Your Guide to the Most Common Types of Security Guards

Are you considering a career as a security guard? Are you a business owner who is concerned about the safety of your employees and property? No matter if you are looking to start your career in security or hire a professional security company, it is helpful to know the common types of security guards and the various options available to you. 

Security guards can work in a wide variety of industries and can possess a range of skills. In general, guards act to deter threats, detect suspicious behavior, prevent crime and report criminal incidents to the appropriate authorities. Guards have the training and experience to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a threat. They are skilled at de-escalating tense and potentially dangerous people and situations, while still employing keen customer service skills to deal with the public.  

With all of the options available within the industry, prospective security guards and businesses looking to hire a security guard company have to do their research. This guide will briefly describe the most common types of security guards and their typical duties. At Off Duty Officers, we have been providing highly skilled and experienced security guards for over 25 years. If you have questions about security guards, give our team a call to learn more about the services we offer or how to join our team. 

The Different Types of Security Guards  

Armed Guards 

Armed guards carry firearms or other weapons and require more training than an unarmed guard. They are typically hired to work in high-risk environments and in locations that house valuable assets. Because of the presence of firearms, armed guards are usually a more expensive option for business owners. 

Unarmed Guards 

Unarmed guards are effective at deterring would-be criminals and acting fast in the face of an emergency. They may only carry non-lethal weapons. Unarmed guards do not require as much training as armed guards, so many businesses owners find unarmed guards to be an effective and more affordable security solution. 

Mobile Patrol 

Compared to a stationary guard who may be posted in a specific location, mobile security guards patrol their assigned areas on foot or by vehicle. Mobile patrols are effective at monitoring for crime and detecting changes in the environment that could leave a business or property at risk. 

Residential Guards 

Residential guards can be employed by apartment complexes, gated communities, HOAs and private homeowners. The primary duty of residential security guards is to protect people and property from theft, vandalism and bodily harm. They can also manage access to properties, perform mobile patrols and coordinate with law or fire agencies in a security situation. 

Fire Watch Protection 

Sometimes required by the Fire Marshal, fire watch security is deployed in the event that a business has experienced a malfunctioning fire alarm or sprinkler system. Fire watch guards will monitor for signs of a fire, identify fire hazards, assist in evacuations and liaise with the fire department. 

Construction Security 

Construction site security professionals ensure that valuable equipment and materials are protected from theft and vandalism. They also monitor entry points to ensure that only authorized people are on site. Construction site guards are often required to work after hours. 

Corporate Event Security 

Corporate events such as shareholder meetings, product launches, trade shows and conventions employ security guards to keep people safe and secure. They can manage disruptions and unruly attendees, check identification and credentials at entrances and communicate with law enforcement during and after an incident. 

Workplace Violence Guards 

Security guards can help businesses mitigate threats during large-scale layoffs, terminations and company-wide meetings or events. Professional workplace violence security guards are trained in techniques to identify potentially violent individuals and situations, and deter threats to keep employees and customers safe. 

Retail Security 

Retail security guards are one of the most effective ways for businesses to reduce theft. The presence of a uniformed guard alone is often all that is needed to deter someone from attempting their crime. Retail security guards can also monitor for suspicious behavior, employee theft and vandalism. 

VIP and Executive Protection

Celebrities, executives and other high-profile individuals employ professional VIP security guards to protect them from overzealous fans or dangerous people who wish to do them harm. These guards are highly trained to spot potential threats and act quickly to protect their clients from harassment, violence and other crimes. 

Learn More About the Security Guards at Off Duty Officers 

This guide gives you an overview of the most common types of security guards and how they can protect their clients. However, there is much more to learn if you are considering a career in the security industry or if you are looking to hire Off Duty Officers to provide your business with professional, experienced security personnel. 

For more information, check out these two resources that you may find helpful as you begin your research:  How to Get a Security Guard Job and Is It Time to Hire Security Guards for Your Business.

The security specialists at Off Duty Officers are always available to answer your questions. If you think you need security services, call us for a quote. As a leader in security guard services nationwide, thousands of business owners have trusted their security to us. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

How to Get a Security Guard Job

The need for men and women with security skills is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the security guard industry in the United States is expected to grow by 5% through 2024. Customers across a wide variety of industries continue to rely on professional, licensed security guards to protect their most valuable people and business assets.

With the exciting growth of the industry and the continued need for security guard services, many people are interested in beginning a career as a security guard. The field offers a great deal of variety – security guards can be found monitoring access to a massive construction site, de-escalating rowdy crowds at a football game or deterring thieves from ransacking homes in a residential community. Many people are drawn to security jobs because they often offer a mix of danger and adventure with the satisfaction of knowing that they have protected people and property from harm. 

