Security Guard Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022


A Security Guard, or Security Officer, is responsible for protecting a person, organization or asset in the case of an incident. Their duties include monitoring a specific area, evicting trespassers and writing reports detailing any occurrences during their shift.


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Security Guard duties and responsibilities

The overall duty of a Security Guard is to protect a company’s property, employees and visitors. Here are some of their typical daily responsibilities that you can include in a job description:

  • Patrolling and monitoring activities on the company’s premises regularly to discourage criminals and ensure the environment is safe and secure
  • Evicting trespassers and violators and detaining perpetrators while following legal protocols before relevant authorities arrive to take over
  • Controlling the entrance and departure of employees, visitors and vehicles according to protocols
  • Monitoring surveillance cameras to watch out for any disruptions or unlawful activities
  • Providing detailed reports on daily activities and any incidents that may have occurred to management
  • Testing security systems and, if needed, operating X-ray machines and metal detectors
  • Using provided communication devices such as two-way radios in a clear and concise manner
  • Performing CPR or first aid when needed


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Security Guard Job Description Examples

What does a Security Guard do?

Security Guards are typically employed by private individuals or businesses to protect people, property and assets. Their regular duties can vary from position to position depending on the needs of their employer, but they’re often required to physically monitor or patrol an area and ensure the safety of the people within the home or business. Some Security Guards work as part of a team, while others work independently. Security Guards can be freelancers, internal employees or contractors from a security company.


Security Guard skills and qualifications

In order to ensure the safety of a company and its assets, a Security Guard should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Excellent knowledge of security protocols
  • Ability to operate security systems and emergency equipment
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • Ability to solve problems as they arise
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to react appropriately in stressful situations


Security Guard salary expectations

A Security Guard makes an average of $12.92 per hour. This pay rate may vary depending on factors such as experience, education, certifications and additional skills.


Security Guard education and training requirements

Unlike many other professional roles, the right candidate for a Security Guard position doesn’t need to have a degree. Most employers will consider applicants with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Companies typically give priority to candidates with a certification, a Security Guard license or security training. Candidates should also be trained in first aid and self-defense. For higher-level roles, employers may look for candidates with a four-year degree in criminal justice or a related field.


Security Guard experience requirements

Candidates applying for a Security Guard role should have at least a year of work experience. Employers may prefer applicants who have worked in the police force or the army or those who have previous experience as a Security Guard, Security Officer or another similar role. Candidates should also have demonstrable experience working with security systems, be proficient in Microsoft Office and know how to write reports.


Job description samples for similar positions

If the sample above doesn’t fit your needs, see our job description templates for related positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Security Guards


What makes a good Security Guard?

Security Guards need specific training and skills to perform their jobs well. Common qualities for excellent Security Guards include: 

  • Awareness: Noticing unusual behaviors, changes in the building or other discrepancies in their specific area is vital as a Security Guard.
  • Physical fitness: Sometimes, Security Guards may need to follow or chase intruders or trespassers from their building or area. Physical fitness is key for good Security Guards. 
  • Communication: Excellent Security Guards write and share thorough reports of their time on duty with their employers. 
  • Honesty: Since most Security Guards work autonomously with little direct management or oversight, honesty and trustworthiness are absolutely necessary. 
  • Autonomy: Security Guards should be motivated to work independently and without constant monitoring or supervision.


What's the difference between a Security Guard and a Security Escort?

While Security Guards and Security Escorts may perform many of the same tasks in the course of their work, there are some key differences between these two roles. Security Guards are usually assigned to stationary locations, like a home, office or outdoor space. They patrol their set area and ensure the people and assets within the area are safe. Security Escorts, by contrast, travel with a person, party or asset to ensure safe arrival at the destination. Security Escorts can travel via any form of transportation, but they’re usually in charge of keeping a specific person or item safe rather than an entire area during the course of their travel. 


What are the daily duties of a Security Guard?

Security Guards may have a variety of responsibilities throughout the day. Those duties can differ substantially depending on the specifics of their assignment. For a Security Guard assigned to a business, like a jewelry store, they’ll likely spend the majority of their shift patrolling the perimeter of the store, checking in with the employees as needed and surveilling suspicious visitors. Security Guards working a large event like a concert or party will likely perform extensive patrolling, remove any belligerent attendees from the event and ensure they report any incidents to the event producers. 


Who does a Security Guard report to?

Who a Security Guard reports to often depends on the specifics of their employment. Security Guards who are internal employees for a company will usually report directly to a designated internal manager. Security Guards who are freelancers for single events or activities will usually report to the organizer of the event. Security Guards who are contracted out from a security company will report to both a designated employee with the contracting company and a designated manager with their hiring company. 

Job Description Examples

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