SECURITY GUARDS patrol and inspect property to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, and illegal entry. They work in department stores, museums, as undercover detectives, in office buildings, and in transportation terminals. Security guards enforce laws and deter criminal activity. They interview witnesses or victims, prepare case reports, and testify in court. In addition, they make sure that fire extinguishers, alarms, sprinkler systems, furnaces, and other systems are working properly. Guards working at universities, parks, and sports stadiums perform crowd control, supervise parking and seating, and direct traffic.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $32,500 average per year ($15.50 per hour)
- A very large occupation (1,075,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.4% per year)
Unarmed SECURITY GUARDS do not have any specific educational requirements. Armed guards generally need to high school graduates. Employers often seek people who have had experience in the military police or in law enforcement. Armed guards receive formal training in areas such as weapon retention and laws covering the use of force. Guards who carry weapons must be licensed by the appropriate government authority. Applicants must usually be at least eighteen years old and pass a background check. Drug testing is often required, as well as a driver's license.