Recent data suggests that salaries within the private security industry are set to continue climbing, which is great news for anyone thinking about pursuing a career in this field. With the median annual salary in the U.S. for private security guards coming in at around $31,000, and the top 10% making $51,000 and above, while the amount you earn can vary significantly, don’t forget that there are always opportunities to further your security training and advance your career.
What factors can impact a security guards salary?
Naturally, the more skilled you are and the more qualified you are, the more opportunities there are for earning a higher salary as a security guard. Whether you train as an armed or unarmed guard will also impact your salary, as will the type of industry you’re employed in.
Security guards employed by the government typically earn the most, with the average salary coming in at around $37,000 per annum. In at a close second, are security guards employed by educational institutions, such as public schools, community colleges, public and private universities and trade schools. The average salary is at around $35,000, and while security guards working in the food, hotel and retail services tend to have the lowest salaries, they still earn an average of $30,000 per year.
Why is a security guard such a fulfilling role?
Many who enter into the security industry do so out of a desire to help protect the public, and the fact that they can use it as a stepping stone to working within other private and public protective roles, is often a bonus.
Have you got what it takes to become a security guard?
The security industry is a fiercely competitive one, and so it’s important to try and make your resume stand out, even if you have no prior experience of working as a security guard. Having a high school diploma or equivalent is often a requirement, and if you’ve already successfully completed your security guard training to the relevant level, so much the better. In fact, many states require that this be completed before even considering an application, and even if it isn’t required in certain states, having a certificate of training demonstrates that you are committed to the role, and willing to invest time and money in your career. To make your resume sit at the top of the pile when it comes to candidate selection, carry out your security guard training at a certified and professional institution, and seek their advice and guidance when searching for the right security role for you.
If you’renew to the security industry but are interested in pursuing a career as a security guard, the guide below will help you understand exactly what is needed of you, and how you can go about getting the training and skills to fulfil your desired role:
Step One: Select the right training program
Depending upon where you live, or which state you plan to train as a security guard in, you’ll need to complete a certain type of schooling and training. Begin by reaching out to the relevant state licensing board, who oversee all regulated professions for the state. They will help you determine the necessary requirements for becoming a security guard in your location, and when selecting a training program, look out for the following qualities:
- State-approved curriculum
- Classroom and practical training
Step Two: Be aware that continuing education will likely be required
Courses designed to supplement your existing knowledge (continuing education), are required by the majority of states throughout the U.S. and in many cases, security guards must complete 16 hours of continuing education within the first 30 days of working as a security guard. Note that this doesn’t include the 8 hour Power to Arrest initial training requirements.
Often, newly qualified security guards must then undertake a minimum of 16 hours of additional training.
Even if the state in which you’re in doesn’t mandate that you pursue continuing education, it’s always a good idea to do it anyway, since it enables you to keep your career options open and stay ahead of the competition.
Step Three: Apply for security guard designation
After completing the training as required by your state, you can then go on and apply for a security guard designation, and this will usually be a license or official certification.
Obtaining a security guard license means that certain license requirements specific to your state, must be met, and while they can vary, most require security guards to qualify for the following:
- Be 18 years old or above when applying
- Have completed all of the required training/curriculum
- Pass a physical fitness aptitude test
- Pass a criminal background check and FBI fingerprinting
- Pass a multi-panel drug screening
- Qualify for license renewal
- Be able to pay a licensing fee and agree to the professional code of conduct
Step Four: Start applying for jobs
Because you’re a newly licensed security guard with no experience, it’s best to try and find an employer who is comfortable with this, and who has a reputation for offering promotions and other opportunities to progress within the company or career.
Step Five: Get yourself specialty certified
The best opportunities for career advancement, a higher salary and job security is by specializing in a certain role within the security industry, and there are a variety of unique certification programs available that allow you to do exactly that. A successful career within the security guard industry is entirely within your grasp, provided you follow the steps above, and always take your training and the responsibilities that come with it, extremely seriously at all times.
