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Exploring Careers in Security: The Growing Demand for Security Guard Jobs

Security Guard Jobs In VA keep businesses, properties, events, and people safe. They patrol premises, monitor surveillance systems, and collaborate with law enforcement to respond to incidents.


They also work in healthcare, residential settings, post-secondary institutions, transportation, and industrial environments. Guards can be unarmed or armed, depending on the setting. They must be proficient in active listening, critical thinking, and problem-sensitivity.

Security guards observe their assigned area and work to detect threats to people, property and assets. This can be done by patrolling, monitoring surveillance equipment or checking in with those entering or exiting premises. Security guards also collaborate with law enforcement officers in the event of an emergency and may have to make a citizen’s arrest or act as an escort for police.

Preventive measures are also a key aspect of the role, including locking doors, securing windows and ensuring all building equipment is in good working order. The ability to communicate with customers, employees and the general public is often necessary as well. Guards can answer questions, provide directions and offer assistance, creating a safe, secure environment for those visiting a workplace or attending an event.

Patrolling is a large part of the job, and security guards may walk or drive around their assigned areas on foot or in vehicles. They monitor access points and manage visitor badges, checking ID for those who are attempting to enter. Guards also conduct safety checks to ensure fire exits are properly functioning and that all alarm systems are working as they should be.

Some positions require a security guard to carry a weapon. These roles typically require more training and specific qualifications, and are often used in settings where a level of threat exists or to protect assets that cannot be protected otherwise. For example, armed security guards are common in airports and on cruise ships.

Other jobs use the skills of unarmed security guards to maintain a safe workplace or protect sensitive information. These roles may include office buildings and corporate campuses, healthcare facilities or schools. Unarmed security guards in these environments typically focus on access control and patrolling, but may have additional responsibilities such as managing guest lists or safeguarding electronic data.

Some security guards are members of a union. This can be beneficial for them, as it allows them to have more leverage when it comes to wages and benefits. They can also get better insurance coverage and participate in training and drills to help them be prepared for emergencies and other security-related incidents.

Emergency Response

Security Guards are trained to respond quickly and appropriately in emergency situations. They are familiar with all types of hazards and threats and work closely with local law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics to ensure a cohesive response to any situation. They serve as force multipliers, providing support and information in addition to executing the details of a site’s security management plan.

The visible presence of a security guard serves as a deterrent to criminal activity and unruly behavior. The mere presence of a security officer is often enough to stop would-be burglars, shoplifters and other unwanted intruders. In cases where deterrence fails, Security Guards follow the details of a site’s security Management Plan to address incidents in progress or to report suspicious activities to authorities.

As the public face of security operations, Security Guards frequently interact with the public and are expected to have strong customer service skills. They may answer questions, provide directions or assist with ticketing at events. Guards at locations that are open to the general public, such as museums or retail spaces, also manage incoming and outgoing traffic.

One of the most important responsibilities of any Security Guard job is to be prepared for any type of incident. This includes being knowledgeable of a location’s evacuation routes and being able to clear any entryway that may be blocked during a crisis event. Regular patrols and training on each location’s potential dangers are key to this.

When a crime or accident occurs, security guards are typically the first to react. They use their keen observation to identify any anomalies and promptly notify the appropriate authorities. Their detailed recollection of the event can help authorities manage a scene efficiently until additional responders arrive.

Security Guards are also instrumental in evacuating people during emergencies like natural disasters and fires. They are trained to effectively manage crowds and guide individuals to safe zones while preventing panic or stampedes. Security Guards who work in transportation settings, such as airports, train stations and bus terminals, are especially skilled at managing passenger flow. They are also tasked with monitoring and managing cargo to prevent theft of materials and equipment.

Access Control

In many states, security guards are required to pass a background check and complete an official training program to qualify for jobs. Those who carry weapons also must undergo a rigorous gun safety and firing procedure. The minimum qualifications vary from state to state, but generally include a high school diploma or GED certificate. Guards also need to take medical, drug and physical tests depending on their employer and local law.

Access control is one of the main duties of security guards, and it includes controlling access to a private property, building or area; checking in guests and visitors at the front desk; and monitoring and responding to alarm systems. Observation is a key part of this role as well, and security officers should be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary that might indicate a threat.

Those working in transportation settings, such as airports and train stations, are also responsible for access control. Guards there oversee security checkpoints and passenger screening, manage the transportation facility’s CCTV system, patrol the premises and ensure that all employees adhere to strict safety protocols.

Security guards also often work in industrial settings, such as manufacturing plants and warehouses. Here, they monitor the entrances to prevent unauthorized entry, protect inventory and equipment from theft and ensure that all workers follow strict safety protocols.

Other duties of security guards include distributing payroll checks, assisting in fire evacuation procedures and maintaining visitor logs. Many security officers also escort staff, guests and clients to their vehicles at the end of their shifts. They also monitor the facility’s CCTV system to respond to any activated alarms and may need to call police or other emergency services if necessary.

Some security guards are unionized, and in some cases, their ranks are structured similar to a police force. For example, officers in Singapore are ranked from 1st to 5th, with promotion being based on the amount of time they have worked as a guard and how much security-related training courses they have completed. Those in other countries, such as Canada, are also often unionized and are in a specific bargaining unit with other security officers.


Security guards rely on their reporting skills to capture the specifics of incidents. Detailed incident reports serve as critical documents for legal proceedings and insurance claims, while providing a framework for enhancing security protocols.

The duties of security guards include observing and recording daily activities, as well as documenting any security-related events that occur during their shifts. This type of documentation is usually done in the form of a daily activity report, or DAR. The purpose of the DAR is to provide a firsthand account of all that happened during the security guard’s shift.

Depending on the environment, security guard jobs may require a variety of specialties to meet the unique security needs of a business. For example, airport security guards monitor the safety of airline passengers and manage access control at terminals, while hotel security guards patrol rooms and facilities, manage guest requests, and address security issues.

As part of their role, security guards are expected to collaborate with law enforcement officers during investigations. This requires a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. Security personnel must avoid making remarks, personal viewpoints, or assumptions that could compromise the integrity of a report. Rather, they should focus on describing what they observed and witnessed.

In addition to collaborating with law enforcement, security guards must adhere to security-related laws and regulations. They must also complete training and drills to ensure they have the skills needed to handle various situations. This includes addressing potential security breaches in a professional manner and adhering to heightened levels of security protocols.

As the first person to arrive on scene in an emergency, security guards must maintain a visible presence that deters wrongdoers and unruly behavior. They must be able to communicate with people in need of assistance and offer guidance. Many security guards work in crowded settings like events, where they must use their communication skills to keep crowds calm until responders arrive on the scene. This often involves interacting with guests, and may include offering information and directions. The security guard may also be responsible for completing preventive measures, such as securing doors and windows.