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Career Profile: Security Guards

Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. May operate x-ray and metal detector equipment.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 1,059,000 people employed as security guards in the United States. The median annual salary is $31,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $21,930 per year and senior employees earn approximately $51,600 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Write reports of daily activities and irregularities, such as equipment or property damage, theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.
  • Patrol industrial or commercial premises to prevent and detect signs of intrusion and ensure security of doors, windows, and gates.
  • Call police or fire departments in cases of emergency, such as fire or presence of unauthorized persons.
  • Respond to medical emergencies by administering basic first aid or by obtaining assistance from paramedics.
  • Circulate among visitors, patrons, or employees to preserve order and protect property.
  • Warn persons of rule infractions or violations, and apprehend or evict violators from premises, using force when necessary.
  • Answer telephone calls to take messages, answer questions, and provide information during non-business hours or when switchboard is closed.
  • Operate detecting devices to screen individuals and prevent passage of prohibited articles into restricted areas.
  • Inspect and adjust security systems, equipment, or machinery to ensure operational use and to detect evidence of tampering.
  • Escort or drive motor vehicle to transport individuals to specified locations or to provide personal protection.
  • Monitor and adjust controls that regulate building systems, such as air conditioning, furnace, or boiler.
  • Answer alarms and investigate disturbances.
  • Monitor and authorize entrance and departure of employees, visitors, and other persons to guard against theft and maintain security of premises.
  • Lock doors and gates of entrances and exits to secure buildings.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
1,059,000
Annual Openings:
163,600
Increase in Openings by 2030:
15%
Annual Salary Range:
$21,930 - $51,600
Education Requirements:
High school diploma