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What is a Security Guard?

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

Life As a Security Guard

  • Answer alarms and investigate disturbances.
  • Operate detecting devices to screen individuals and prevent passage of prohibited articles into restricted areas.
  • Circulate among visitors, patrons, or employees to preserve order and protect property.
  • Inspect and adjust security systems, equipment, or machinery to ensure operational use and to detect evidence of tampering.
  • Call police or fire departments in cases of emergency, such as fire or presence of unauthorized persons.
  • Monitor and authorize entrance and departure of employees, visitors, and other persons to guard against theft and maintain security of premises.

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.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Types of Security Guard

  • Floorwalker
  • Elevated Guard
  • Alarm Investigator
  • Watchman
  • Station Gateman

Security Guard Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 1,123,300 jobs for Security Guard in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 70,600 new jobs for Security Guard by 2026. There will be an estimated 157,500 positions for Security Guard per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Security Guard are Utah, Washington, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Connecticut, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Security Guard Average Salary

The salary for Security Guards ranges between about $20,290 and $49,650 a year.

Salary Ranges for Security Guards

Security Guards who work in Alaska, District of Columbia, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Security Guards make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $26,470
Alaska $47,190
Arizona $29,200
Arkansas $29,330
California $33,070
Colorado $34,890
Connecticut $34,950
Delaware $28,370
District of Columbia $44,010
Florida $27,790
Georgia $29,100
Hawaii $33,330
Idaho $33,330
Illinois $33,560
Indiana $30,180
Iowa $28,890
Kansas $29,140
Kentucky $24,950
Louisiana $28,540
Maine $30,200
Maryland $36,650
Massachusetts $35,290
Michigan $27,840
Minnesota $34,240
Mississippi $25,750
Missouri $37,620
Montana $28,080
Nebraska $34,550
Nevada $30,090
New Hampshire $36,140
New Jersey $32,250
New Mexico $28,990
New York $35,820
North Carolina $31,230
North Dakota $35,420
Ohio $31,400
Oklahoma $31,800
Oregon $29,940
Pennsylvania $28,750
Rhode Island $30,920
South Carolina $33,000
South Dakota $29,880
Tennessee $29,940
Texas $30,090
Utah $33,870
Virginia $36,270
Washington $38,470
West Virginia $27,590
Wisconsin $28,640
Wyoming $32,310

What Tools & Technology do Security Guards Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Security Guards:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Data entry software
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Symantec
  • McAfee
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • Wireshark

Becoming 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

Who Employs Security Guards?

Security Guard Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Security Guard Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Security Guard may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Security Guard sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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