Practice Test Training Regulations Security FAQs Member Support Sign In Join
Security Officer

Security Officer Network and The Security Officer Network -- The Security Professional's #1 Resource on the web!

Welcome to -- the Web's foremost free resource for those who want to transition from security guard to security professional.

Security Badge

Security officers can find free security guard training material and the best security guard practice exam on the web.

Those who are seeking to start or manage their own security agencies will find helpful content in the free How to Start a Security Guard Company ebook and a host of articles discussing security agency management strategies.

Review the FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions. Or, visit the Directory to view The Network's directory of private security providers. The 2024 version of the tSON Directory, to be named The Guardian Yellow Book, is set for release soon. So check back shortly for this update.

To sign in to your Security Officer Network account visit

The Security Officer Network turns 12 years old on August 17th, 2024!

Your Invitation to Join Us: Are you a security professional? Have you joined The Security Officer Network? Your Security Officer Network membership is the professional security officer’s status symbol of choice and your Network Transcript is sure to impress your security employer and/or clients. If you have not yet joined us, join today at

Popular Free Resources

Resources for Purchase

View the entire directory of Security Officer Network Resources.

Are you a Beginner? Here's the Guide to Getting Started in Security

The Security Officer Network Logo
Where to Find a PDF of Questions and Answers from the Unarmed Security Test?
Security Guard at Night

The Security Officer Network provides future security officers with a complimentary PDF. It features many of the questions and answers that you will find on most states' unarmed security exams. It has been used by hundreds of readers as they prepare for the unarmed security test that is required by many states prior to licensure as a security guard. You can download the PDF, known as the Unarmed Security Prep Guide, from this page. Once you have examined your PDF, you may take The Security Officer Network's unarmed practice test. Those who score a 75% or higher will receive a certificate of passage. --> Read More

How Do I Prepare for My Security Guard Job Interview?
Security at Access Gate

A concise set of must-read tips. These tips prepare the applicant for his security job interview.

As you leave the interview, thank the manager for his consideration. Also, politely acknowledge and thank the front-desk person before exiting the office. This demonstrates true professionalism and could easily score you an extra point or two. Never underestimate the role of the front-desk person in swaying a close decision. Now, having left the office, you won't be able to see what happens next. But, let's take a guess: the hiring manager turns to his computer and pulls up a spreadsheet entitled, "Hiring Scorecard." With the interview still fresh in his memory, and his immediate gut instinct guiding his thought process, he wants to immediately score the interview. --> Read More

Why 2024 Is the Perfect Time To Have a Security Guard Card
Security Guard Card in 2024 Thumbnail

The Security Officer Network's annual report on the importance of having a security guard card. From being the ultimate "job hack," to providing economic security in case of a financial downturn, to being an avenue for generational wealth, the reasons for why you should have a security guard card in 2024. --> Read More

What Is It Really Like To Work for Allied Universal Security in 2024?
Allied Security in 2024 Thumbnail

What is it really like to work for America's largest private security company in 2024? Here are the pros and cons that you need to know before answering that ubiquitous "Allied is hiring" job ad. --> Read More

How Much Should a Security Guard Make in 2023
Security Guard in 2023 Pay Thumbnail

The new U.S. occupational data has been released and we now know the effect of inflation on the per-hour salaries of the nation's security officers. How much are security officers making in 2023? Are their salaries keeping up with inflation? Are they staying ahead of the salaries of fast food employees? Read to find out! --> Read More

How To Find Out What Security Guard Companies Are Charging in 2023
Security Excecutive at Desk

It's been described as "The Most Elusive Metric in the Industry: Security Contract Bill Rates." Let's unlock some of the hidden knowledge you need to win contracts in this eye-opening video from The Security Officer Network. We dive into the elusive world of security contract bill rates and reveal a hard-to-find resource that can give your security startup a competitive edge.

