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.
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and protect property against theft, vandalism, terrorism, and illegal activity.
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:
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.
Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.
As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a security guard can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as security officer, progress to a title such as officer and then eventually end up with the title operations officer.
Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.
New York Botanical Garden
Security Guard-Per Diem (8AM-4PM)
Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.
Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Security Guard. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.
Security Guard2020 - Present
Allied Universal•Columbia, SC
Crew Member2019 - 2020
Taco Bell•Columbia, SC
Mcdonalds Crew Member2018 - 2019
Hardee's Restaurants•Columbia, SC
High School Diploma In null2018 - 2018
Security Guard2020 - Present
Driver2019 - 2020
Lot Attendant2018 - 2019
The Home DepotDallas, TX
High School Diploma In null2018 - 2018
Security Guard2011 - Present
Universal Protection Service•Orlando, FL
Warehouse Worker2008 - 2011
Package Handler UPS2006 - 2008
United Parcel Service•Dallas, TX
Associate's Degree of Nursing2004 - 2006
Texas Woman's University•Denton, TX
Learn How To Write a Security Guard Resume
At Zippia, we went through countless Security Guard resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.View Security Guard Resume Examples And Templates
Hispanic or Latino
Black or African American
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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, 23.3% of security guards listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and good judgment are important as well.
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, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Security guards make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $42,678. Whereas in Washington and North Dakota, they would average $39,127 and $33,715, respectively. While security guards would only make an average of $33,408 in Minnesota, 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.