What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Security Guard?
Most of the time security guards are in uniform and carry a gun. But they must not be confused with the police. The responsibilities of security guards are totally different from that of police officers. Protection, prevention and reporting are the main duties of the security guards. They must be very vigilant and look out carefully for any possible danger to the area or the people under their protection. Their aim should be the prevention of an incident before its occurrence. If something untoward does take place they must make full observation of the incident and report it to the police or law enforcement agencies. The security guard is not authorized to make arrests. Rather, their duty is to observe and report to the police any unusual activity that might occur. The scope of the job responsibilities of the security guards widens with the increase in the size of the organization. It also varies with the type and location of the organizations with which they work.
What Academic Qualifications are required to be a Security Guard?
To be a security guard one must have a high school certificate along with some training. Certain states also require their security guards to have license which is only issued upon successful completion of classroom training that covers subjects like emergency procedure, crisis management, property rights, etc. Some employers, after hiring a guard, provide training covering topics like initiating emergency procedures, weapon retention, functioning of alarm systems, first-aid, emergency equipment operation, taking accurate notes and writing reports, etc. Some security guards, if hired for some special duties, may also be require to have a police certification.
What Skills Are Required To Be a Security Guard?
Along with experience and training, security guards must be alert and observant for providing quality security service. They must have a good amount of common sense and very good judgmental faculties to decide the most proper course of action required at a particular time. They must be capable of following the directions and guidelines provided by their employers to the best of their abilities. They must be good communicators and be able to take charge and guide the public in case of emergency. They must be highly observant and quick to report any suspicious event as soon as they sense it.
Mostly security guards do have some prior police or army experience. But when they don't, they are either provided proper training or they use the job to gain practical experience. These days, security guards are provided training in new areas like emergency crisis, bomb-threat detection, etc.
What Are The Job Prospects and Salary?
As far as the scope of this job is concerned, security guards are always on demand. Due to the current situation of the world security concerns are always very high and more job opportunities are always emerging in this field. New openings for guard jobs are mostly seen at schools, shopping malls and other public places. With good job opportunities and experience, security guards can go to higher supervisory positions. Although in small companies the chances of advancement are fewer, if the organization is big and you have a good amount of experience you can go to supervisory positions.
The usual annual pay scale of a security guard ranges from $20,320 to $31,000. If the security guard is experienced he can even earn up to $37,000 per year. Security guards are normally paid on an hourly basis, called hourly wage, which depends on their experience. If their experience is less than 1 year, they may earn from $8 to $11 per hour. With an experience of 1-4 years, they may earn hourly wages of $8.88 - $11.53. With 5-10 years of experience they can earn in the bracket of $9.26 - $12.72 per hour. With 10-20 years of experience in this field they can earn $9.75 - $14.01 each hour and with experience of more than 20 years they can earn hourly wages of $10.08 - $15.39. For one shift security guards are supposed to work 8 hours. Also remember that the salary of the security guard is widely affected by employer size and training of the guard.
The job of a security guard is quite tough and requires a lot of hard work and alertness. One needs a lot of experience and training to advance to higher security positions. However, there is a lot of demand for efficient security guards in the market and it is a growing sector. You can opt for a career as a security guard if you feel you possess the required amount of tenacity, alertness and ability to function under stress and meet challenges.