However, it can be confusing to understand the requirements and education required to become a certified security professional. Training requirements vary from state to state and from security company to security company. For those who are interested in entering the profession, it is critical that they have knowledge of the basic requirements, training and continuing education required to build their security guard résumés and successful careers. 

How to Get Your First Security Guard Position

Review the Basic Requirements 

To be considered for a security guard license in your state, you must meet some basic requirements. Although they vary from state to state, the requirements are generally consistent across the country. Some of the considerations in order to apply for a security guard license include:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must pass a background investigation.
  • You must obtain a fingerprint scan.
  • You may need to submit to drug testing.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • You must complete the security guard training requirements for your state.

If you are not sure what is required by your state or municipality, contact your state licensing board for specific information related to the basic requirements and training needs. You may also choose to contact local security guard companies to research the licensing and training rules in your area.

Complete an Accredited Training Program 

To become certified, candidates must complete a security guard training program. The hours required and the format of the classes may vary from state to state. However, most training programs include an initial 8-hour class that covers some foundational security skills. Following these eight hours, most training programs include some combination of security classes, physical training classes or on-the-job training that total approximately 40 hours.

Many people these days choose to complete their training online rather than attend an in-person course. While this is common, it is important to do your research to make sure that your training program is accredited in your state and provides the training you need to receive your license and obtain a job.

A typical security guard training program will cover a variety of topics that security guards working in most positions will need to be successful in their roles. Some of the topics and skills covered generally include:

  • Power to arrest
  • De-escalation tactics
  • Identifying suspicious behavior
  • Restraining dangerous individuals
  • Understanding the laws protecting people and property
  • Terrorism prevention
  • Public relations and communication
  • Anti-discrimination training

Other additional training may be required based on the unique requests of the security guard company that hires a candidate. Many prospective security guards who wish to fulfill certain specialized security roles may see the need to obtain additional certifications. For example, armed guards will need to acquire the proper certifications to carry and use firearms. Other security guards may deem it beneficial to become certified in CPR and other basic life-saving techniques.

Apply for Security Guard Positions 

Once a candidate obtains the appropriate license for their state, they can then begin to apply for security guard positions. There are a wide variety of security jobs out there, with more and more becoming available every day. Like in any other profession, it is encouraged for new security guards to consider their ideal career path within the profession. 

If there is a specific specialty that interests you, develop a plan to obtain the skills and certifications you may need for those roles. If you are considering a career in law enforcement, choose positions and educational opportunities, such as a criminal justice degree, to put yourself in the best position for success.

Start Your Career in the Security Industry

Although this is a general overview of the requirements and training needed for the majority of potential security guards, it is still important to research the standards for your state. At Off Duty Officers, we have been hiring some of the most well-trained and highly-professional security guards since 1993. We require our guards to be licensed and we provide extensive continuing education for our guards that far exceeds our competitors.

If you are considering a career as a security guard, we encourage you to do your research into the accredited training programs near you. When you are ready for a fulfilling career with one of the leaders in the field, complete our initial application on our website and one of our security specialists will review your information right away and contact you if you are the right fit. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

The Top 5 Duties of Security Guards

Are you looking for a career change? Do you want to protect people and property from harm? You might want to consider a career as a professional security guard. Security guards play an important role in protecting the things that matter most. Guards can be found in retail establishments, construction sites, hospitals or guarding VIPs and high-profile executives. 

If you are thinking about a career in the security field, you most likely have a number of questions about the typical duties and responsibilities of security guards. The truth is that the specific duties vary depending on the needs of the customer. In general, security guards act as a deterrent. Their job is to prevent a crime from happening by proactively watching for suspicious behavior, mitigating risks as they appear and contacting the proper authorities when an incident occurs. Simply put, security guards keep people, property and other valuable assets safe and secure. 

The Top Duties of Security Personnel 

Security guards can take on a variety of roles depending upon the needs of the customer. Off Duty Officers provides some of the most professional security guard services for customers in a wide range of industries and for a variety of security needs. We specialize in the following security solutions: 

  • Fire Watch 
  • Armed and Unarmed Guards
  • Workplace Violence
  • Corporate Events
  • Executive Protection
  • VIP and Personal Security 
  • Trade Show Security
  • Residential Security
  • Retail Security 
  • Mobile Patrols 
  • Temporary Security Personnel 
  • Construction Site Security

Many retired or off-duty law enforcement and military personnel find a career as a security guard challenging and fulfilling. Let’s explore 5 of the top roles and responsibilities of security guards. 

