Opportunities for security guards and gaming surveillance officers should be favorable, although competition is expected for some higher paying jobs. Numerous job openings will stem from faster than average employment growth—driven by the demand for increased security—and from the need to replace those who leave this large occupation each year.
Employment of security guards is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will have a very large number of new jobs arise, about 152,500 over the projections decade. Concern about crime, vandalism, and terrorism continues to increase the need for security. Demand for guards also will grow as private security firms increasingly perform duties—such as providing security at public events and in residential neighborhoods—that were formerly handled by police officers. Additionally, private security firms are expected to provide more protection to facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
Employment of gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2008 and 2018, as fast as the average for all occupations. Casinos will hire more surveillance officers if more States legalize gambling or if the number of casinos increases in States where gambling is already legal. In addition, casino security forces will employ more technically trained personnel as technology becomes increasingly important in thwarting casino cheating and theft.
Job opportunities for security guards should be favorable because of growing demand for these workers and the need to replace experienced workers who leave the occupation. In addition to full-time job opportunities, the limited training requirements and flexible hours attract many people seeking part-time or second jobs. However, competition is expected for higher paying positions that require longer periods of training; these positions usually are found at facilities that require a high level of security, such as nuclear power plants or weapons installations. Applicants with prior experience in the gaming industry should enjoy the best prospects for jobs as gaming surveillance officers.
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers held 1.1 million jobs in 2008. About 55 percent of all jobs for security guards were in investigation and security services, including guard and armored car services. These organizations provide security on a contract basis, assigning their guards to buildings and other sites as needed. Most other security officers were employed directly by a wide variety of businesses and governments. Guard jobs are found throughout the country, most commonly in metropolitan areas.
Gaming surveillance officers work primarily in gambling industries; traveler accommodation, which includes casino hotels; and local government. They are employed only in those States and on those Indian reservations where gambling is legal.
A significant number of law enforcement officers work as security guards when they are off duty, in order to supplement their incomes. Often working in uniform and with the official cars assigned to them, they add a high-profile security presence to the establishment with which they have contracted. At construction sites and apartment complexes, for example, their presence often deters crime.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience maybe helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a drywall installer could benefit from experience in installing dry wall, but an inexperienced person could learn the job fairly easily.
These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job related course work. In some cases, you may need an associate's or bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.
Drywall installers, fire inspectors, flight attendants, pharmacy technicians, retail salespersons, and bank tellers.
In these occupations you can often use your knowledge and skills to help others.
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Unfortunately, no related occupation data exists for this profession.
Further information about work opportunities for guards is available from local security and guard firms and State employment service offices. Information about licensing requirements for guards may be obtained from the State licensing commission or the State police department. In States where local jurisdictions establish licensing requirements, contact a local government authority such as the sheriff, county executive, or city manager.
For more information about security careers, about the Certified Protection Professional, and for a list of colleges and universities offering security-related courses and majors, contact:
For more information related to jobs with the Transportation Security Administration, call the TSA Recruitment Center at (800) 887-1895 or (800) 887-5506 (TTY), or visit their website. Internet: http://www.tsa.gov/join/careers/careers_security_jobs.shtm
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
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