You can apply for security guard jobs at a variety of private security companies as well as private businesses looking for independent security guards. While most businesses will contract out their security work to gatehouse security guard firms, some companies will have their own security department.
For those seeking a long term career in the security industry, applying for jobs in a private security firm offers the greatest potential for career advancement. You will have the potential to move up to management positions, while entry level security guards hired independently for private businesses usually do not have much opportunity for significant advancement.
Armed Security Guard Training
In many jurisdictions, particularly jurisdictions where the carrying of firearms is extremely regulated, additional licensing may be required in order to become an armed security guard. Courses centering on weapons handling, weapons safety and use of force training will generally be required before one can apply to security guard positions that require the potential use of a firearm. Many security guard positions don’t require firearms, but for some, such as security guards protecting armored trucks or banks, it is a necessity.
Armed security jobs that require firearms often pay more, but the pay difference may not always be significant. Be sure to do your research and ask yourself whether the additional responsibility and potential danger of armed security work is worth the extra pay. In some cases, armed security guard training will be worth it, in other cases, it may not be. However, if you plan to pursue a long term career as a security professional, you will definitely need to seek armed security guard training at some point in order to advance your career.
Security Guard Salary
So what can your security guard training earn you in terms of salary? Salaries in the security industry vary greatly and will depend significantly on your jurisdiction as well as the presence or lack thereof of a union. Entry level security guards at malls, apartment buildings, or other private businesses will likely earn close to minimum wage. Bouncers, low level body guards, and armed truck drivers may earn anywhere from $15-25 an hour.
The higher salaries in the security guard industry are for those providing high-end consultancy services. Generally, these also require a higher level of skill, and may also require an ex-military or ex-law enforcement officer background. Whether it involves putting highly specialized ex-military bodyguards to protect personnel in war zones or gaining high-volume security training contracts for governments and large corporations, those with experience and an entrepreneurial mindset can make a very good career or business in the security or security training industries.