5 Top Responsibilities of Security Personnel

Be a visible deterrent to crime. 

Criminals are far less likely to perpetrate a crime such as theft, vandalism or a physical assault when there is a security guard present. The mere presence of security personnel will stop would-be burglars, muggers and shoplifters from attempting to cause harm to people or property. 

Identifying suspicious behavior.

While your employees are busy doing their jobs, criminals could be at work doing their jobs. Businesses benefit greatly from having a dedicated team keeping watch and identifying irregular and suspicious behavior. Business owners cannot expect their employees to have the skills to identify when something isn’t right. Security guards have the training and expertise to identify when there is a smell, sound or sight that is abnormal and needs attention.  

Contacting and communicating with the authorities.

In the unfortunate event of an emergency situation, security guards act as a knowledgeable resource and point of contact for the authorities. Security guards are trained to observe and gather the information that fire or law enforcement authorities need to do their jobs. Security guards act as partners with business owners, police and fire services.

Monitoring access to properties. 

One of the most prevalent threats for businesses is unauthorized access to a property. Hospitals, construction sites, schools and other high-profile organizations understand the need for vigilant monitoring of their entrances and exits. Security guards can check credentials and maintain logs of visitors, vendors and employees. 

Taking action in emergency situations. 

Security guards have the skills and training to respond to any emergency as it arises. As a dedicated watchful eye, security personnel are often the first to know about a security situation and the first to act. They are able to assist in evacuations and other serious security events. 

Do You Want to Become a Security Guard? 

If you think you want to be a security guard, it’s important to know the primary roles and responsibilities of security personnel to determine if it’s the right fit for you. Businesses across all industries are hiring professional security personnel to help protect their most valuable assets. Guards are trained to know how to handle any variety of situations and react appropriately to the needs of any business.

Since 1993, Off Duty Officers has been the nation’s leading provider of off-duty law enforcement and military personnel to businesses in industries including healthcare, technology, construction and entertainment. A career in security is fulfilling, challenging and ever-changing. Although we just touched upon some of the primary duties of security guards, the job can offer an endless number of responsibilities for those who want to serve and protect. 

If you are interested in starting a career with Off Duty Officers, provide us with your information and we will contact all qualified candidates. We look forward to hearing from you! 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

Protecting Your Employees is Good Business

If you are a business owner or manager, you have plenty of things on your mind. Is the safety and security of your employees on the list? The best employers know that creating a secure work environment for their staff is critical to the success of their businesses. When employees can work without fear of a security threat, they will naturally be more productive, satisfied and committed to their work and your business. 

Employees across all industries want to feel safe at their workplaces. Each and every day, millions of Americans go to work in commercial buildings, office parks and retail establishments. Staff, customers, vendors and visitors may come in and out of buildings throughout the day and even after hours. With so much activity, it can be next to impossible to mitigate potential safety threats without the help of a dedicated security team.

Unfortunately, it seems like we hear about mass shootings and other violent workplace attacks at businesses, schools and places of worship all the time. Responsible employers need to take measures to provide a safe and secure workplace for their employees, no matter their industry or the size of their business. 

What can employers do to protect their employees? 

Whether you think your business is a target or not, it is necessary to protect your people from internal and external threats to their safety. The threats can vary from business to business, depending on factors including: 

  • Visibility of the company and its leadership
  • Presence of high-value merchandise or equipment
  • Geographic location 
  • Number and location of entry points 
  • Use of hazardous materials 
  • Size of the building 
  • Number of shifts throughout the day

It is valuable for any business owner to perform a security audit. This may be done in-house or through a reputable security company who has ample experience assessing risks. The audit process can help those responsible identify blind spots in their current security programs and realize where they need to make improvements. 

Provide Adequate Employee Training 

When an unexpected security threat occurs, you want your employees to be ready. They should receive regular training to prepare them for anything, from fires to active shooter situations. Employees should be familiar with escape and evacuation routes and know how to access emergency fire and medical equipment. 

Company security policies should be posted where employees can easily find them. Develop and enforce security procedures that protect employees who leave late at night or early in the morning. Taking a strong stance on security from the start can help give your employees peace of mind in the event of a threat. 

Consider Security Technology 

Many businesses choose to invest in technology such as security cameras to act as an additional set of eyes on the property. Cameras can be especially useful for large complexes and in parking lots and garages. If your business is open late into the evening, cameras can deter thieves from hassling your employees and give your staff confidence that they are protected. 