--> Read More

A Security Job at Allied Universal: Opportunity or Trap?
Allied Security

The Security Officer Network's guide to making the decision: Should I take a security guard job at Allied? Allied Universal is a giant in the American private security industry, often offering an accessible entry point into security jobs. However, the company's expansive, corporate nature isn't pleasant. While there are opportunities to learn, gain experience, and potentially leverage the position for future career development, it's critical for individuals to navigate the role with clear goals and a strategic career plan. The work environment, influenced by corporate policy and bureaucratic inefficiencies, impedes on-the-ground operations and cultivate an unenthusiastic work culture. However, despite the potential downsides, with the right mindset, a brief stint at Allied Universal can serve as a valuable stepping stone in a security career." --> Read More

Is This the Most Interesting Security Company in 2023?
S.I.T.E Security

Andre Boyer's S.I.T.E. Security is making waves as possibly the most innovative security agency in 2023. Providing an effective deterrent in areas where traditional 'observe and report' approaches fall short, Boyer's agency offers a new model of security that blends corporate security and law enforcement methodologies. The agency, equipped with state-of-the-art tools and continuous training, is shifting the security paradigm in the crime-ridden city of Philadelphia. S.I.T.E.’s model is a promising solution to the inefficiencies of the justice system and slow police response times, and it's being recognized as a likely trendsetter for future security services in major American cities. --> Read More

Should Security Officers Use AI When Writing Incident Reports?
Security AI Thumbnail

Lets explore the frontier where security meets technology as we delve into the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the security industry. Should security officers leverage AI to enhance their incident report writing? We delve into the potential promises and pitfalls of AI usage in private security.

--> Read More

Are PMCs the Future of American Security?
Security PMC Thumbnail

From securing businesses to safeguarding neighborhoods, the role of security companies is rapidly evolving. In our latest article, we delve into the emerging trend of security companies operating like Private Military Contractors (PMCs) on American soil. We explore how these changes may affect you, the implications for law enforcement, and the potential future of public safety. Discover if we're witnessing the rise of domestic PMCs, what this means for professional security officers, and the broader societal impact. Join us as we explore this complex and dynamic landscape in 'Security Companies: The New Face of Law Enforcement?'.

--> Read More

How Hard Is It To Become a Security Guard in 2023?
Security Officer Studying

Thinking about a career as a security officer in 2023? Want to understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead? Join us in this comprehensive guide where we shed light on all you need to know to successfully navigate the private security industry licensing.

--> Read More

The Rise and Fall of Wackenhut Security
Wackenhut Security

If you went to work in private security during the 80s or the 90s, there's a pretty big chance that you got your start at one of the big three American security companies: Pinkerton, Burns or Wackenhut. This article explores the rise and fall of Wackenhut Security. From its founding in the 1950s by George Wackenhut to its acquisition by Group 4 Falck in 2002; this is the story of the last big American security company to carry the name of its owner.

--> Read More

Time Magazine: Security Guards are Replacing the Police.
Imposing Security Officer

Are security guards replacing the police? Time Magazine seems to think so. Clickbait or fact? Let's find out.

--> Read More

How Hard is The Unarmed Security Test?
Unarmed Security Test Taker

Like all test takers, many may worry about how they will do on the test. I am here to reassure you. With some basic study and a bit of common sense, you are going to be just fine.

--> Read More

Will a Criminal History Keep Me From Getting a Security Officer License?
Criminal History FAQ Thumbnail

From the author of the Unarmed Security Prep Guide and administrator of The Security Officer Network, this educational article explores a commonly asked question, "Can I work security if I have a felony?"

--> Read More

Five Things You Didn't Know About Wackenhut Security
Wackenhut Security

Exploring exciting trivia about one of America's most interesting private security company. Here's betting that you weren't aware of these five intriguing facts. For example, Wackenhut officers were responsible for maintaining the parameter of Area 51 and according to Area 51 insiders were also responsible for a 1980s nuclear scare. These guards would become the bane of UFO watchers' existence. But, perhaps even more interestingly, a 2011 book entitled Area 51 blames Wackenhut for a nuclear scare.

