Have you ever considered becoming a security professional? The security industry is growing at a steady pace, and there are a wide variety of exciting employment opportunities available today in the security profession.
In this post, we will explore our top picks for the different types of security guards, what each type of guard does, and four of the most common ways that you can become a security officer.
Types of Security Guards
The security profession is multi-dimensional with a wide variety of roles and functions for various types of businesses, organizations, and private individuals. Here is our list of the top nine types of security jobs:
1. Unarmed Guards
One of the most common types of security guard is the unarmed guard. This type of guard spans a wide variety of businesses, industries, venues, and organizations. The roles and responsibilities of an unarmed guard range from managing and monitoring security cameras and equipment, conducting foot patrols, controlling access to facilities, and much, much more. This type of security role is generally the most common type of role and where the majority of security professionals begin their careers.
2. Mobile Guards
Mobile guards patrol the premises of a particular facility or campus in a vehicle. You will most commonly find mobile guards at your local mall, airport, community college, or corporate campus. Mobile guards enforce on-site road and parking rules and regulations, and they also have the responsibility to be a constant security presence that deters bad behavior and crime. Mobile guards must always be ready at a moment's notice to respond to any security incidents, requests for help, or other security concerns.
3. Armed Guards
With additional types of training and licensing for security guards, some security guards become armed guards. Armed guards, in general, are considered a higher level of security guard that is permitted to carry firearms. However, with this privilege comes much greater legal, moral, and professional responsibility. Armed guards must be fully aware of the law and must only ever use force legally and as an absolute last resort in the face of a real and present threat. Duties of an armed guard include acting as a security presence, responding to incidents, and always being ready to respond to dangerous security incidents, such as an active-shooter event. Learn more about Armed vs. Unarmed Security Guards.
4. Residential Guards
Local neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and communities also leverage security personnel. These types of guards help communities conduct neighborhood watch programs, control community access, respond to neighborhood security incidents, and function as a continual security presence to deter crime. Residential guards also regularly conduct night watch operations.
5. Industrial and Construction Guards
Manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and construction sites all have a need for ongoing security. Many of these sites store high-value products, materials, and equipment that must be secured and protected. As an industrial security guard, you are responsible for monitoring the site premises, securing tools and equipment, controlling access to the site, and monitoring the premises after hours.
6. Corporate Guards
Offices and corporate sites require ongoing security presence as well. Corporate guards generally control and manage access to facilities, function as an on-site liaison to emergency services, ensure security best practices are followed, assist employees entering and exiting the campus, and manage all security cameras, alarms, and equipment.
7. Retail Guards
Retail guards have the responsibility of preventing the theft or loss of goods in retail locations. Retail guards do this by monitoring security cameras, patrolling high-value product areas, ensuring employees are not stealing or damaging products, investigating suspicious activity in the store, and functioning as a liaison with local law enforcement when theft occurs. These guards may also be authorized to detain known thieves until law enforcement arrives.
8. Event Guards
Whenever crowds assemble, security is necessary. Large event venues in particular utilize event security guards to control access to the venue, provide pedestrian and vehicle traffic control, and function as a presence to deter bad behavior and unsafe practices that can commonly arise in crowd settings. An event security guard may also find him or herself conducting security at concerts, ball games, and conventions.
9. Executive Guards
Some VIPs and executives need private security wherever they go. Executive guards often protect the celebrity, politician, or executive from being mobbed by crowds, avoiding dangerous situations, and providing physical security. This type of guard often needs to be physically fit and have a very highly developed sense for what is happening around him or her. Some executive guards may also be trained and licensed to carry firearms.
How do you become a security guard?
In general, there are a variety of ways to become a security guard. Here are the four most paths to becoming a security guard:
- Work for a private security contractor. More than likely, there are a variety of private security businesses in your local area. These companies hire, train, and certify security professionals and then assign them to particular assignments at their various client facilities.
- Work for your local government. Local and state governments often hire security guards to provide security at courthouses, government facilities, the post office, and more.
- Work for a business or corporation. Some businesses and organizations hire their own in-house security personnel. These businesses range from manufacturers to retail locations to corporate offices.
- Become an independent security guard. In some cases, individuals hire their own independent private security. If you choose to work as an independent security guard, be sure that you fully understand all of your local requirements for security guards and that you fulfill any local business requirements (e.g. insurance, bond, etc.).
NITA provides a wide variety of affordable, online security training courses for security professionals (including Unarmed Security Training), whether you’re just starting out in your security career, looking to complete some continuing education units, or just wanting to learn more about the security profession. Explore our full range of courses today!
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