Career Profile: Security Guard

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Security officers are professionals who safeguard and protect people or assets against any kind of attack or intruder. The actual duties of the security officer vary depending upon whom or what is being secured, the number of security personnel, and the protection systems in place.

What Does a Security Guard Do?

The duties of the security officer revolve around whether his or her position is static or mobile. In a static position, the officer works at a specific location for a specific amount of time. The officer may have electronic security measures at his or her disposal, including alarms, closed circuit security cameras, motion detectors, and so on. Static security officers may monitor the ingress and egress of employees and visitor traffic, as well as the physical property.

Mobile Security Officers

Mobile security officers patrol on foot or in cars, usually covering a preassigned zone. The officer performs security checks—lights, alarm system, windows, doors and gates—and provides a deterring presence. Security officers write reports regarding all activities and any disturbances during their time on duty.

Security officers perform myriad duties and must be flexible and able to multitask. They patrol the premises, looking for signs of intrusion, answer alarms and investigate disturbances, are responsible for calling police or fire departments in cases of emergency, and cooperate directly with the authorities.

Help Others

Security officers warn patrons of infractions and safety hazards, perform evictions, and only use force as a last resort. They operate electronic devices to screen individuals and prevent passage of prohibited articles into restricted areas. Officers may be asked to escort individuals or groups to specific locations, providing protection while doing so. They may transport money, jewels, or other valuables, ensuring safe delivery. Often, security officers have to handle complaints, settle disputes, and defuse conflicts by diplomatic means.

Education Requirements

Security officers are required to have a high school diploma, pass a background test, which can include drug testing, and attend a security training school. They should be perceptive and able to anticipate the unexpected, and need to be active listeners with strong communication and interpersonal abilities. They should be able to make snap judgments and think on their feet under any and all circumstances. Additionally, their reading and writing skills should be above average.

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Licensure

Depending on the geographical location, a security license may be necessary. The regulations vary from state to state. Once training is completed, the security officer may apply for security jobs with security companies, corporations, or government agencies.

At times, security officers function in stressful or dangerous environments. They must be physically fit and mentally and emotionally stable.

Outlook

Employment opportunities are average through 2018. Supervisory positions and administrative positions are available for those with ability, experience, and intelligence.

The average yearly salary for security officers ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 per years, and most positions offer benefit packages that include medical, dental, vacation, and retirement.

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