--> Read More

Which Security Shift Should You Choose
Which Security Shift Should I Choose Thumbnail

So, your security supervisor is offering you a choice of shifts. You can work days, swing shifts, or overnight. Which will you choose? Depending on your specific circumstances, and all things being equal, the answer is clear. --> Read More

Allied's Exit From Israel Illustrates the Dangers of Working and Doing Business With Allied Universal Security
Allied Leaving Israel Thumbnail

Allied Security, purportedly giving in to pressure, is exiting from Israel. Explaining how this shows the dangers of working or doing business with Israel: because of who owns them, they are susceptible to the influence of politicians and working for and doing business with politicians should be avoided at all costs! They are the worst! --> Read More

Allied Universal's CEO Declares The End of The "Big, Burly, Often 'Male' Security Guard. Is He Right?
Allied Fewer Big Guards Thumbnail

Allied Universal's CEO, Steve Jones has declared an end to the era of the big, burly, often male security guard. Is he right? And, what impact will this mindset have on Allied Universal's culture? --> Read More

Why You Should Work Security on Christmas Eve
Why You Should Work Security on Christmas Eve Thumbnail

You might be tempted to try and avoid the Christmas Eve security shift; but, that would be a mistake. Here's why. --> Read More

New Security Robot Introduced
Security Robot

Will this replace unarmed security officer jobs? Gemini, ADT's new security robot, is one of the new generation of critters putting in an appearance this week at The International Security Conference in Las Vegas—the annual event that's billed as the largest security industry trade show in the United States. --> Read More

Can You Get a Bodyguard Job, Without Having Police or Military Experience?
How to Become Bodyguard Thumbnail

Let's go into the world of personal protection with The Security Officer's Network's comprehensive guide on transitioning from a basic security officer to a sought-after bodyguard for celebrities, corporate executives, and high-net-worth individuals. This video, brought to you by The Security Officer Network, demystifies the journey towards becoming a personal protection agent, offering practical, step-by-step advice for those with little or no military or law enforcement background. From obtaining crucial certifications and leveraging event security roles to gaining unique training and networking for elite protection jobs, our roadmap is tailored for ambitious individuals eager to make their mark in the world of executive security. Whether you're looking to enhance your current security role or aspire to guard the stars, our insights and expert tips will equip you with the knowledge and strategy needed to achieve your goals. Join us as we unveil the secrets to breaking into this prestigious field, and transform your career aspirations into reality. --> Read More

The Best Show About Private Security and Why You Should Ignore the Critics and Watch It
The Best Private Security TV Show Thumbnail

Reviewing the show that though disliked by some critics, provides valuable insight into the daily challenges and responsibilities of professional mall security officers. 'Mall Cops' is not about entertainment; it's an educational journey into the realities of real security work. If you're curious about the true nature of private security, this series is a worthwhile watch. --> Read More

Why Aren't More Celebrities Speaking Out on Controversial San Francisco Walgreens Security Officer Use of Force Incident?
Hollywood Silence on Use of Force Thumbnail

The seemingly conspicuous silence of California's celebrities amidst a high-profile security guard controversy involving the use of excessive force—an issue that sparked protests yet seemed to barely ripple through the echelons of the famous. Why do these public figures, usually vocal on issues of uniformed officer force, seem reticent to speak out? --> Read More

Not Just ‘Mall Cops’: Why the Private Security Industry Is Growing
Not Just Mall Cops Thumbnail

Scripps Media has released their report describing the increasing reliance on private security firms as public police forces decline, a situation highlighted by the requirement for Texas schools to hire armed guards amid a shortage of police officers and high costs. There's clearly an emerging risk of a widening gap in protection services between the affluent, the government, and the less-affluent. Thus, a need for innovative, affordable security solutions to prevent the rise of organized crime filling the void.

