What Are the Job Duties of a Security Guard?

As a security guard, your primary job duties revolve around protecting your employer's property. Security guards, or security officers, can work in a variety of settings, such as public buildings, universities, banks, and museums. If you're thinking of becoming a security guard, read on for more details about the job duties you can expect. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Your day-to-day job duties as a security guard depend on the type of location in which you work, such as a retail store, apartment complex, or hospital. Duties may also vary depending on whether you're a mobile or stationary guard. Generally, you'd be responsible for upholding safety, enforcing rules, and responding to security problems. The primary security guard job duties can fall into three major categories: problem prevention, problem response, and communication with the public. All three of these security guard job duties are discussed below.

Important Facts About Security Guards

Licensure/RegistrationRequired by most states
On-the-Job TrainingShort-term
Key Skills Observation, decision making, physical strength
Similar OccupationsPolice officer, corrections officer, detective

Prevent Security Problems

Being physically present and visible may deter theft, vandalism, assault, or other undesirable behavior. You may patrol the premises, observing unusual behavior and other security problems, or you may be assigned to a guard post, overseeing security monitors. When guarding a closed facility, you may use a key or swipe card to show that you have checked significant points, making sure that doors are secured and locked and that areas are undisturbed. You may also be responsible for writing detailed reports of what occurred during your shift.

Respond to Incidents

When responding to an incident, your duties and responsibilities may vary, depending on state licensing laws and whether or not you're permitted to carry a weapon. You may be called upon to remove disruptive persons from the premises, check for intruders, or manage crowd control in emergencies. If you're the only guard on site, you may also handle other problems on the premises, such as fires and medical emergencies, by calling the appropriate services and containing the event as much as possible.

Communicate with the Public

The ability to communicate with the public is important for maintaining security and safety. For example, you may need to offer assurance to people in distress, administer first aid, verbally enforce rules, and provide directional guidance to customers in large buildings. Depending on the facility, you may be required to authorize people to enter the building and check if they have hazardous objects.

Employment and Salary Outlook

The rate of growth of employment for security guards is estimated as 12% by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) for the years spanning 2012-2022. The average salary earned by security guards was reported as $28,040 by the BLS in May 2014, which additionally noted that guards employed by electric power companies averaged salaries of $48,700 a year.

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