Security Guard vs Security Officer: What’s the difference?

Security Officer vs Security Guard

Security guards and security officers both have an important role in society. By prioritizing safety and protecting citizens, these jobs are crucial. Although some licensing departments do not make the distinction between security guards and security officers, there are a few key differences.

The Role of a Security Guard

Security guards are present in many establishments. Shopping malls, concerts and schools are just a few of the possible areas to work in. Security guards protect people and property while eliminating any possible criminal conduct on the premises.

What Does a Security Officer Do?

A security officer is similar to a security guard in the sense that they both protect private or public spaces. One of the key differences between security officers and security guards is the level of responsibility awarded to each career choice. Security guards are usually stationed in one area like an airport or a concert. This can be likened to keeping watch. A security officer has a more flexible position that allows them to take control until the police arrive.

Security Guard Training

Depending on the state you live in, security guards have different training programs. Although laws may vary, the majority of states require the guard-in-training to be at least 18 years of age with a legal right to work in the United States. Although there is a large selection of online training programs available, it’s best to check for state regulations so that the security guard training program meets all requirements needed.

Security guards that are armed are often paid more than unarmed guards. This process does take more time and training. After successfully completing all training hours and passing the program, you can be certified. Typically a training program runs approximately 20 hours.

Security Officer Training

Security guards often work underneath security officers. Since security officers have more responsibility, their training can take more time depending on the state regulations. Since security officers are required to report incidents when necessary, they are usually trained similarly to law enforcement. Security officers are often asked to have prior security experience of military background. Many people who enter this line of work are paid more than security guards due to the risk and training involved.

Security Enforcement Salaries

Different states require different levels of training and experience to become both a security guard and security officer. Although salaries can vary, the average salary for a security guard is around $28,000 per year. For both officers and guards, the location of the job can greatly affect pay. Public schools, hospitals, shopping malls and local government buildings pay significantly less than jobs securing rail transportation or performing arts.

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