Hire Professional Security Guards 

Professional security guards from a reputable security company are one of the most effective ways to protect your employees. Guards are able to handle a wide range of security threats and have the training to act quickly in stressful situations. They have specialized skills that allow them to identify suspicious behavior and take the necessary actions to protect people and property. 

When you have a dedicated security guard team on the premises, you can feel confident knowing that there is always someone looking out for threats. Mobile patrols and unarmed and armed guards are on constant watch for anything out of the ordinary and can contact law enforcement right away if needed. 

Trained, professional security guards at your place of business can provide a number of valuable security benefits for your employees including:  

  • Monitoring vendors 
  • Checking ID badges and credentials 
  • Logging visitors 
  • Identifying suspicious activity 
  • Checking security cameras
  • Performing fire watch
  • Assisting with evacuations

Security Guards Protect Your Employees

If you think you need security guards for your business, you probably do. The safety and security of your business assets, including your employees, is something that cannot be taken lightly. Business owners understand the importance of providing a work environment that fosters feelings of safety, productivity and loyalty. 

Off Duty Officers has been providing businesses like yours with the highest caliber of security guards to protect their employees for over 25 years. When your people matter, you need a security company with a reputation for quality, reliability and professionalism that is unmatched across the industry. 

Contact our security specialists today to learn more about how Off Duty Officers can create custom security solutions for your business. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

Would Your Business Benefit From Unarmed Guards?

Many business owners share the same concern - the security of their businesses. Both the physical safety of their people and property and the cybersecurity of their intellectual property are priorities for the success of the business. When it comes to providing physical protection, smart business owners know the importance of taking measures to prevent threats even before they occur. 

Unarmed security guards are one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from the most common threats that businesses face. From theft and vandalism to workplace violence, having a strong security presence is proven to deter criminals from even attempting to target your business. At Off Duty Officers, we help business owners like yourself provide professional and highly trained unarmed security guards to aid in the protection of their most important assets. 

When choosing the best security options for your business, it is critical that you assess the greatest threats that your business faces. Many business owners erroneously think that armed security guards are the only effective protection. While in some cases this may be true, for many businesses unarmed security guards provide more than adequate protection from their most pressing security issues. 

If you are unsure which security guard options would best meet your needs, contact the security specialists at Off Duty Officers. Our team can help you assess your security threats and suggest the most cost-effective options for your unique business needs. 

Benefits of Unarmed Security Guards

Unarmed guards are highly skilled security professionals who provide many benefits to businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Simply the presence of a security guard can significantly reduce the probability of a violent criminal act and increase feelings of security for the staff, customers and visitors to your business. 

As a business owner or manager who is responsible for the security of a property, it is critical that you consider the many benefits of unarmed security guards. Although there are many advantages to hiring unarmed guards, we will discuss two of the primary benefits here.   

The presence of a dedicated security detail reduces risk.  

Gone are the days when you can rely on in-house security to mitigate your risks. Too often businesses don’t learn about security threats until it’s too late. Cameras and security technology, while valuable for protecting your business, can still leave you vulnerable to certain threats. With the state of the world today, it is vital that businesses take security seriously by having a well-trained and professional security detail on the premises. 

Unarmed security guards at your business have one job and one job only – to protect your business. Guards not only deter crime by being present on the property, but they can also watch for suspicious activity to prevent a crime from occurring in the first place. Unarmed guards are especially effective at managing your entry points to prevent the theft of valuable property and to ensure that unauthorized visitors do not gain access. 

An effective security solution at a more affordable rate. 

With unarmed security guards, you get the protection you want at a lower price tag. Armed guards are typically a more expensive security solution, an added expense and more force than many businesses need. Armed security guards require special licenses and training in order to carry and use firearms, all of which costs more for your business. 

Plus, the mere presence of a firearm on the premises increases the potential for a serious injury or even death to occur on your property. This may increase your insurance costs in addition to the higher costs of the guards themselves. 

Leading Provider of Unarmed Guards Nationwide 

For many businesses, unarmed security guards are a key component of their security programs. Not only do they deter crime and mitigate risks, but unarmed guards are also a more affordable way for businesses to protect what matters most. 

Since 1993, Off Duty Officers has been the premier provider of unarmed guards nationwide. Our experience and the rigorous training of our guards means that you get some of the best security solutions available today. We have a reputation for delivering high quality, reliable service for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. 

When you need unarmed security personnel for your business, contact Off Duty Officers to talk with one of our security specialists and to obtain an instant quote. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.