dcsimg



Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Security Guard


Description

From banks and businesses to concerts and high school hallways, there are security guards everywhere these days. They are trained to watch for, prevent, and control theft, violence, and breaking-and-entering. They make detailed reports on their observations, keeping accurate information on incidents or suspicious behavior in case charges are laid later.

Unexpected things can happen at any time, and it is the security guard's responsibility to intervene in these sticky situations. A heart attack or accident is more likely to occur than a hold-up, and the security guard must be ready for any type of emergency. They should know who to contact in case of theft, fire, or heart failure. Therefore, a security guard should be alert, and think well under pressure. Many people will use the security guard to get directions, answer questions about the company or city, so the security guard should be courteous, polite, and respectful of all aspects of the job.

Security guards work outside or inside, alone and in pairs, or with a guard dog. They may patrol on foot, in a car, or from an office, monitoring surveillance cameras. They may be employed by the company or organization they are guarding, but more often than not, security guards work on contract to a company, as employees of an agency.

Unlike police, security guards are not authorized to make arrests. Therefore, they must be ready and willing to keep the suspect on site until the police arrive. They should also have a minimum of first aid, as in an emergency, they will have to monitor the injured until help can take over. They will also be required to write detailed follow up reports, especially if they encounter a difficult situation which may be taken to court.
 
         Related Careers
arrow Air Weapons Control Officer
arrow Ambassador
arrow Artillery Officer
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Security Administration

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$13,740
 
Median Salary:
$19,140
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$31,540

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in a career in security? Security guards need to have good communication skills and the ability to act quickly in stressful situations. They must be able to work independently, and be confident in their abilities to take control of situations, in order to protect people and/or property. They must be able to think well and function under pressure, as well as able to remain alert even after hours of inaction. It is essential that security guards are honest and reliable. A second language is an asset, especially for those who want to work in international or government security.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Monitor the comings and goings at office buildings, concerts, schools, government agencies
  • Check identification
  • Enforce regulations of an establishment to maintain order
  • Check luggage at airports for suspicious matter
  • Drive and guard armored trucks and deliver cash and valuables to banks, automated teller machines and stores
  • Provide information, guide traffic
  • Check doors, windows, locks and building interiors for signs of damage or theft
  • Watch for intruders, sometimes through the use of cameras and sensors
  • Alert police, fire, or paramedics, as the case may be
  • The typical day for a security guard will vary, depending on the employment situation. More than likely, the security guard will work in the evenings, as well as overnight, as these are the times when a company or bank is most vulnerable. A security guard will spend much of their time on duty performing routine checks, monitoring cameras, entranceways, windows, and locks. They may be required to provide security for a large building, or a single section of it. They will have to be ready to call police, fire, or paramedics if the situation is out of their control.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Security guards work anywhere there is anything worth stealing, vandalizing, or anywhere there are important, well-known VIPs or large crowds. They work primarily for private companies that contract them out to the various places. Your days (and nights!) can be long, and will most likely be spent alone. Security guards may drive or walk a patrol route outside, or remain inside, monitoring one area. Security is in place all day, each day, so a security guard can expect to work weekends and holidays.

  Long Term Career Potential  
A security guard can work up to supervisor or head of a security guard agency, or may choose to move on and start their own agency. They may choose to go back to school and join the police force, the fire department, the military, or find work with a correctional institution.
 

  Educational Paths  
To be a security guard, some high school such as a diploma is encouraged, but not always necessary. Individuals can also get a community college diploma, or a university degree, focusing in both cases on law, security, sociology, criminology, or psychology. Prospective security guards do not need any specific training to be hired by a company or agency, but individuals can obtain the Certified Protection Officer certificate, which is required for some entry-level positions. It is a correspondence course, offered by the International Foundation for Protection Officers. In most cases, security guards must be bondable, able to speak and write English, be at least 18 years old, have good character references, no police record, and be in good health. They may also need to have valid first aid and CPR certificates, a valid driver's license and their own mode of transportation. Individuals may also be required to have their fingerprints checked by police before they begin work.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Security Administration

 
Ohio Christian University
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business - Disaster Management

 
Utica College

What They’re Known For

Founded in 1946 and located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a regionally accredited, independent, private institution that features many of the advantages of a large university — such as undergraduate and graduate degree options, excellent academics, and outstanding faculty — with the intimacy and high degree of personal attention more closely associated with smaller private institutions.

Programs Offered:
  • BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation

 
Portland State University

Complete Your Bachelor's Degree 100% Online

Programs Offered:
  • BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice

 
Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

Programs Offered:
  • Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration

 
Boston University - Online
Earn a highly respected online degree from Boston University
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Criminal Justice

 
Institute of Technology

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

Programs Offered:
  • Criminology and Emergency Response Management

 
Brightwood College

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Justice

 
Post University Online

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Legal Studies
  • A.S. in Legal Studies

 
University of Cincinnati Online
Work toward your degree online with University of Cincinnati Online.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2016 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.