This article was written in collaboration with SATS Security Services. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg based on our research. You can view our full editorial policy here.
Although Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world, we cannot take low crime rates for granted nor ignore the threats of terrorism. Complementing the Singapore Police Force in keeping Singapore safe and secure is a contingent of close to 50,000 auxiliary police officers and security officers.
Traditionally seen as manpower-intensive, the security industry is also on the verge of a paradigm shift. Singapore has a shrinking workforce, which has led to manpower shortages and rising costs in the security industry. This is coupled with a better-educated workforce with higher career and salary aspirations.
SATS Security Services (SATS Security), the security division under SATS Ltd, is one of the longest-serving auxiliary police forces in Singapore. It aims to raise productivity through continuous upskilling of its officers and leveraging technology. Thus, SATS Security is able to offer more meaningful work experiences for its auxiliary police officers and security officers, and now even more rewarding with a new joining bonus of up to $40,000.
How Much Can You Earn In The Security Industry?
How much you earn is dependent on various factors, such as your career track, education, and experience, among others. As the security industry falls under the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), you can expect to earn minimally the respective progressive wages for the different ranks.
Source: MOM – STC Report
As you can see, there is a clear baseline salary for different roles in the security industry. These salaries will also increase over the next 5 years – to a minimum of $3,310 by 2028.
You can also see that the entry-level salary for a security officer in 2024 will be at least $2,650. While this looks like a big jump from 2023, it includes overtime (OT) pay in addition to the 44-hour regular work week. The current computation of basic monthly salaries in 2023 does not include OT pay.
This measure was put in place to ensure that security officers wouldn’t work beyond the maximum cap of 72 hours of overtime a month set under the Employment Act.
We should also note that the PWM sets out the minimum salary levels. Companies may offer more depending on your exact responsibilities, work scope, market demand, and other factors.
Companies may advertise their salary package by using the potential gross pay that a candidate could expect to earn. This may include basic salary, allowances, incentives, overtime pay and bonuses.
For example, SATS Security offers a transparent and attractive salary package. While entry-level security officers will earn at least the PWM requirement of $1,650 a month, they also enjoy a joining bonus of $5,000, and stand to earn shift allowances of up to $20 per shift.
Those with more responsibilities in the security industry can earn more than the minimum outlined by the PWM. For example, auxiliary police officers are required to handle firearms, while security officers are not. Therefore, the roles and responsibilities of an auxiliary police officer are likely to be more extensive, and remunerated accordingly.
SATS Security offers its entry-level auxiliary police officers up to $3,300 a month. They enjoy a joining bonus of $40,000 and an additional $500 a month in assignment allowance.
|Entry-Level Job Scopes||Joining Bonus||Basic Salary||Additional Allowances|
|Auxiliary Police Officers (APO)||$40,000||Up to $3,300/month||$500/month assignment allowance|
|Security Officers (SO)||$5,000||Minimum of $1,650/month||Up to $20/shift variable allowance|
Source: SATS Security
Furthermore, when detailing its basic pay package, SATS Security does not factor in other components such as its joining bonus or allowances. This transparency enables you to make a more informed decision regarding your potential earning capacity when you join as either an auxiliary police officer or security officer.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements To Join The Security Industry?
The security industry never “sleeps”. Premises such as Changi Airport run 24/7 and key installations require security even if it is closed for the day.
Whilst there are policies to enable security personnel to get sufficient rest, i.e. you cannot be asked to work beyond the cap of 72 hours of overtime a month under the Employment Act, those who join the security industry can expect shift work to be part and parcel of your routine.
As you may expect, the nature of work in the security industry means that you have to be physically fit and meet typical pre-requisites such as normal colour vision and being able to communicate in English.
To join SATS Security as an auxiliary police officer:
- Minimum 3 “N” level credits (Diploma holders may be considered for Sergeant rank)
- Able to take and pass IPPT
- Normal colour vision
- Able to work on rotating shifts
To join SATS Security as a security officer:
- Valid PLRD Security Licence
- Proficient to communicate in English
- Normal colour vision
- Able to work on rotating shifts
- Able to take up work assignments at various locations based on Company’s discretion
What Can You Expect To Learn With SATS Security?
Once you are selected to join SATS Security, you can look forward to picking up relevant skills and receiving comprehensive training at the SATS Academy.
The initial training programme, lasting between 1 and 3 months, allows you to enhance your skills and knowledge in the security industry. This will also be among the many rigorous training sessions that you will receive to ensure you are well-prepared and equipped to undertake various responsibilities.
Those entering the field should be prepared for training in digital literacy and emerging trends. Emerging technologies reshaping the security industry include:
- security surveillance management and robotics and automation application;
- meeting more diverse security challenges with contract management and strategic planning;
- comprehensive levelling up of security due to the threat of terrorism with skills such as incident response, security risk analysis, threat observation etc.
You will also get periodic refresher training to ensure that you stay current in the latest regulations and requirements of your responsibilities.
With its roots in tourism and air travel-related security, SATS Security prides itself on its professionalism, teamwork and customer-friendly demeanour. SATS Security’s officers also receive special training on effective communication. Officers can rely on their training when managing high-tension scenarios and unruly members of the public, who could be physically abusive.
For example, SATS Security Officer Abdul Kalit bin Rahmat has been working on the frontline for over three decades – seeing through many security crises including the 9/11 attacks, SARS, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. During COVID-19, he was stationed at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre when the government decided to use cruise ships to house recovered workers. Even though he was worried for his health, he had to ensure everyone was safe and enforced the rules when required. He shared that the experience also gave him a glimpse into a different world, seeing “their anxiety and fear about their jobs and their families thousands of miles away”.
SATS Security Offers A Dynamic And Inclusive Work Environment
Not everyone can be fulfilled with a career sitting behind a desk. In the security industry, no two days are the same and you will have to manage diverse and dynamic situations that require you to think on your feet – literally.
As safety and security is of paramount importance in Singapore, the security industry offers a resilient sector to work in. The industry is also reshaping itself to attract new workers seeking a meaningful and rewarding career.
As part of the PWM, it also offers clear advancement opportunities for officers to progress to higher responsibility roles in the future. On top of the transparent and competitive salary package, SATS Security also offers an attractive signing bonus, extensive training to ensure you are able to perform the duties regardless of your experience level, comprehensive career progression programmes, and policies that protect the well-being of officers.
Working with SATS Security, you will also have opportunities to be cross-deployed in roles such as valuable cargo handling, forgery detection, outrider duties, security assessment and planning, and even escort duties that may even take you overseas as part of your assignment.
For example, Inspector (APF) Charmine Kee, with a degree in Criminology and Security, is the Officer in Command for airlines at SATS Security– responsible for smooth security apron operations and with working with airline clients to troubleshoot ad-hoc issues on the airside. When SATS Security launched its Outrider Unit in 2021, she volunteered herself as she wanted to explore traffic enforcement work outside of the airport.
SATS Security also has a sponsorship collaboration with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to offer ITE alumni the opportunity to sign up for the Work-Study Diploma in Security Operations. This is one route that ITE alumni can consider if they are keen to grow in the security industry.