’s largest sporting events and concerts to your favourite bars and pubs. They also work behind the scenes, working in security communications centres or setting up electronic security systems.
Security professionals have a vital role in protecting the public and making sure everyone has a good time.
Security is an incredibly diverse industry, offering a range of careers you can explore. You may be working as a guard, protecting a variety of environments. Others in the industry work in communications centres at security firms, or get trained in electronics to set up security systems.
Managing conflict is a key aspect of the security industry. There are mandatory training requirements to ensure that all individuals are armed with the knowledge and skills to manage conflict situations.
There are three NZQA unit standards that need to be achieved:
- 27364 – Demonstrate knowledge of the security industry in the pre-employment context
- 27360 – Demonstrate knowledge of managing conflict situations in a security context
- 27361 – Manage conflict situations in a security context
Skills has partnered with two providers to deliver these unit standards. Click here to learn more about Conflict Management Train-the-trainer Providers.
Why work in security?
START YOUR CAREER WITH NO STUDENT LOAN
Get the support you need during your training, and finish without a massive student loan hanging over your head.
A VARIETY OF EXPERIENCES
No two days are the same! You’ll get the chance to work on a range of jobs throughout your career.
- Security officers with more than three years’ experience can earn between $17 and $20 an hour
- Experienced electricians working in specialist fields (such as electronic security technicians) can earn $80,000 to $100,000, or more, a year
- Communications centre staff usually earn between $39,000 and $52,000 a year, depending on their experience and position
WORK THAT SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE
You’ll be out and about working at different places, instead of being stuck in the same office all day. As your career grows, you’ll have the flexibility to juggle your work and life commitments.
LENGTH OF TRAINING
It only takes between 1 to 2 years to complete your training.
The number of employed security professionals increased from 2006 to 2013. This trend is expected to continue, and growth of 3% is projected until 2025.
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Commonly asked questions
What will I be doing?
Your day-to-day work depends on which area of security you go into, as they are quite different.
Security officers are responsible for protecting buildings, areas, or events, and the people who are there.
Some officers patrol or guard an area to prevent incidents such as fire, trespassing, theft, or vandalism. Others are tasked with maintaining order at events where there are large crowds of people. There are many different paths you can take as a security officer, depending on where your interests and skills lie.
Electronic security technician
An electronic security technician installs a range of security systems. This includes everything from a basic household intruder alarm to a complete security solution for a large corporation (think swipe cards, fingerprint readers, camera systems, and intercoms).
A career in electronic security can take you inside the hi-tech security systems of large multi-million dollar companies, into your local shopping centre, or even into the house next door. You can work for yourself, serving a small group of clients, or as part of a large organisation.
Communications centre operator
Are you more of an office person? Communications centre staff play a vital role in many security firms. They’re responsible for manning the phones, responding to and dealing with security concerns from clients and the public. As a communications centre operator, you’ll learn the skills to deliver effective customer service in a contact centre environment, which will open up your career options in the future.
Where can I go?
To become a security officer, you need to first find a security company that will employ you and train you up.
You also need to get a Certificate of Approval (COA) issued by the Ministry of Justice. This involves a background check and is a requirement for anyone working in security. You can apply for the COA once you’ve completed the required training within three months of starting work as a security officer.
To find out more about the COA, visit the Ministry of Justice website.
The qualification you’ll complete, with support from your employer, is either the New Zealand Certificate in Security (Levels 3 to 4), or the National Certificate in Security (Levels 2 to 4).
Once you’re qualified, there are many different specialisations you can take, such as:
- Loss Prevention Officer (working in shops and businesses to prevent theft and crime)
- Personal Protection Officer (protecting the personal safety of a client)
- Private Investigator (conducting investigations for clients) As your experience grows, so will your career opportunities.
- Many security professionals eventually go on to start their own business, or move into consulting, planning, or management work.
Is it for me?
Security professionals need a special set of skills. You’ll learn all the technical bits in your training, but for starters, you’ll need to be:
- At least 18 years old
- Able to demonstrate a clean criminal record
- Able to work irregular hours (e.g. shifts, nights, weekends, and long hours)
- Physically fit and strong (especially if you want to become a personal protection officer)
- Mentally strong – you may be getting verbal abuse from the public, and need to stay calm under pressure
- Good at communicating with a wide range of people
- Alert, with good attention to detail
- Reliable and able to keep information confidential
Why get qualified security staff?
Have the confidence to win more business.
With a nationally recognised qualification, your staff will have the confidence to do the job right the first time, boosting your business’s reputation in the market.
Stay up to date with the latest industry standards.
As you train your staff up, you’ll stay on top of the latest standards, keeping your business up-to-date with an evolving, highly regulated industry
Introduce fresh ideas and energy to your business.
A fresh pair of eyes can really help any business. Your trainees’ unique attitudes and skills will help expand your business’s ways of thinking and working.