Security Management Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

About this article
Learn about careers in security management. Get job descriptions, salary and education requirement information. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a security management career.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of a Career in Security Management

A security manager is responsible for the conduct of security guards who patrol and inspect all assets within the physical limits of a property. Information technology (IT) security managers protect computer systems from data interception, corruption and loss as well as unauthorized access. Below is a table that compares some of the requirements for security managers and IT security managers:

Security Manager IT Security Manager
Career Overview A security manager is responsible for the supervision of security guards, who ensure the protection and safety of an organization's physical assets, including employees. An IT security manager is responsible for the safekeeping of an organization's proprietary computer data.
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree; some employers require a master's degree
Program Length Four years full-time Four years full-time
Certification and Licensing Licensure required in most states; licensure to carry a weapon is also required; voluntary professional certification is available Voluntary professional certification is available and may be preferred
Experience Required At least five years More than five years
Job Outlook for 2014-2024 As fast as average (5% - figure includes all security guards)* Faster than average (15%)*
Median Annual Salary (2015) Roughly $85,710** Roughly $100,522***

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com (2016), ***PayScale.com

Security Manager

A security manager must be in a position to assess potential risks and prioritize them. He or she also might institute policies and training designed to mitigate or eliminate those risks, as well as oversee the work of a team of security guards.

Requirements

Employers might require or strongly recommend that you have a postsecondary degree to work as a security manager. Though an associate's degree can certainly work in your favor, in most cases, you'll need a bachelor's degree in an appropriate area, such as criminal justice or police science.

Additionally, most states require you to be licensed as a security guard. If your job calls for you to be armed, you must be licensed to carry a firearm and trained in its use.

Perhaps the most important requirement to become a security manager, however, is qualifying work experience. You can fulfill this requirement by working for a number of years in a related area, such as general security, law enforcement or the military.

Below are some samples of ads for security managers that were running in January 2013:

  • A security firm in Ohio was seeking an experienced individual to serve as a security supervisor. Though the position only required candidates to hold a high school diploma, an associate's degree was preferred. Candidates were to have at least three years of progressively responsible experience in security, including time in a supervisory position.
  • A warehouse in Texas was looking for a site security manager who would supervise a team of security personnel. Candidates were to hold a bachelor's degree in an appropriate area and have accumulated 3-5 years of experience in the military, law enforcement, loss prevention or security, including 1-3 years of supervisory experience in a security environment.
  • A hospital in Illinois wanted to hire a manager of security to direct a staff of about 25 security personnel. Though an associate's degree in law enforcement was acceptable, the employer preferred that candidates hold a bachelor's degree. Candidates were to have accumulated 5-10 years of experience, preferably in healthcare security. Three of those years must have been in a supervisory position.

Standing Out

While voluntary, certification can distinguish you from the pack and testify to your competence and commitment to the security field. If you meet education and experience requirements, you might qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by ASIS International, a nonprofit organization for security professionals. Credentials offered through ASIS include Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) and Physical Security Professional (PSP).

IT Security Manager

IT security management professionals work with a company's top executives to develop security policies based on risk assessment and the needs of the organization. They might be in charge of informing all employees about their IT security responsibilities, as well as implementing, monitoring and reviewing processes of the program. IT security managers also might be responsible for investigating breeches in procedure.

Requirements

To become an IT security manager, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in information or computer science; however, some companies require that you hold a graduate degree, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science in Information Security Management. To be considered for a management position, you also must have accumulated at least five years of work experience in a job dealing with information technology, such as computer programmer or computer support specialist.

Here's what some employers were looking for in January 2013:

  • A Virginia financial firm sought an individual to fill the position of vice president of IT security. It was preferred that candidates hold an appropriate bachelor's degree, as well as have accumulated experience in information security, with some supervisory experience, and hold a credential as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
  • A professional staffing firm had a client in Pennsylvania seeking a full-time IT security manager. Candidates were to hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, management information systems or an allied field, and an advanced degree was preferred. Candidates were to have accumulated over five years of working experience dealing with computing and information security. Certification, such as CISSP or the Computer Information Security Manager (CISM) credential, was required.
  • A medical equipment company in Arizona wanted to hire an individual to serve as its director of IT security risk management. Candidates were to hold a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, as well as have accumulated at least seven years of experience in information security and risk management. Professional certification was preferred.

Standing Out

While voluntary, there are a number of certification options that apply to information security that can attest to your abilities. If you meet education and experience standards, you might be eligible to sit for one or more certification examinations administered by such organizations as ISACA (formerly the Information Systems Audit and Control Association), the Security Professionals Network or the International Information System Security Certification Consortium.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
      • BS in Corrections
      • BSCJ: Law Enforcement
      • BSCJ: Crime Scene Investigation
      • BSCJ: Homeland Security
    Associate's
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
      • Associate: Fire Science
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
      • MPA: Disaster Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Criminal Justice
      • PhD in Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
      • PhD in Business Admin - Criminal Justice
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice
      • Doctor of Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management & Leadership
      • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy & Coordination
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
    Bachelor's
      • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Criminal Justice
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    8. New England College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Criminal Justice
    Associate's
      • AA in Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Regent University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. in Law & National Security
      • B.A. in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • B.S. in Criminal Justice
      • B.S. in Paralegal Studies
      • B.S. in Psychology
      • B.S. in Cyber & Digital Forensics
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Project Management and Public Safety Leadership
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Public Safety Leadership

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
  • BS in Corrections
  • Associate: Criminal Justice
  • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology

Which subject are you interested in?

Liberty University

  • MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
  • MPA: Disaster Management

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Criminal Justice
  • PhD in Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management & Leadership
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • MS in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Admin

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

New England College

  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • AA in Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?