Security Guard

Keep your eyes peeled for suspicious activity during store hours.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $41,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Security Guards do?

Security Guards are in the business of protection, and safety is their middle name. Valuable items, property, and even certain people need someone protecting them from criminals. The job opportunities for Security Guards range from monitoring security cameras to making nightly rounds at a jewelry store.

The job of Security Guard traces its history back to the Middle Ages, when Watchmen stood in castle towers and kept an eye out for approaching enemies. When they spotted an enemy they had to light fires or sound an alarm to alert the troops. Thanks to new technology, you only need to press a button to call in the cops.

As you make your rounds, be it at a shopping mall or a bank, you look for and report any suspicious activity. Security Guards practice what is known as the “detect, deter, observe and report” methodology. Detect security issues or suspicious people, deter – or try and prevent – a crime from occurring, observe details of any crime that does occur, and report the crime to the authorities immediately.

In most cases, you’re not allowed to make arrests, so no need to chase a shoplifter into the dark night on foot. Instead, you ensure the building is as safe as possible to prevent theft, and report the crime if one does occur. So your job is to act as the eyes of a property, taking note of all that happens, and passing on information if things go wrong.

Should I be a Security Guard?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Airline Security Representative, Airport Security Screener, Armed Security Guard, Baggage Inspector See More

    How to become a Security Guard

    Most Security Guards have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9daaaa&chl=no+college+%2894%25%29|certificate+%285%25%29||bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,94,94
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