Within the next decade, the overall number of Security Guards in the United States is expected to grow by 5%, adding over 200,000 new job openings by 2024. These job prospects were described as "excellent" by the Bureau of Labor Statistics1. Security Guards are critical personnel at a range of locations in every facet of the U.S. economy, including banks, hospitals, hotels & resorts, casinos, stadiums, universities, and malls.

A Security Guard's responsibilities may differ from location to location, but generally they are responsible for protecting the location they are assigned to, enforcing the rules on the property, and preventing theft, vandalism, and other criminal activity2. Security Guards may also be responsible for controlling access to a location for employees/visitors, and writing reports detailing what they observe while patrolling. In some instances Security Guards may patrol an area directly, where in other instances they will monitor alarms or surveillance cameras from a stationary location. Many of the locations Security Guards patrol are open 24 hours a day, meaning that Security Guards will often work odd hours or around the clock.

Important skills for Security Guards to possess include decision making, patience, observation, and physical strength3. There are no required certificates to be employed as an unarmed Security Guard, though most jobs do require a high school diploma or equivalent3. There are various requirements at the state level, with most states requiring that new Security Guards register with the state, pass a background check, and complete on-the-job training. Armed Security Guards have more stringent requirements with regards to background checks, fingerprint checks, and within the hiring process, but again this will vary by state.

While not a requirement for employment, new Security Guards or those looking to break into the field can benefit from additional training offered via a vocational school, community college, or online school. Penn Foster offers a Security Guard Career Diploma designed to prepare students for an entry-level position as an unarmed Security Guard. This self-paced program provides training on key areas such as emergency procedures, report writing, effective communication & customer service techniques, threats & evacuations, and much more. Additionally, all students receive a discounted subscription to the Personal Defense Network video platform, to supplement the program.

The demand for Security Guards will continue to show strong growth in the next decade, as the profession not only offers the flexibility to work in various environments, but provides a great starting point for those interested in a Criminal Justice career path.

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Resources: Photo Credit. (1) BLS: Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance (2) BLS: What Security Guards Do (3) BLS: How to Become a Security Guard