A security guard’s primary role involves the protection of goods, products, services and
people. There are many different types of security guard jobs and people who work in this field work in
extremely varied locations. Security guards usually patrol a designated area to prevent crime and accidental
loss and to protect the assets of the company that they work for. There are many forms of specialization within
this field and security guards work in a diverse range of industries.
A Typical Working Day For a Security Guard
Security guards tend to work shift work, depending on the position that they hold. A
security guard must constantly scan and monitor his or her environment for irregularities and discrepancies. A
security guard may begin his or her duties by performing a general sweep of the area that is to be protected.
By walking the perimeter and checking doors, gates and windows, the security guard can check for evidence of
attempted break and enter or search for suspicious individuals lurking in the vicinity.
Security guards also protect property against accidental damage and loss. They watch for
fire hazards, water leaks, equipment malfunctions and so on. Security guards may spend their entire shift
checking if people are authorized to enter a particular building or area. They must be constantly vigilant
against fraudulent attempts to enter premises – for example an individual may present a false ID.
Security guards use technology to help them monitor their designated zone. They may use
circuit cameras to monitor multiple areas simultaneously. Security guards spend some of their shift checking
alarm systems and ensuring that there are no failures or deliberate attempts to hack the system.
Security guards are employed by large corporations, small business, charity organizations
and government entities. There are job opportunities available in crowd control and in the bar and hospitality
industry. Many security guards are able to secure work as personal bodyguards and independent security
Security guards can find work in the finance and banking industry, for example they may protect cash in transit
for banks or monitor the bank premises.
For individuals with the necessary skills, abilities and training, job prospects are good.
Jobs in this field are expected to grow at an average rate of 12 percent over the next 8 years. Individuals who
are willing to relocate to secure employment, and who possess the necessary skills and abilities, are likely to
have very good job prospects.
Many people begin their career as security guards and progress to supervisory roles. There
is the potential to secure lucrative contracts in personal protection with the necessary skills and
Skills and Abilities
Security guards must work well under pressure. They must be able to deal with potentially
volatile and dangerous situations in a calm, assertive manner. They must work strictly within the guidelines of
the law, being careful to avoid excessive use of force. Security guards must be excellent problem solvers and
should have a keen eye for noticing discrepancies, evasions or misleading information. A security guard should
have the following skills and abilities:
• Be very fit
• Have good eyesight and hearing
• Be observant and critical
• Be responsible and reliable
• Assertive and calm
• Strong people skills
• Work well under pressure
• Pass a police check and other security clearances
Training and Education
Security guards usually need to pass an advanced police check. They should have first aide
training so that they can respond appropriately in emergency situations. Some job positions require that
security guards have an SIA license. There are Certificates available in security guarding for people who are
interested in entering into this particular field. The British Security Industry Association offers further
information in relation to certification and licensing requirements for this field.
Is a Security Right For Me?
People who are interested in the law, who work well in a highly regulated environment and
who enjoy protecting people and possessions are likely to be happy and fulfilled in this particular line of