The job description of a security guard involves the very important responsibility of monitoring and protecting property, assets, and people from thefts and attacks. A security guard job description typically focuses on ensuring the security and safety of any property, be it a residence, an office, a building or an industrial plant. The duties also include patrolling the building, checking all the visitors, and observing signs of suspicious activity. As such, security guards are required in a variety of industrial sectors, and they are often hired by businesses, banks, hospitals, stores, nuclear plants, and other organizations.
The job description of a security guard varies with every position and organization. However, the main elements, requirements, and duties remain basically the same.
The main purpose of a security guard is to maintain an environment that is secure and extremely safe for employees, customers, and other concerned individuals. This is accomplished by frequent patrolling and complete monitoring of the premises.
The main duties which are stated in a security guard job description are as follows.
- Patrolling residential, commercial and industrial premises to observe any unusual happenings, detecting suspicious activities, and ensuring that all points of entry like windows, doors and gates are secure.
- Answering alarms and thoroughly investigating any disturbances that arise.
- Monitoring all the individuals who enter the premises and authorizing the entries for employees and other regular visitors.
- Preparing reports which summarize activities and happenings throughout the day. Any irregularities that involve damage to a piece of equipment or property, theft of an item, or an unauthorized person have to be mentioned in detail.
- Notifying the police and fire departments if an emergency arises such as smoke, fire, or signs of intrusion.
- Ensuring that the enforced policies and regulations are being followed on the site.
- Circulating among employees, patrons and visitors to maintain order. If there are any violations, warn the concerned individuals and even evict them from the premises if the need arises. Force will sometimes be used for this.
- Answering telephone calls and other questions and providing all relevant and important information after work hours are over.
- Operating the security systems for monitoring and controlling purposes.
- Screening all entries and preventing transfer of prohibited articles into the premises.
- Ensuring all components of the security system are functioning properly.
- Reporting to senior security guards and management.
A security guard job does not have very specific requirements for education. Generally, the applicant must possess a high school degree or similar general education degree (GED.) Some organizations may also require relevant certifications and licenses based upon state law or industry regulations regarding licensing, registration, and training specific to being employed as a security guard.
Along with the listed duties, the job description of a security guard may also include additional skills required for the position, such as:
- Knowledge of security measures such as the examination of personnel, emergency handling and fire procedures
- Verbal and written communication skills
- Quick decision making capabilities
- Strong awareness, observation, and judgment skills
- Strong physical build and/or ability to use physical force if required
- Armed security skills (firearm certified)
- General knowledge of security systems
- Basic first aid knowledge
In today’s society and business climate there has never been such a strong demand for security guards to protect vital facilities, equipment, assets, and even the people that occupy these areas, but not all two security guards are the same and the need for well-rounded security guards is pivotal.
Identified are the five key character traits of a good security guard. Practice and improve them as you grow in your career and help yourself stand out from your fellow security officers.
Always Trustworthy and Responsible
The true job of a security guard hinges upon how trustworthy they are in carrying out to the best of their abilities the duties to provide protection for the facilities, equipment, and personnel they are responsible for. It is not simply about watching out for trouble, but doing what is necessary to keep tight guard on the things that matter to the employer.
A good security guard will go beyond the basics of watching out for trouble and will do whatever is necessary to seek it out and prevent it before any damage is caused. A good security guard is also always honest, making sure to take seriously their job of reporting what activities they performed while on duty as well as any and everything that may have happened that required their scrutiny or intervention. This allows their employer to know if they need to increase security, provide additional equipment to their guards, or install additional cameras in blindspots to help make your job easier.
In major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York City, and Charlotte, this is extremely important as many of the largest employers are part of what keeps America safe and operating including banking, financial services, aerospace and defense manufacturers, and major utilities.
Has a High Level of Awareness
One of the core functions of any security guard is to be able to identify when there is trouble or criminal activity taking place. In order to do so effectively, a good security guard has a high level of awareness of their surroundings at all times and can spot anything that may be out of place and need a closer examination.
Call it a “keen sense” or just intuition, a good security guard will always be aware of anything that may be presenting itself as a danger and can take appropriate actions quickly to prevent any negative situations.
Shows Bravery in the Sight of Danger
A security guard’s job is not just about identifying criminal activity, but also preventing it. By doing so, they may potentially put themselves in a dangerous position. For the average individual, they would probably run from situations, whereas a good security guard is prepared for such an encounter and are brave enough to move forward in their duties rather than run backwards.
Exudes Professional Confidence and Not Arrogance
Let’s face it, at some point in the career of a security guard, they are going to have to deal with a person that is being belligerent. That is being loud, resistant, and potentially physical. It’s during that time that what helps control the person and/or crowd partly hinges on their ability to be cool under pressure; to exude confidence in their authority and ability to guide people’s actions.
This confidence isn’t about being cocky. It’s not arrogance, but a rather calm, professional confidence that people will listen and react to. A security guard at times has to be the leader and we’d all rather follow a confident leader than an arrogant one or someone who isn’t confident.
Is Mentally and Physically Fit
While it could be called a myth that all security guards MUST be physically fit, in order to become a good security guard it is important to keep yourself healthy and mentally strong to handle any possible situation that may arise while on duty. Be sure to exercise, eat healthy, and even give your brain some mental practice through puzzles, brain games, and continuing to train to help keep your mind and body at its peak.
Some guard jobs may require you to primarily be in a seated position, be sure to get up routinely and move around, stretch, and generally stay in an upright position to keep your body and mind alert.
