What Does a Security Guard Do?
As a security guard, you’ll be in charge of patrolling, guarding and monitoring a specific area to prevent violence, criminal activity and violations of rules. Depending on the specific job site, you may work with metal detectors and x-ray machines. Security guards also sometimes drive motor vehicles such as vans and trucks, utilize surveillance equipment and inspect equipment to ensure it’s working properly. Bear in mind that this specific occupation does not include transportation security screeners.
Security Guard Skills and Abilities
Common skills you’ll need to gain to make a proper security guard include being aware and perceptive of the actions of others, reading comprehension, critical thinking, mental coordination and performance assessments. Security guards also need oral comprehension and expression as well as a well honed sensitivity to problems. You’ll also need to become knowledgeable of proper administration, management, the rules of public safety and personal service. If your job entails securing objects that are being transported, your future employer may require that you are aware of how to move goods by air, land, road or sea.
Security Guard Duties
Specific duties for security guards include drafting reports of irregularities, day-to-day activities and any property damage you might observe. You’ll also be expected to respond and react to alarms and disturbances. Security guards also answer phones, walk amongst guest and visitors to ensure their safety, and contact the fire or police department if necessary. It’s also not unusual for security guards to use weapons and physical force if either become necessary to preserve the peace, which often requires proper training and continued education.
Security Guard Tools and Technology
Some of the most common tools security guards use include:Handguns, such as revolvers and pistolsSecurity alarm systemsMetal and plastic handcuffsDesktop computers Patrol cars and automobilesExamples of the type of technology you can expect to utilize consist of:Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect and other word processing softwareQuery and database user interface softwareSpreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Exel
Education and Training for Security Guards
In order to qualify for positions as a security guard, you’ll at least need a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED. With that in mind, you can also qualify for jobs with some college experience without having earned a degree. Some security guards have earned a bachelor’s degree, and a smaller percentage have an associate’s degree. Know that you likely won’t need work experience before applying for a job, and you’ll probably receive some type of on-the-job training once you’re hired.
Security Guard Salary
Average earnings for security guards are about $24,400 a year, but those in the top 90% can make as much as $44,200. Those in the lower percentile commonly make roughly $17,700 a year. The company you work for and the state in which you are employed also have a big part to play in how much you can potentially earn as a security guard. For instance, those in California earn an average of $24,200 a year while the top earners can take home approximately $40,200.
Security Guard Jobs by Geography
It’s estimated that security guards will see a 12% growth in future employment, which translates to about 29,400 jobs. States that are expected to see the most of that growth include Tennessee, the District of Columbia and Utah. Massachusetts, Delaware and Wisconsin are locations that are predicted to see the least amount job growth for security guards. As far as salary is concerned, states in which security guards receive the best pay include the District of Columbia, Alaska and New York. Before moving to Kentucky, West Virginia or Mississippi, know that these states have the lowest wages for security guards.