--> Read More

Should You Start a Security Guard Company in 2023
Security at Security Desk

As the author of How to Start a Security Guard Company and as the administrator for The Security Officer Network, I monitor the private security space for the latest opportunities and to track the information needed for the next edition of the book. What follows are a few of the data points that I believe make a convincing case that 2023 is the best time—possibly ever—for starting a private security agency. If you've yet to take the leap to starting your own agency then proceed at your own risk; it might change your life. In the past one of these videos actually inspired a security entrepreneur to restart his private security patrol service.

--> Read More

The Top Three Laws Which Every Security Officer Should Know
Security at Security Desk

At first glance, the security professional could easily become overwhelmed by the massive array of policy, local ordinances and state statutes. While a basic understanding of the law will certainly serve the officer well, he doesn't need a law degree to accomplish his day-to-day duties. He should however obtain a good understanding of three important sections of state law prior to starting work.

--> Read More

Security Guard Test Questions and Answers in 2022
Security Guard Test Thumbnail

So, you have decided to go for your security guard license? Congratulations, it’s a good choice. What follows is a breakdown of major test categories; and, sample questions with answers. You should plan for as you take your security guard licensing test in 2022.


Is It Safe to Be a Security Guard
Why Security Guards Shouldn't Apply for Police Jobs

So, just how safe is it to go to working in the private security industry? Is it more dangerous than other jobs, or police work? While there are many of these easy, very safe assignments, a smaller number of posts sport a significantly increased risk profile. Examples include many of the armed sites and patrol routes where the officer frequently interacts with the public in sketchy environments; bar assignments; and restaurants and convenience stores in the high-crime neighborhoods many of which become especially dangerous in the mid-to-late overnight hours.


How to Become a Security Consultant
Security Service Vehicle

Every officer should approach security from the perspective of the security consultant. The science of consulting is at its core the science of thoughtful observation. And, even though the course taker may never become a security consultant, he will forever benefit from seeing the world through the eyes of a consultant. From personal protection officer, to armored car driver, to security manager, true success in this industry depends on the officer's ability to observe. Observation is a mindset and this course teaches the science of observation.


Why Security Guards Shouldn't Apply for Police Jobs
Why Security Guards Shouldn't Apply for Police Jobs

Back in the day—when I owned my own security agency—I never had a problem with my security officers using my agency as a launching point to become police officers. Now, however, my point of view on this matter is changing. In this just-released YouTube video, I explain why you, as a security officer might should avoid going into law enforcement.


Should Security Guards Work Traffic Accidents?
Should Security Guards Work Traffic Accidents?

Amidst rising concerns over slow police response times, many cities are seeking alternative solutions to manage non-life-threatening incidents. Baltimore, grappling with its high crime rate, has partnered with On Scene Service, a private firm specializing in motor vehicle accident response, following the successful implementation of a similar program in New Orleans. As police departments face declining numbers, the private sector is stepping in, not only to alleviate the strain on public resources but also to offer more efficient and cost-effective services. This shift signals a potential national trend, where trained security officers might increasingly handle responsibilities traditionally managed by the police, marking a significant pivot of public services to the private sector. --> READ MORE

The Money-Making Model of Private Security
The money making model of private security

In 2020, facing a surge of unrest in downtown Portland, Oregon, and with an overwhelmed police bureau, local business owners turned to Echelon Security. Founded in 2019, Echelon has pioneered a shared security model, allowing businesses in close proximity to collectively address common challenges, such as vagrancy and public drug use. This approach not only reduces costs but also enables officers to engage proactively with the community, reminiscent of the traditional "officer on the beat" method. The company's success, coupled with its commitment to community welfare through charitable endeavors, positions Echelon as a leading example of the evolving face of public safety in an era where traditional police services are strained. --> READ MORE

The Media Flip-Flop on Private Security
The media is flip-flopping on security!

