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Become A Security Agent

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Working As A Security Agent

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Security Agent Do

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and protect property against theft, vandalism, terrorism, and illegal activity.

Duties

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers typically do the following:

  • Protect and enforce laws on an employer’s property
  • Monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras
  • Control access for employees and visitors
  • Conduct security checks over a specified area
  • Write reports on what they observed while on duty
  • Serve as witnesses for court testimony
  • Detain violators

Security guards, also called security officers, protect property, enforce rules on the property, and deter criminal activity. Some guards are assigned a stationary position from which they monitor alarms or surveillance cameras. Other guards are assigned a patrol area where they conduct security checks.

Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators act as security agents for casinos. Using audio and video equipment in an observation room, they watch casino operations for suspicious activities, such as cheating and theft, and monitor compliance with rules, regulations, and laws. They maintain and organize recordings from security cameras, which are sometimes used as evidence in police investigations.

Guards and officers must remain alert, looking out for anything unusual. In an emergency, they are required to call for assistance from police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards are armed.

A security guard’s responsibilities vary from one employer to another. In retail stores, guards protect people, records, merchandise, money, and equipment. They may work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers and employees, detain shoplifting suspects until the police arrive, and patrol parking lots.

In office buildings, banks, hotels, and hospitals, guards maintain order and protect the organization’s customers, staff, and property.

Guards who work in museums and art galleries protect paintings and exhibits by watching people and inspecting the contents of patrons’ handbags.

In factories, government buildings, and military bases, security guards protect workers and equipment and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises.

Guards working in parks and at sports stadiums control crowds, supervise parking and seating, and direct traffic.

Security guards stationed at the entrances to bars and nightclubs keep underage people from entering, collect cover charges, and maintain order among customers.

Security guards working in schools and universities patrol the buildings and grounds, looking for suspicious activity.

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How To Become A Security Agent

Most security guard jobs require a high school diploma. Gaming surveillance officers sometimes need experience with security and video surveillance. Most states require guards to be registered with the state, especially if they carry a firearm.

Education

Security guards generally need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not have any education requirements. Gaming surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent and may need experience with video surveillance technology depending upon assignment.

Training

Although most employers provide instruction for newly hired guards, the amount of training they receive varies. Most guards, however, learn their job in a few weeks. During those few weeks, training from their employer typically covers emergency procedures, detention of suspected criminals, and proper communication.

Many states recommend that security guards receive approximately 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8–16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. This may include training in protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training related to the guard’s assignment.

Training is more rigorous for armed guards because they require weapons training. Armed guards may be tested periodically in the use of firearms.

For gaming surveillance officers and investigators, some employers prefer candidates with previous work experience in casinos or individuals with a background in law enforcement. Experience with video technology can also be helpful in using surveillance systems and software.

Drug testing may be required as a condition of employment and randomly during employment.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require that guards be registered with the state in which they work. Although registration requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete training

Guards who carry weapons usually must be registered by the appropriate government authority. Armed guard positions have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards. Rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, are required for armed guards in most states.

Some jobs may also require a driver's license.

Advancement

Some guards advance to supervisory or security manager positions. Those with experience or postsecondary education should have an advantage. Armed security guards have a greater potential for advancement and enjoy higher earnings.

Some guards with management skills open their own security guard business. Guards can also move to an organization that needs higher levels of security, which may result in more prestige or higher pay.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises. 

Patience. Security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions.

Observation skills. Guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary.

Physical strength. Guards must be strong enough to apprehend offenders and to handle emergency situations.

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Security Agent Career Paths

Security Agent
Driver Foreman Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Owner
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Driver Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Specialist Officer
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Intelligence Analyst Security Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Intelligence Analyst
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Agent Police Officer Investigator
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Agent Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Site Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Agent Investigator Security Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Security
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Officer Security Manager
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Officer
Lead Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Analyst Investigator
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Emergency Medical Technician Security Supervisor
Fire Safety Director
6 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Emergency Medical Technician Safety Supervisor
Manager, Security And Safety
9 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Officer Site Supervisor Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Technical Support Specialist Information Security Analyst
Securities Adviser
8 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Officer Safety Officer Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Lieutenant Lead Security Officer
Security, Shift Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Passenger Service Agent Security Officer Lieutenant
Court Security Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Product Manager Product Management Director
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Protective Officer 2.6 years
Security Officer 2.5 years
Security Monitor 2.2 years
Security Guard 2.0 years
Security 2.0 years
Security Agent 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Security Agent
Cashier 10.2%
Supervisor 3.3%
Internship 2.9%
Agent 2.6%
Manager 2.6%
Driver 1.9%
Assistant 1.8%
Executive 1.7%
Top Careers After Security Agent
Cashier 5.8%
Driver 5.6%
Supervisor 3.3%
Manager 3.3%
Executive 2.6%
Agent 2.6%
Technician 2.3%
Server 2.1%

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Top Skills for A Security Agent

  1. Ensure Safety
  2. Emergency Situations
  3. Surveillance Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitor and report all hotel and club activities by CCTV operations, remote monitoring and surveillance to ensure safety.
  • Collaborated with the Police and Fire departments responding to all emergency situations by adhering to company policy and procedural guidelines.
  • Control audio/visual surveillance equipment to monitor for irregular activity and compliance with gaming regulations and laws.
  • Conducted vehicle patrols of multiple different commercial and residential areas looking for any signs of disturbances or suspicious activity.
  • Conduct surveillance of bag room & baggage make up area to ensure no baggage is stolen or pilfered.

Security Agent Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,664 Security Agent resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Security Agent Resume

View Resume Examples

Security Agent Demographics

Gender

Male

65.0%

Female

21.3%

Unknown

13.8%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

20.7%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.2%

French

14.4%

German

4.5%

Arabic

3.5%

Russian

3.0%

Thai

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Hindi

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Serbian

1.0%

Chinese

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Swedish

0.5%

Swahili

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Khmer

0.5%

Hawaiian

0.5%
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Security Agent Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.0%

Miami Dade College

9.5%

The Academy

9.1%

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

6.1%

Essex County College

6.1%

Arizona State University

5.4%

American University

3.7%

Ashford University

3.4%

Strayer University

3.4%

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

3.0%

Temple University

3.0%

Monroe College

3.0%

Broward College

3.0%

Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York

3.0%

Hudson County Community College

3.0%

Kaplan University

3.0%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

2.7%

Portland Community College

2.7%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

2.4%

Florida Career College - Miami

2.4%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

30.2%

Business

22.3%

Computer Science

4.0%

Psychology

3.9%

General Studies

3.4%

Management

3.1%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Accounting

2.7%

Communication

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Nursing

2.6%

Education

2.4%

Information Technology

2.4%

Hospitality Management

2.3%

Political Science

2.3%

Law Enforcement

2.2%

English

2.1%

Finance

2.0%

Medical Technician

2.0%

Computer Information Systems

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

34.7%

Bachelors

30.6%

Associate

17.6%

Masters

6.9%

Certificate

6.8%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.4%
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