Security Guard

Patrolman, Custom Protection Officer, Security Checker, Security Officer, Security Supervisor  

Security guards patrol, secure, or monitor public transportation buildings to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. They can be required to implement defensive tactics, handle hazardous materials, and assist with emergency management, and may intervene in tense situations to de-escalate conflict. While guards may or may not be armed, knowledge of the appropriate use of force is required, as well as knowledge of public transportation security policies and procedures.

Security guards typically report to supervisors and may be employed directly by public transit agencies or hired through private firms. Besides the ability to manage stressful and emergency situations, security guards must have good skills in oral and written (report writing) communication, customer service, problem solving, and conflict management and resolution. They should have keen observation skills and be in good physical condition.

Security guards must have a high school diploma or pass the general educational development (GED) exam. Employers may prefer candidates who have worked in customer service positions, have experience in criminal justice or a related field, and have worked with customers that may become rude, uncooperative, or defensive. Many employers prefer individuals with certification from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). Many industry employers provide on-the-job training, but click on the "get qualified" tab above to see additional resources for job preparation and training, as well as available educational programs in your area.

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Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
5% - Slower than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $21,290 - $34,620    Hourly: $10 - $17

Note:  There may be opportunities for overtime work and overtime pay in this occupation.

Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

Most security guards spend considerable time on their feet, either at a single post or patrolling buildings and grounds. Some may sit for long periods behind a counter or in a guardhouse at the entrance to a gated facility or community.

Guards who work during the day may have a great deal of contact with other employees and the public.

Although the work can be routine, it can be hazardous, particularly when an altercation occurs.

Injuries and Illnesses Security guards have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Although the work is mostly routine, there can be potential dangers. As a result, guards must always be alert for threats to themselves and the people and property they are protecting.

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(Data Drawn from O*NET)

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

High School or GED (HS)
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Percent Job Growth:

5% - Slower than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $21,290 - $34,620

Hourly: $10 - $17