3 Types of Security Guards and What They Do

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types of security guards

What does a security guard do? The responsibilities of a security guard are the same, world around. Their job is to protect assets by monitoring, reporting, and defending against any breach of security.

But the day-to-day of those responsibilities is a small constant in a much larger scope of career options.

The Types of Security Guards

There are three main types of security officers working for private and public businesses and individuals: government, in-house, and those working contractually for private security firms.

Within those three main types, there are even more options – armed and unarmed, plainclothes or uniformed, on-site or remote. And beyond that is the wild gamut of workplaces where their skills are put to use. 

Read on to learn more about some of the main differences in the types of security guards out there and the different jobs they perform.

1. Government Contract Security Guards

These guards are contracted by the United States government and are generally armed and very highly trained. Their job is to maintain order and secure, protect, and defend government personnel and property. Government security job includes work in places such as:

  • Courthouses
  • Centers of Military Operation
  • The Police Force
  • The CIA
  • United States Postal Service
  • Dept. of Homeland Security

2. In-House Security Guards

In-house security guards are also known as proprietary security. These are professional security officers hired directly by the companies and businesses that need security. They are not contracted through an agency. In-house guards are paid by and report to the companies that hire them and operate under that company’s expectations.

Proprietary security guards have a wide array of opportunities. There are several industries that need security guards on-site or on the road to protect the company’s services or assets. Some of these include:

  • Armored Car Guards
  • Bank Security
  • Hospital and Medical Center Security
  • TSA Officers
  • Cruise Ship Security
  • Residential Protection
  • Information Security
  • Hotel and Resort Safety and Security
  • Nightclub Bouncers
  • Testing and Manufacturing Security
  • Warehouses
  • Museums
  • And more

3. Contract Security Guards

Private contract security guards are the most common type. These are the guards employed contractually by private security agencies. Clients hire the agency, which provides security in the form of whichever type of guard below best fits the client’s needs.

Some of the clients of private security agencies also have the option to hire in-house security. Many times it is simpler and more effective for them to contract out the service through a local security firm than to hire internally.

Private Security Guard Options

There are several options for businesses contracting the services of a private security agency. Most security companies will provide some or all of the security guard options below:

Armed Security Officers

Armed guards carry guns. They may also carry other potentially lethal weapons. High threat levels, such as situations involving violence or valuables, typically require armed guards. 

Many armed guards are ex-military or law enforcement officers. The expertise they gain in weapons handling and handling violent conflict make ex-military personnel and law enforcement officers excellent candidates for armed security.

The requirements for armed security guards are the most strict. These officers must have completed state-mandated firearms certification, as well as additional security training. 

Armed security officers are employed across the whole spectrum of industries. Their usefulness ranges from construction sites to concerts to conferences and far beyond.

Unarmed Security Officers

Unarmed security guards are the bread and butter of private security. Not having guns doesn’t make them less valuable. In the grand scheme of things, most people actually need unarmed security more often than not.

Low threat level jobs abound, and unarmed security guards fill those needs perfectly. Tasks for unarmed security guards include surveillance, patrolling, entry control, policy enforcement, and general crime deterrent.

Off-Duty Police

Police officers are employed for the City, State, and Municipalities. They are held to the standards of their governing body. Off-duty police officers are often commissioned to maintain security and flow of traffic at local events such as parades and festivals.

Police presence is helpful for security in public places where police presence is accepted, such as:

  • Theaters
  • Parks
  • Arenas
  • Retail Centers
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Residential Property

Off-duty police are trained in local law and may operate within the scope of their police powers within their local jurisdiction.

Personal Protection Officers

Personal protection officers, or dignitary and executive protection, are security agents assigned to the protection of one person. These agents are generally well-armed and highly trained. Their job is to physically protect high-profile and at-risk persons such as celebrities and politicians. 

Remote Video Surveillance Agents 

Remote video surveillance agents are trained to observe in exceptional detail. Their job is to know the site layout and authorized personnel. They monitor security camera footage to identify and report anything outside of the norm. 

Video monitoring is a critical element for effective security systems. Surveillance system monitoring agents may work in low-threat environments, but their attention to detail and ability to observe, communicate, and act quickly and appropriately must be top-notch.

Are you looking for a security guard? 

If you’re in the market for a security guard, you’ll likely need the services of a professional security service. Most can offer you solutions from the above choices based on your need and your budget. Why not give SMART Security Pros a call?

We’re leaders in D.C. security, serving the areas with professional armed security guards for over two decades. 

We deliver on all the private contract guard options listed above, using only off duty, retired, and prior police for armed security jobs. We can deliver for short and long-term assignments and will work with your budget and your concerns to create the security you need for you and your business.

To talk with a security professional about getting the right security solutions, call (301) 327-0701. Or you can use our online quote request tool. We look forward to hearing from you!

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