Security guards help protect some valuable stuff, which varies depending on where they're working. Maybe you'll work for a jewelry store so you'll learn to protect precious gems or maybe you'll work for an apartment complex where you'll be protecting the residents.

Really, there isn't a limit for who or what business needs a security guard. You can find work just about anywhere. A lot of businesses struggle with theft, some even have violent situations arise frequently. Other companies deal with people not following the rules and like to have a security guard to help. So you see, you're needed everywhere.

Sometimes a venue or event will be so big, they'll have x-ray and metal detector equipment setup. In these situations, you'll have to operate and examine those machines as people walk through. Or maybe you'll end up as an individual person's security guard. Whatever you end up guarding, just make sure you're ready for whatever is thrown at you.

What Does a Security Guard Do

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

Learn more about what a Security Guard does

How To Become a Security Guard

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.

Learn More About How To Become a Security Guard

Security Guard Career Paths

Average Salary for a Security Guard

Security Guards in America make an average salary of $31,983 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $40,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Security Guard Salary
$31,983 Yearly
$15.38 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

How To Become a Security Guard
How To Become a Security Guard Career Overview

States With The Most Security Guard Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active security guard jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where security guards earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Security Guard Jobs By State

Security Guard Education

Security Guard Majors

16.5 %

Security Guard Degrees

High School Diploma

42.3 %


20.7 %


20.1 %

Top Skills For a Security Guard

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 25.3% of security guards listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and good judgment are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 25.3%
  • Patrol, 17.2%
  • Ladders, 16.4%
  • Security Services, 5.6%
  • Emergency Situations, 4.2%
  • Other Skills, 31.3%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Security Guard Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Security Guard templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Security Guard resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Security Guard Demographics

Security Guard Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among security guards, 28.0% of them are women, while 72.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among security guards is White, which makes up 58.6% of all security guards.

  • The most common foreign language among security guards is Spanish at 71.9%.

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Best States For a Security Guard

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a security guard. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Washington, Minnesota, and Oregon. Security guards make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $42,908. Whereas in Washington and Minnesota, they would average $41,518 and $36,914, respectively. While security guards would only make an average of $36,599 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Hawaii

Total Security Guard Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Minnesota

Total Security Guard Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Security Guard Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Security Guards

How Do Security Guard Rate Their Jobs?

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Security officer November 2021


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What do you like the most about working as Security Guard?

Protecting people and the property where I’m sign at. Show More

What do you NOT like?

There’s nothing about the officer that I don’t like Show More

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Top Security Guard Employers

Most Common Employers For Security Guard

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1CSC Holdings LLC$37,077$17.83884
2Universal Protection Service$35,745$17.192,425
3United States Marine Corps$31,374$15.08621
4Andy Frain Services$30,876$14.84635
5Imperial Security$30,874$14.84576
6Admiral Security Services$30,872$14.84645
7American Security$30,867$14.84666
8West Coast Choppers$30,863$14.84951
9Command Security$30,855$14.83649
10Universal Security$30,852$14.83365

Security Guard Videos

Becoming a Security Guard FAQs

Security Officer Vs. Security Guard

A security officer is a watch person with a wider range of duties and the ability to exercise independent judgment, while a security guard is a watch person who is assigned a particular post or patrol area and has little independent judgment.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Security Guard?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a security guard. That is the time it takes to learn specific security guard skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

Do Security Guards Make Good Money?

No, security guards do not make good money. The median hourly wage is only $14.27 an hour ($29,680 a year). The hourly wage for a security guard ranges from $10.17 ($21,159 a year) and to $24.19 ($50,319 a year).

How Long Does It Take To Become A Security Officer?

It takes as little as a week to become a security officer. The first step is obtaining your Class B license. The license requires a minimum of 40 hours of professional security training, followed by an exam.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Security Guard?

The base qualification of a security guard is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Though it is quite rare, companies may prefer to hire security guards with a two- or even a four-year degree in criminal justice, police science, or another applicable field.

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