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Become A Security

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Working As A Security

  • 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 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

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 Career Paths

Security
Security Officer Technician Team Leader
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Manager
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Manager
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Police Officer Investigator
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Officer Security Supervisor
Security Site Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Officer Security Manager
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Executive Assistant Assistant Property Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Investigator Loss Prevention Manager
Asset Protection Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Officer Loss Prevention Specialist Loss Prevention Leader
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman Site Supervisor
Lead Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Intelligence Analyst Security Manager
Assistant Director Of Security
7 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Training Officer Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Specialist Investigator Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Safety Coordinator Environmental Health Safety Manager
Manager, Security And Safety
9 Yearsyrs
Sergeant Site Supervisor Lead Security Officer
Security, Shift Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Lead Instructor Chief Petty Officer
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Mail Clerk Site Supervisor Lead Security Officer
Fire Safety Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Security?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Security Officer 2.5 years
Security Agent 2.3 years
Security Monitor 2.2 years
Security Guard 2.0 years
Security 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Security
Cashier 19.5%
Server 3.9%
Cook 3.5%
Internship 3.2%
Driver 2.9%
Manager 2.6%
Volunteer 2.3%
Supervisor 2.3%
Stocker 2.2%
Top Careers After Security
Cashier 12.1%
Driver 6.2%
Server 3.8%
Cook 2.9%
Manager 2.9%
Internship 2.6%
Supervisor 2.3%

Do you work as a Security?

Security Demographics

Gender

Male

64.6%

Female

22.2%

Unknown

13.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.2%

French

7.1%

Arabic

3.3%

Italian

2.6%

Russian

2.2%

Portuguese

2.2%

German

2.1%

Chinese

1.8%

Thai

1.6%

Japanese

1.2%

Somali

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Mandarin

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Bosnian

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Hindi

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Croatian

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%
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Security Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.6%

The Academy

12.5%

Miami Dade College

9.6%

Everest Institute

5.3%

Houston Community College

4.5%

Community College of Philadelphia

4.2%

Strayer University

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

Essex County College

4.0%

Arizona State University

3.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.4%

Wayne County Community College District

3.4%

Ashford University

3.1%

Broward College

3.0%

Texas Southern University

3.0%

Central State University

2.8%

College of Southern Nevada

2.7%

Valencia College

2.7%

Georgia State University

2.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.6%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

27.4%

Business

16.6%

General Studies

6.2%

Psychology

4.7%

Nursing

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

4.1%

Computer Science

3.4%

Kinesiology

3.3%

Accounting

3.1%

Finance

3.0%

Communication

3.0%

Automotive Technology

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Education

2.5%

Management

2.1%

Medical Technician

2.0%

Law Enforcement

1.9%

Sociology

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

43.0%

Bachelors

26.4%

Associate

16.3%

Certificate

6.7%

Masters

3.4%

Diploma

3.0%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$20,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Salesforce
Highest Paying City
Camden, NJ
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Security make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Security in the United States is $31,584 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $20,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $49,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Security?

Have you worked as a Security? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Security.

Top Skills for A Security

  1. Customer Service
  2. Emergency Situations
  3. Crowd Control
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Delivered quality customer service through diligent work ethic, professional conduct and product promotion.
  • Enforce rules regulation policies procedures and respond to emergency situations requiring security assistance.
  • Participated in event crowd control and overall security.
  • Utilized surveillance equipment to monitor activity to identify and enforce the proper course of actions for any potential security concerns.
  • Provided safe environment by using proper procedure to diffuse any confrontational situations that arose.

How Would You Rate Working As a Security?

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Securities

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Virginia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Vermont
  6. Washington
  7. Maryland
  8. Nebraska
  9. Missouri
  10. Utah
  • (766 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (2,882 jobs)
  • (1,872 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (1,084 jobs)
  • (1,423 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (714 jobs)
  • (441 jobs)

Top Security Employers

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