Private Security Guard Career Information, Job Outlook & Salary

Private Security Guard

Private Security Guard Career Overview

Private security guards patrol an employer's property to guard against damage, theft, and other illegal activities. When necessary, they may contact the police or other emergency services for assistance and write up detailed reports about what happened. Many security guards work during night hours, when a commercial property is most likely to be empty, in order to deter crime.

Private Security Guard Education

No specific degree is required for security jobs, although many employers prefer a high school diploma. Most states require licensure for private security guards and companies typically provide some form of on-the-job law enforcement training. Requirements are most stringent for armed guards because they carry weapons and employers are liable for their actions while working.

Private Security Guards Employment

Private security guards held more than one million jobs as of 2006. Guards can be employed directly or contracted through security services providers. Most of these jobs occur in large cities or metropolitan areas, but they can be available across the country. Often work as a security guard supplements an individual's police job or other law enforcement position.

Private Security Guards Job Description

As general employment grows, job openings for security guards will increase. The market for security guards is expected to rise by approximately 17 percent over a decade, faster than average for all jobs. Turnover for private security guards is high, making jobs readily available for those looking for work.

Private Security Guards Salary Range

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following annual wages for security guards. *Salaries will change based on such factors as location, performance, and experience.
Low: $16,680
High: $39,360

*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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