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What is a Security Guard?

Job Description: Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. May operate x-ray and metal detector equipment.

A Day in the Life of a Security Guard

  • Escort or drive motor vehicle to transport individuals to specified locations or to provide personal protection.
  • Circulate among visitors, patrons, or employees to preserve order and protect property.
  • Write reports of daily activities and irregularities, such as equipment or property damage, theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.
  • Answer telephone calls to take messages, answer questions, and provide information during non-business hours or when switchboard is closed.
  • Inspect and adjust security systems, equipment, or machinery to ensure operational use and to detect evidence of tampering.
  • Operate detecting devices to screen individuals and prevent passage of prohibited articles into restricted areas.

Things a Security Guard Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Security Guards say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Security Guards

  • Package Checker
  • Floorwalker
  • Custom Protection Officer
  • Transportation Security Screener
  • Loss Prevention Officer

What Kind of Security Guard Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 1,123,300 jobs for Security Guards in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.3% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 70,600 new jobs for Security Guards by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 157,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Security Guards in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Security Guards are California, New York, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Security Guard Make?

The average yearly salary of a Security Guard ranges between $20,290 and $49,650. The median salary is $28,490.

Salary Ranges for Security Guards

How much do Security Guards make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$47,190

District of Columbia

$44,010

Washington

$38,470

Missouri

$37,620

Maryland

$36,650

Virginia

$36,270

New Hampshire

$36,140

New York

$35,820

North Dakota

$35,420

Massachusetts

$35,290

Connecticut

$34,950

Colorado

$34,890

Nebraska

$34,550

Minnesota

$34,240

Utah

$33,870

Illinois

$33,560

Hawaii

$33,330

Idaho

$33,330

California

$33,070

South Carolina

$33,000

Wyoming

$32,310

New Jersey

$32,250

Oklahoma

$31,800

Ohio

$31,400

North Carolina

$31,230

Rhode Island

$30,920

Maine

$30,200

Indiana

$30,180

Texas

$30,090

Nevada

$30,090

Tennessee

$29,940

Oregon

$29,940

South Dakota

$29,880

Arkansas

$29,330

Arizona

$29,200

Kansas

$29,140

Georgia

$29,100

New Mexico

$28,990

Iowa

$28,890

Pennsylvania

$28,750

Wisconsin

$28,640

Louisiana

$28,540

Delaware

$28,370

Montana

$28,080

Michigan

$27,840

Florida

$27,790

West Virginia

$27,590

Alabama

$26,470

Mississippi

$25,750

Kentucky

$24,950

Tools & Technologies Used by Security Guards

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Security Guards may use on a daily basis:

  • Symantec
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Wireshark
  • McAfee
  • Data entry software
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Excel

How to Become a Security Guard

What kind of Security Guard requirements are there?

Security Guard Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Security Guard?

Security Guard Work Experience

Where Security Guards Work

Security Guard Sectors

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming Security Guards might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers

Are you already one of the many Security Guards in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Couriers and Messengers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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