Top 10 Careers in the Security & Safety Sector in 2014



If you like helping and protecting others, a job in the Security and Safety sector would definitely be for you. The Security and Safety Sector is multi-faceted and offers plenty of different types of jobs, whether you like working alone or in a team, in an office, or the more adventurous route of wandering around and patrolling.

Search and Apply for jobs in the Security and Safety sector here!


1. Immigration Officer – Immigration Officers help to protect the security of their country by monitoring travelers that come in and out. Duties include checking the passports, visas and all documentation of non-UK and non-European travelers and asking why they are staying, and how long they intend to stay for. If something does not match up in the documentation, you will need to interview the person in question further, and might have to detain them in a holding area.

Qualifications Needed: Although no specific academic qualifications are needed, you do need to be a British citizen or subject 18 or over, with a clean background check, and you will also be subject to drug-testing due to the sensitive nature of this job.

Average Income: £21,000

2. Police Officer – Police Officers maintain the safety of their community by helping to prevent and investigate crime. You would work at the police station itself, or be on patrol either on foot or in a police car. Duties might include answering and responding to calls for help from the public, investigating crimes and making arrests, interviewing witnesses and suspects and keeping record of their statements.  You might also need to report on-site to accidents, help police large gatherings or events (such as concerts), and give evidence in court.

Qualifications Needed: Each individual police force might vary in their requirements, but in general you need to have lived in the UK for at least 3 years with the right to stay and work, be 18 or over, and have a clean background and security check. Though no academic qualifications are needed, you will need to pass a strict assessment test when you apply, which covers the areas of communication, reading and writing skills, decision making, maths, and physical fitness.

Average Income: £16,000

3. Prison Officer – Prison Officers supervise inmates at prisons, youth offender institutions, and remand centres. You will need to monitor the inmates to ensure their safety, promote anti-bullying and suicide prevention measures, perform different security checks and search procedures, and writing reports on prisoners. A main goal is maintaining order, which might involve authorized physical control and restraint.

Qualifications Needed: No formal academic qualifications are generally required, but you do need to be a UK citizen or eligible to live and work here, have lived here for at least 3 years, be 18 or over, and pass a background check. After you apply, you will need to pass the Prison Officer Selection Test (POST), which consists of testing your reading, writing, and maths skills, as well as a fitness evaluation.  If you pass this, you will be further tested with role plays, to see how you would act under pressure and handle certain (and sometimes life-threatening) situations.

Average Salary: £16,000

4. Security Officer – Security Officers work at a variety of different places to ensure that buildings, people, and valuables or goods are safe and secure. This could mean working on-premise, patrolling on foot or watching closed circuit television (CCTV), or working in-transit, guarding valuables that are moving between locations. You will also have to keep records and write short reports on the over-all progress of things.

Qualifications Needed: Academic qualifications are not generally required, though previous police or armed forces experience is beneficial.  You will need to be 18 of over with a clean background check.  You may be asked to completed training and get a license from the Security Industry Authority (SIA), depending on if you employed by a contractor or not.

Average Salary: £12,000

5. Security Service Personnel – Security Service Personnel works to help protect the country against threats against national security. This could mean stopping organized crime, terrorist activity, espionage, and the spread of knowledge that could be used to create either nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. Duties would include watching and reporting on suspects’ activities to help better understand different organizations, the main players, how they work, and what they might be planning. There are many different roles within the Security Service, and duties will vary greatly. The websites of the M15, M16, and GCHQ can direct you further for more specializations. 

Qualifications Needed: You need to have a degree classification of at least a 2:1 or equivalent, including the relevant subjects of history, language, politics, economics, maths, and law. Due to the sensitive nature of the job, a strict background check will also be applied.

Average Salary: £18,000

6. Criminal Intelligence Analyst – Criminal Intelligence Analysts carry out investigations and analyze records to be able to identify patterns of criminal activity. This information is then used by the police and different security agencies to understand the patterns better, and to be able to tackle these trends and create plans to reduce future offending. Your duties would include collecting information from local, national, and international computer systems, analyzing this data, and creating a profile of crime patterns within a target area or of suspected individuals, and how best to approach them.

Qualifications Needed: Entry requirements do vary, but solid knowledge of computer systems and a clear background check are needed. It would also much benefit you if you had an understanding of the National Intelligence Model (NIM) and relevant laws.

Average Salary: £16,000

7. Bodyguard – Bodyguards protect individuals or groups from any harmful situation. Your clientele will range broadly, from different celebrities, politicians, royal families, and other notable public figures. Going off of that, your range of work will be broad as well – you may be protecting celebrities from unruly fans, or ensuring the safety of a politician who is visiting an unstable country. Your duties will include protecting them by checking out and securing premises before they arrive, accompanying them and staying constantly alert to any situation that may arise. Depending on your client, 24-hour, around the clock surveillance may be needed.

Qualifications Needed: You are required to have an Security Industry Authority (SIA) license, whereas you will also need to be over 18, have a clean background/criminal record, and have proof that you are first-aid certified. Exceptional observation skills (eyesight, hearing) and physical fitness are essential, and many bodyguards have backgrounds in the armed forces or the police.

Average Salary: (extremely variable) anywhere from £300-£1000 pounds per day (amount increases based on risk factor involved, and who you are working for/where you are working)

8. Probation Services Officer – A Probation Services Officer look after people who are serving community or prison sentences.  They also watch over them after they are released, ensuring that their rehabilitation goes smoothly. Your duties would include interviewing offenders and gathering information, help them to find housing, drug/alcohol treatment, and work or training, and providing them with education and group programmes to change their remiss behaviors. Travel is usually required as you have to spend time checking up on released offenders, or commuting to the prison itself.

Qualifications Needed: Although no formal qualifications are needed, usually about five GCSEs (A-C) are needed, and having done voluntary or paid work with youth and community, rehabilitation, victim support centres, and related places is a big plus. You will also have to pass a background check.

Average Salary: £22,000

9. Health and Safety Adviser – Health and Safety Advisers create health and safety policies in the workplace to prevent any accidents, health problems, or harmful situations, and ensure that the employees are adhering to them. The type of health and safety would vary widely depending on what workplace you are dealing with – hospitality & catering, construction, offices, etc. Your duties would include developing effective strategies and procedures, make risk assessments, keep track of any incidents that occur, and training the employees on safety issues.

Qualifications Needed: Qualifications will vary depending on where you choose to work in the field, but most do require certificates that can be attained through courses offered by the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) and the British Safety Council (BSC).

Average Salary: £22,000 

10. Private Investigator – Private Investigators track down information about the background on specific people or companies.  This encompasses a broad range of needs – requests could be from a large company to track down suspected theft all the way to small personal issues, such as a divorce case.

Qualifications Needed: As this is a pretty specified job, you will need prior experience in the police enforcement, hopefully with an investigator role.  To be a PI, you will need to have recognized training and a license from Security Industry Authority (SIA) as well.

Average Salary: £20,000 (however it varies greatly depending on experience, if you are self-employed or with a firm, and the length/severity of each individual case)


Search and Apply for jobs in Security & Safety in the UK!

MaryEllen Fenton | Journalist









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