National (and international) focus was recently brought to a debate that has long been raging across the U.S. as to the role of the police in America. Questions surrounding the unlawful targeting of persons of color, and their use of excessive or inappropriate force have been surrounding the police force since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer.
As a direct result of this and the publicity it received, many cities country wide reduced their police budgets in order to redirect funds towards social services and mental health support, leaving many police departments with a deficit of officers, and struggling to find new ones. Unfortunately, this decline in police officers has directly corresponded with an increase in crime across the U.S. and particularly in larger cities.
So how has this impacted the private security industry?
Shrinking police departments and crime spikes
With visibly depleted police departments and crime on the rise, many businesses are turning to private security companies to help keep them, their employees, their business and their customers, safe.
With the Wall Street Journal reporting on the increased demand for private security officers and the importance of their role within communities, they write that unarmed guards in particular, are proving to be extremely useful for businesses, especially as many of them are just beginning to reopen in the wake of pandemic restrictions. By helping visitors and workers feel more confident with respect to their personal safety, they are proving to be an invaluable and worthwhile investment.
In some instances, those living and working outside of business groups, have been putting their money together to pay for security guards to patrol areas of their neighborhood that are particularly at risk, and say that the added protection it affords them, is well worth paying for.
Will the demand for private security guards continue to grow?
For as long as crime rates continue to soar, it seems the need for private security guards will continue, too. Even in those cities that have managed to retain their workforces, public trust in the police is at an all-time low, and it may be some years yet before they ever regain the public’s faith in them. Reduced police numbers may be bad news for communities, but it’s great news for the private security industry. To take advantage of this and get yourself a valuable career as a security guard, find your local training center and start gaining the skills you need to protect and serve those who need you the most.
Firearm Training is done by professional instructors to ensure safe handling of firearms. These instructors also train individuals in the usage of firearms. The idea behind training is to make sure that gun users are aware of safety measures and know how to handle firearms in a proper manner.
Firearm training is extremely important since it is one of the most dangerous objects being used from time to time. To make sure that the firearm is used in a correct manner and no harm is caused, it is important that firearm training is done. The problem with such training is that there are many gun trainers who are not professional and might not be able to give the best training. In order to have the best training and prevent any accidents from happening, it is important to find a good trainer who has experience in this field.
Firearm training is an educational process that starts before you ever pick up a firearm. Training with firearms is a perishable skill just like any other and requires regular practice to keep current.
Firearm training can be divided into two broad categories: range time and classroom/book time. Range time is the hands on portion of your training that involves live fire with a qualified instructor. Classroom/book time is everything else you do to prepare yourself for your qualification or advanced training.
The importance of each type of training varies by the person, the firearm they use and their intended use for that firearm. Some people will spend more classroom time on learning the laws regarding their carry weapon, others will spend more on range time learning how to shoot. The best way to figure out how much training you need is to find a qualified instructor and start asking questions about what you want to know.
Firearm training is the instruction of the use, maintenance, and safe handling of firearms. Training includes a wide variety of topics, ranging from the safe storage of firearms to their proper use in competition and self-defense.
Firearm training may be available from government bodies (such as the police or military), shooting clubs, professional trainers or via the Internet. Proper training is important for the safety of people who handle firearms for a living or for recreation.
Firearm training isn’t a simple thing to do, you need to be trained on how the gun works and how to use it, then you have to get accustomed with the weight of it and know how to handle it under pressure. As time goes by and you practice more and more, handling a firearm gets easier for you. The goal is for you to learn how to properly handle a firearm so that way if you’re in danger or your life is in danger, you’ll know what to do without thinking about it.
The image most people have of a security guard, is a big, burly man who takes no nonsense from anyone, but over time, this image is gradually changing. With more and women entering into the security industry, no longer do men totally dominate the security world, and it’s become increasingly common to see women helping to provide protection for individuals, businesses and events.