What Would You Recommend?
These five traits are simply ones that have been identified to help you grow in your career as a security guard.
What about you, would you recommend listing any additional character traits of a good security guard?
With the growing need of security protection services, you may be asking yourself: who actually employs security guards?
Surprisingly, this may actually depend on the rules and regulations of your state and local municipality regarding the employment of security guards. Regardless of this, the typical employer would be one of the following.
Contracted Security Services Agencies
Sometimes known as “security guard agencies,” these service providers are often independently contracted companies to provide security guards for their customers’ locations, equipment, and personnel or may be provided for security services at special events or activities.
Think of these agencies as the “middleman” between yourself as a security guard and the actual owner of the location you may be contracted to protect. This is often viewed as the best type of employment as you may routinely be moved to new contract jobs (bringing a level of new excitement) as well as having most training and licensing provided to further you knowledge and skills as a security guard.
In some states, it is required that you are employed by a security services agency who is licensed by the state prior to being able to perform security services for any location, person, or organization.
Direct Hire by a Corporation
In many states, you may be directly hired by the corporation whose buildings and personnel you are paid to protect. These employment positions typically are for the long-term and often include their own specific training on the location, tools, and equipment you will be using to provide security services.
This type of employer is not just within a single industry, but can cross a broad range and include almost any industry in need of protecting vital assets.
Direct Hire by an Organization or Institution
Must like a hiring corporation, some organizations and institutions such as hospitals, colleges, and universities hire their own security guards to provide protective and patrol services on their campuses mainly to protect access to their buildings and personnel.
Also just like corporations, these organizations and institutions tend to provide their own specific training in regards to the grounds, equipment, and tools available to their security team.
The last most common employer of security guards would be a government agency. This may be a local, city, county, state, or even federal agency that is directly hiring individuals to provide security services at government buildings, events, and activities.
These positions typically focus on patrolling the property and providing access control to personnel and protection to visiting tourist at public facilities.
Do You Know Anyone Else?
These are the typical employers of security guards, however, may not include them all. Do you know of any additional common employers of security guards? If so, list them in the comments below!
When you hear the term “security guard,” does it bring certain thoughts to mind on what it means to be in that profession? Often times the picture that most people may have in their mind regarding security guards are the people that sit in booths and rooms and stare at monitors or sign them in when they drive through a gate. Sometimes they’re looked at as “wanna be” police officers, but without the guns and aren’t as skilled in managing situations.
The truth is that all of those opinions would be completely incorrect. Being a security guard is actually a high performing, skilled trade that requires more than simply sitting in a chair and watching to make sure no one is acting up. To help you get a better grasp on what it means to be a security guard in today’s society and business climate, we’ve broken down the top 5 myths of being a security guard.
Myth #1: It’s the Same Job Everyday
This myth is the view that we’re often presented in movies and in TV shows where the “guard” is just someone sitting on a chair behind a table or booth loosely staring at the monitors or checking people in when they enter a building.
The truth is, the job is rarely exactly the same from day-to-day. This is because almost anything can happen almost every day. One day you may be patrolling an outer perimeter and encounter someone trying to scale the fence line. That doesn’t happen everyday.
On another day, you may have a situation with a disgruntled former employee trying to access the building and you must politely and sternly remove them from the property.
In truth, the job can easily keep you on your toes. Does that happen all the time? Maybe not. Maybe many days are the same, but once something happens that needs your intervention, it’s a different day.
Myth #2: You Don’t Have to Deal with People
Some people want to be security guards because they really do not want to have to deal with people and they feel that security guards are just the people who drive around an empty facility and keep watch over things.
The truth is the most common thing that you will encounter as a security guard is likely the cause of a person that you will have to deal with. Your most important skill will be communication; not just what to say, but how you say it to remain professional and to execute the necessary protocols the situation dictates.
So, loosen your vocal chords because you will have to deal with people almost every day.
Myth #3: Training and Certification is Required to Be a Security Guard
While this is a true statement in some states and local municipalities, it isn’t an actual fact for all security guards. In some states, there are not any licensing and training requirements to become a security guard.
However, it is common in these situations that the hiring agency or employer will provide training to ensure you are aware of the facilities, equipment, and protocols necessary to provide security services.
Myth #4: Security Guards Do Not Carry Guns
A mocking statement towards security guards is that they’re “wanna be” police officers, but without the guns. The truth is, there are many security guard positions that require the person to be armed and knowledgeable in both weaponry and tactics in order to conduct their duties. Every state employs these armed security guards and many are the first armed responders in areas of their responsibility.
So let me ask you, if you were to be put in a dangerous situation where the highest chance of your escaping uninjured is reliant on who shows up with a firearm and knows how to use it, would you rather want the armed security guard who is 15 feet away or the armed police officer who is 15 minutes away?
Myth #5: It’s a Job for the Physically Fit
It’s easy to think why in order to be a security guard you have to be physically fit. In many instances, the job can be quite demanding and having a healthy body will bode well in ensuring you can perform the necessary activities. However, it is not a defined requirement in order to be employed.
There are many security guard jobs where it is more important to have a keen eye and sharp mind than to have big muscles. These positions typically monitor their area of responsibility using advanced technology and surveillance equipment where being knowledgeable and skilled is the most important attribute of a good security guard.
Are There Any Other Myths You’ve Heard?
What about you? Are there any additional myths about being a security guard that you’ve heard of?