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What does a Security Guard do?

A security guard patrols and inspects private and public buildings to prevent theft, fire, vandalism, acts of terrorism and other illegal acts. Depending on the security needs, security guards may work inside or outside. In some cases, they will monitor security screens watching for suspicious activity. They normally work with other security guards and the facility's employees and management.


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Working as a Security Guard

The daily duties of a security guard include:

  • Patrolling the facility and notifying maintenance of potential safety or security risks
  • Checking the credentials of visitors to the facility
  • Escorting visitors and contractors to locations within the facility
  • Detaining people caught performing illegal activities
  • Assisting emergency responders in the event of a safety or security incident
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How much does a Security Guard make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $16.73
Low $12.49
High $22.40
Non-cash benefit
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The average salary for a security guard is $16.73 per hour in the United States. 30.9k salaries reported, updated at November 25, 2023

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Where can a Security Guard earn more?

Compare salaries for Security Guards in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Security Officer

Job openings

Average $16.79 per hour

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Common questions about for a Security Guard

Is there a difference between a security guard and a security officer?

The terms "security guard" and "security officer" are often used interchangeably, but they are different. In most cases, a security guard is unarmed, whereas a security officer is normally armed. Security officers therefore tend to have more training and often supervise security guards.

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As a security guard, will I have to carry a gun?

Since security guards are often untrained in the use of fire arms, they will not normally be required to carry a gun. In many cases, the presence of a security guard is sufficient to deter people from attempting criminal activity.

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Do security guards work full time or part time hours?

Depending on the job, security guards can work either full time or part time hours. Their work schedule, however, may involve working evenings, nights and weekends according to the needs of the company.

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What are the job prospects for a security guard?

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