But is this just about equality, or do females actually make better security guards?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons whyfemale security guards are increasingly in high demand within the security industry:
Women draw less attention to themselves
Those stereotypical, big, burly security guards described at the top of this article, do nothing to detract attention away from themselves, and while sometimes a visible source of protection is needed, when it comes to protecting professional individuals, the more discrete the level of security can be, the better. A female security guard, in the majority of instances, can easily be mistaken for a partner, personal assistant or even a nanny.
An obvious security personnel presence is no longer wanted by many individuals who hire protection, and for protecting the children of high-profile individuals, many also prefer to hire female security guards, rather than males.
Okay, so gender equality does have something to do with it
And that’s nothing to be ashamed of, after all, if women can perform a role just as well (or better) than their male counterparts, why shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to do so? Many more companies nowadays are under pressure to balance the gender of their employees, and be seen as an equal opportunities employer, meaning that increasingly, women are being welcomed into the security industry with open arms.
Women are taking on more diverse roles
Many more women nowadays have the confidence to apply for a variety of roles that might not ordinarily have been considered appropriate or suitable for them, and no longer shy away from pursuing a career in the security industry.
When frisking is mandatory, females are mandatory
In a lot of schools, colleges, shopping malls, airports and work places, frisking is mandatory before entry to certain areas is permitted, but with female visitors or attendees only able to be frisked by other females, this has fuelled the need for more women in the security industry.
Women are proven to be more effective at diffusing situations
When it comes to conflict resolution, female security guards have long been proven to be more effective at diffusing difficult and/or dangerous situations, as while most men will be happy to get into a fight with a male guard, they are typically less comfortable brawling with a woman. Not only that, but women generally tend to display a more compassionate, less intimidatory side when working in a security capacity, which can help to lower the levels of aggression on display, and bring about a sense of calm. If you’re a woman who would like to explore a career in security, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do so, all you need to do is find a great training school, enroll, and get protecting!
Responsible for protecting companies and businesses and ensuring the safety of both employees and consumers, proprietary security and contract security companies are involved in the same industry, while serving very different needs.
What does a proprietary security company do?
Controlled entirely by a particular company, a proprietary security company is responsible for hiring, firing and managing security personnel.
What does a contract security company do?
Operated by a professional security company, they contract their security services to different companies.
What do they cost?
Costlier because your company is responsible for paying benefits and higher wages for those personnel with more experience, proprietary security is more expensive, but often more appealing since the level of training and ability of the guards, is significantly higher.
When dealing with a contract security company, the salary given to security guards is typically lower due to the cost of uniforms, sick leave and training benefits that are all covered by the service.
Which gives more control?
From the perspective of a proprietary security employee, you may find that they have more feelings of loyalty towards the company, since they may have developed a sense of camaraderie with their fellow employees and experience opportunities for growth and promotions within their career.
When it comes to using the services of a contract security service on the other hand, if your company needs to take on more employees, or lay some off, you might be able to deal with such staffing problems in a more efficient way.
Which service gives more consistency?
For a company needing daily, micromanaged security, then a proprietary security service might offer the best solution to your security needs.
Which is the most effective?
Trained to meet the specific needs of a company, proprietary security personnel often become more familiar with the layout of a building or space, and are able to recognize individuals coming and going, with greater ease and accuracy.
Thanks in part to a high rate of turnover, contract security guards don’t often get the opportunity to establish strong working relationships with employees, which can have a negative impact on how loyal they are to the company, and play a role in determining the level of their performance.
If you choose to take on a proprietary security service, you’ll be responsible for taking the appropriate measures with respect to background checks and ensuring that the applicant has the right level of training and skills to fulfil their role to the standard required.
Choosing to take on a contract security service on the other hand, means that training, recruitment and background checks are handled by the firm, and not your concern. When deciding which type of security service to hire, there are many factors to take into consideration, and a lot will depend upon your specific needs and the extent of your budget. However, it’s important to remember that security is a significant aspect of any business, and if you want to protect it in the best way possible, make sure your budget is big enough.