In general, armed guards have the primary responsibility to protect their employer's property against theft, vandalism, terrorism and other illegal activity. While specific duties can vary depending upon the company and location, armed guards are typically required to monitor alarms, conduct security checks and alert the proper authorities in the event of an emergency. Often they are required to monitor a property even when the business is not open to patrons.
In the event of an incident, guards typically write reports, interview witnesses for court testimony and sometimes even detain violators or assailants. Other duties greatly vary based on the venue where an armed guard works. Guards at sports stadiums may have to corral crowds of people, manage parking areas and direct traffic. In offices and retail locations, guards are typically responsible for both the protection of property and the protection of the people who occupy the space.
Armed Guard Job Education Requirements
Education requirements for armed guards can vary from one employer to another. Some companies only require a high school diploma or a GED, while others, particularly those looking to hire security supervisors, may prefer to hire applicants with a college degree in criminal justice or police science. Armed guards must also participate in weapons training, and their use of firearms and periodic testing of their skills is often required. Many employers will also train guards in their own specific protocol, such as emergency procedures, proper communication and the process of detaining suspected criminals when required. Some companies also require guards to have technical and computer skills so that they can master surveillance systems and software.
Armed Guard Job Market
By 2022, job opportunities for armed guards are projected to grow by 12 percent. Applicants who have experience with video surveillance are likely to have the best job prospects, and those with degrees in criminal justice or experience in law enforcement are also likely to have an advantage. Gaming surveillance officers are projected to see only seven percent growth in job opportunities, but as gambling becomes in more states, there will be more employment opportunities for guards who specialize in this type of surveillance.
Armed Guard Job Salary Information
The median annual wage for security guards was about $24,000 in 2012, while those who worked as security officers made, on average about $5,000 more annually. The compensation for an armed guard varies depending upon the company and the specific job requirements.