How to Become a Security Officer in Illinois

Learn about becoming a security officer in Illinois. Get insights on salary information, job description and career requirements to find out if this job is for you. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Security Officer in Illinois: Career Information At A Glance

As a security officer, you are usually the main person who monitors an establishment and guards the property. You would want to make sure that the people in and around the building feel safe and secure. See more details in the table below.

Education Required High school diploma or equivalent
Training Required Security guard training required; additional training courses required for armed security officers
Licenses and Certifications Certification of Completion of Basic Training; Firearm Control Card for armed security officers
Key Responsibilities Responsible for building security and work sites; detain violators and fill out reports
Job Growth (2016-2026)5% (security guards in IL)*
Median Salary (2017)$29,130 (security guards in IL)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What are the Educational Requirements and Do I Need Experience?

For both unarmed and armed security officers, a high school diploma or equivalent is generally needed to become a security officer. There is no experience required for unarmed security officers in the state. For armed officers, however, employers may look for applicants with documented years of experience.

Do I Need Training?

Both unarmed and armed security officers in Illinois are required to perform the mandatory 20 hours of basic security guard training in a classroom setting within the first 30 days of employment. During the first 6 months, an additional 8 hours are required. Private armed security officers are also required to complete an additional 40-hour state training course and a yearly refresher training course provided by the employer. These courses shall be provided by the employer and may be done either in a classroom setting or might be site-specific.

What Licenses and Certifications Do I Need?

Depending on the duties related to the position, security officers might need to acquire a Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC) as implemented by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The PERC is proof that employees have undergone the required state and federal background checks to work as a security officer in the state. Armed security officers are also required to obtain a Firearm Control Card after completing the 40-hour Firearm Training Course.

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Security Officer?

Security officers typically protect the security of buildings and work sites, examining doors, garages, gates, and windows to ensure they are secured. They monitor cameras and alarms, responding to emergencies as needed. Officers might detain or report violators and may be expected to complete paperwork.

How Much Is the Salary and What Is the Projected Growth?

According to Salary.com, the 2019 average salary for unarmed security officers in Chicago, Illinois, was $33,962, while the salary of armed security officers was higher, at $42,136. For Illinois in general, the BLS reported that security guards earned a median salary of $29,130 in 2017. There was 5% projected employment growth in the state, from 2016-2026, with above average opportunities in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL, Metropolitan Division, according to the BLS in 2017.

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