In a shifting narrative spanning two years, the media's portrayal of security officers, specifically from Echelon Protective Services in Portland, has evolved drastically. Once demonized and criticized, these officers are now presented as the last bastion against urban decay. Amidst the challenges faced by cities like Portland, private security firms like Echelon stand as both a testament to entrepreneurial spirit and an embodiment of societal needs in uncertain times. However, as the media spotlight pivots from skepticism to reluctant admiration, one must question: Is this an accurate portrayal or just another angle in the ever-changing landscape of media narratives? --> READ MORE

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Security Company in 2018?
Officers Talking

There isn't much incentive to make a career working within one of the big security agencies. Even when an officer works his way up the ranks he will all-too-often become a human resource drone stuck behind a desk where he mostly tries to keep each shift staffed with a warm body.

So how much does it cost to get away from the big security companies and start a security company?

The low cost of entry presents one of the most attractive components of starting a business in the security industry. There are few upfront costs because running a security company requires very little in capital assets. Also the security business owner may choose to work one of his own standing posts. This allows him to continue earning an income without building in overhead for his own salary. Using this strategy he keeps upfront costs low while he builds his company. Here is a breakdown of the minimum required upfront cost. --> READ MORE

Security Guards: How to Get Free College Credits with FEMA Courses.
Security Casino

Those who receive The Professional Security Officer eCourse (it's free to anyone who downloads the free Unarmed Guide from The Security Officer Network) are taught the importance of getting public-safety certifications. Specifically, course participants are encouraged to complete as many free, online, FEMA course certifications as possible.

There are other benefits. These courses may entitle you to free college credits. For example: Charter Oak State College in New Britain, Connecticut, is known to accept these credits at no cost to its distance-learning students.


What are the Advantages to Starting an Agency in the Private Security Space?
Security Car

It's been years, but I still vividly recall the conversation. I was 18 years old and a brand-new, freshly-licensed security officer who had just been hired by a big security company; a company whose name you would recognize.


How to Pass Time as a Security Guard?
Security Guard at Night

1. You can do what many security guards do: watch movies on your computer; text or chat with friends on your phone; get into long, pointless, time-wasting conversations with any co-workers that might be on late night duty or even try to sneak in a nap or two. These officers have ideologized a time-wasting culture at their post and it's a culture that entices you into an ethic of life-wasting laziness; or 2. You can use this time to your benefit. Here's how: --> Read More

Which U.S. States Require State Licensing of Security Officers and Which Do Not?
Food Court Security Guard

38 states and the District of Columbia require state-level licensing/certification of security officers.

12 states do not require security guards to register with the state; although, depending on location, the officer may need to register with the local city government, e.g., neither Kansas nor Missouri require state licensing but officers from both states are required to register with their respective city governments. --> View Breakdown of States

Instant Access To Your Free Copy of:

The Unarmed Security Exam Prep Guide

Unarmed Security Officer Exam Prep Guide Cover is the exclusive provider of this free 57 page PDF guide. It features just about everything you need to know before taking the exam and includes The Professional Security Officer eCourse. You may get your copy for free right now only at! Submit your name and email to receive your copy via email or click here to learn more about this guide.

Instant Access To Your Free Copy of:

How to Start a Security Guard Company

How To Start A Security Guard Company Book Cover is the exclusive provider of this free 140 page PDF ebook. Less-comprehensive versions sell for $24, but, for the time being, you may get your copy for free right now only at! Submit your name and email to receive your copy via email or click here to learn more about the book.

Practice Test

Test Your Security Knowledge

Security Test

The forty question, free practice exam will test your unarmed security knowledge. It's the perfect test prep for those who must sit an exam before getting licensing.

Job Interview Guide

Private Security Job Interview Guide -- 2022 Edition

Private Security Job Interview Guide

This free job interview guide is the security officer's must-have resource. Get yours here.