Door Supervisor

The Job and What's Involved

Door supervisors are responsible for the safety and security of customers and staff in venues such as pubs, bars, nightclubs and other licensed premises or at public events.

They spend most of their time at the premises' entrance, checking the suitability of people coming in. This may involve checking that the person is not underage or carrying any harmful substances or objects, such as drugs or weapons. They may also check that customers' attire meets the required dress code for the venue or event.

Door supervisors have the authority to refuse entry to anyone they consider unsuitable.

Other duties may also include:

  • Collecting tickets from people as they enter the venue.
  • Patrolling and watching people's behaviour and dealing with conflict, both inside and outside the venue.
  • Restraining and escorting individuals out of the venue, if necessary.
  • Dealing with emergencies, such as fires or bomb threats
    supervising people as they leave the building.
  • Recording details of any incidents.

Door supervisors usually work in teams of two or more, depending on the size of the venue. They work closely with the police, first aid and emergency response teams, and venue management, maintaining constant contact with staff members and other security personnel via radio equipment.

In large venues, they may use queue management techniques to avoid crushing and queue jumping. Body searches may also be carried out and can involve the use of metal detectors to deter the carrying of weapons.

Working hours for door supervisors vary depending on the number of shifts they work, the opening hours of the venue and how long each shift is. A full-time door supervisor may work five days a week in shifts of up to eight hours, but part-time jobs are more common. Some work as door supervisors in addition to carrying out other full-time or part-time jobs.

They work mainly in the evenings, especially at weekends and often into the early hours of the morning.

Working environments vary, although door supervisors tend to be spend long periods of time at the entrance to venues, working in all weather conditions. This may be combined with some duties patrolling inside the venue, which can often be very loud.

Although door supervisors provide a visible deterrent, their work environment puts them at risk of possible physical assault and injury. Good training is important to minimise this risk.

They often wear a uniform or jacket with a highly visible security badge, provided by employers.

Hourly rates are more common for door supervisors, varying between around £8 and £12 an hour. Newly licensed door supervisors working full-time, may earn around £17,000 a year. Top salaries may reach around £28,000 a year for full-time employees, and this equates to around £15 an hour for experienced part- time door supervisors.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

There are around 500,000 people employed in the UK security industry. Employment in the industry is growing, with security becoming increasingly important.

All door supervisors in England must have a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in order to be employed. To date, there are over 150,000 licensed door supervisors. The majority work in venues such as pubs, bars and clubs in towns and cities, often employed by security companies who contract out their services to venues.

Job vacancies may be found in local newspapers, Jobcentre Plus offices and specialist security recruitment agencies. Vacancies can also be found on recruitment websites such as and on the websites of security companies, and in trade publications, such as Morning Advertiser, The Publican and Night. There are also web forums for door supervisors, such as

Education and Training

There are no formal academic entry requirements. To obtain an SIA licence, applicants must be over 18, pass identity andCriminal Records Bureau (CRB)checks and have an SIA-approved Level 2 Certificate in door supervision.

If an applicant has a criminal record, it does not necessarily mean they will be refused a licence. However, if the candidate has any convictions, warnings, cautions or charges awaiting trial, the SIA will consider the relevance and seriousness of the offences before making a decision.

Some employers will take on trainee door supervisors and support them through the training and licensing process.
The Level 2 course in door supervision can be studied on a part-time basis over a few evenings or weekends, or as an intensive four-day, full-time course. The course covers two key areas:

- The role and responsibilities of a door supervisor

- Communication skills and conflict management

Candidates have to sit and pass two one-hour exams before they can apply for a licence. The licence costs around £245 and is valid for three years.

The SIA aims to process 80 per cent of all UK and EEA nationals licence applications within 33 working days.

Applicants should ensure that their forms are fully completed and correct, as this will speed up the process. Licence renewal applications can be made four months in advanced of the expiry of a current licence.

The following awarding bodies offer SIA-approved qualifications:

- British Institute of Innkeeping Awarding Body (BIIAB)
- Edexcel
- City & Guilds
- National Open College Network (NOCN)

A current list of awarding bodies and training providers can be found on the SIA website. Any experience of other types of security work may be useful for entry.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Door supervisors need to renew their licence every three years. No additional training or qualifications are required to renew a licence.

Once in employment, door supervisors may have the opportunity to access additional training courses, such as emergency first aid or physical intervention.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A door supervisor needs:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • A polite and courteous manner.
  • A good level of physical fitness.
  • To be decisive and quick-thinking.
  • Knowledge of licensing laws and health and safety regulations.
  • A calm, assertive manner, to defuse potential conflict situations.
  • Good observation skills, remaining alert to any potential issues.
  • Good teamwork skills.

Your Long Term Prospects

There may be opportunities for progression into supervisory roles, perhaps leading a team of door supervisors.

Licensed door supervisors can also cover other security activities, without the need for further training, including:

  • Security guarding.
  • Keyholding.
  • Non-front line security, in any sector.

Get Further Information

Security Industry Authority (SIA),
PO Box 74957, London E14 1UG
Tel: 0844 892 1025

Skills for Security, Anbrian House (First Floor),
1 The Tything, Worcester WR1 1HD
Tel: 01905 744000

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