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security guard jobs

Jobs for Security Guard Officers, Armed and Unarmed
Private Police, Watchmen, Salary, Training, Duties


No matter whether you are a security guard, armed or unarmed, a watchman, or private police, your job as a security guard or a security officer is to prevent and deter crime. At times security guards are called upon to protect lives and property. Security officers can also act to restrain, control and arrest when necessary. At times, medical emergencies will arise when the trained security guard is required to operate emergency equipment, perform first aid and CPR. The security guard is not required to make arrests on the job but, when it is necessary, may make a citizen's arrest or act at the request of a police officer.

Where Are the Security Guard Jobs

As a security guard or security officer, you may work in-house for a corporate security department as an employee, or you may work for a security firm that contracts for your services with various businesses. Whatever your position, your basic job description is to detect, deter, observe and report suspicious activity. The security officer typically wears a uniform and carries security gear. The only exception is the security officer working in loss prevention who is likely to dress in street clothes. You may find work at a theme park, a casino, a hospital, Homeland Security, a shopping mall, a bank, a casino, or a tourist attraction.

Do You Need Training for a Security Guard Job?

Yes, most states require that you obtain a state license and complete basic security guard training before you go out on the job. The security guard training can be in a classroom or online. A background check is also required. After you get a job in the field, additional training will cover subjects like criminal law and laws of arrest, use of force, communication equipment, uniform attire, security procedures, handling the crime scene, ethics and how to respond to an emergency.

Armed Security Guard Jobs

Most security officers and guards do not carry weapons. If you will carry and use weapons like batons, firearms and pepper spray on the job, you will require additional licensing and training as an armed security guard, plus time on the shooting range. Armed security guard jobs are found at government and military installations, armored money transports, casinos, banks, and nuclear power plants. Demand for armed security officers is strong.

Jobs for Security Guards and Security Officers Are Plentiful

Security guards can count on growing employment opportunities. With threats of terrorism, bomb hazards and other urban crises in populated areas, more security guards are needed. There are several million security guard jobs in the United States, approximately half working in-house security and half working with security contractors. Security guards are important for early detection of fires on the premises, and to deter employee theft and vandalism. They are also assigned to ensure the safe transfer of funds and other valuable assets. With a security guard on duty, a company can save on its premiums for fire and loss insurance.

The Duties of a Security Guard Job

Almost every business and industry has security guard jobs. Entry level guards are expected to observe and report. They do not deal with the public or apprehend criminals. The duties of the job often include regular and random patrols of the premises, and check-ins via GPS global positioning system or electronic systems. The old-fashioned time clocks are seldom used for security guards today. Security guards are often seen at building entrances and plant parking gates to ensure that only authorized personnel gain admittance. At the security desk, they may watch alarm systems or CCTV video systems for signs of crime, fire or disorder.

There are other miscellaneous tasks when the security guard job requires you to deal with the public. You may be called to rescue lost children, unlock cars for the owner, recharge dead car batteries, evaluate and document an incident, reroute traffic around a disruption, or call in emergency first responders.

Security Guards Are Not Police Officers

Security guard jobs have different duties from those of police, federal agents and military personnel. But previous training in these fields does prove invaluable on the job. And experience as a security guard is excellent background on your resume when you apply for other jobs in law enforcement.

Job Titles for the Security Guard

Your assigned job title may be security guard, security officer, safety patrol, watchman, private police, company police, security enforcement officer, or public safety officer. With more training comes greater responsibilities and different job titles. Depending on your job responsibilities you may also be classified as a bodyguard, loss prevention officer, alarm responder, mall security officer, crime prevention officer and private patrol operator. No matter what your job title as a security guard, you may not represent yourself as an agent of the federal government or any state or local government.

Salary for a Security Guard Job

The compensation of a security guard job or security officer varies greatly from employer to employer. The salary is not necessarily related to the required level of training and responsibility. Industry jobs offer better pay scale for security guards, probably to stay in line with what office workers earn. Jobs at malls and parks pay less, but are easier to come by. You should apply as a security guard with several employers to find your best job opportunity.

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