How much do security guards make?

If you are considering starting your career as a security guard, it is important to know how much you’re going to be paid.

While many entry-level security jobs pay minimum wage, your salary will largely depend on your experience level, location, role, training, and employer.

Security guards can be employed by private or government companies, individuals, and various types of public/private property owners.

Also, there are various types of security roles, and the salaries for these roles can vary widely.

Now, having said that the average security guard salary is $35,398 per year in the US.

As a security guard, your basic duty will revolve around ensuring the safety of premises or individuals by preventing thefts, vandalism, or any other criminal behavior.

Read on to get an insight into security guard salary and related queries like the following:

What Does a Security Guard Do?

The everyday duties of a security guard can vary depending on the employer.

However, the following are some of the general security guard duties:

  • Inspecting and patrolling premises at regualr intervals
  • Monitoring property entrances and authorizing entrance of people and vehicles
  • Reporting suspicious behaviors of people around the property and recognizing potential threats
  • Monitoring surveillance cameras and responding to alarms
  • Responding to emergencies and informing police about criminal incidents

Highest Paid Security Jobs

Based on the employers, there are 3 main types of security guards:

  • Government contract security guard
  • In-house security guards
  • Contract security guards

Furthermore, a security officer’s pay will depend on whether they are armed or unarmed and remote or on-site.

Take a look at the following table to see the average salaries of various types of security guards:

Personal Protection Officers $57,569
Remote Video Surveillance Agents $54,171
Private Security Guard Salary $47129
Armed Security Guard $43,375
Unarmed Security Guard $34,103

Now, let’s take a look at the various security guard salaries based on their employers:

Police Force $62,717
CIA $52,521
Homeland Security $44,113
TSA $43,356
Courthouses $40,760
Postal Service $30,748

Also read: How to make a stellar security guard resume?

Highest Paying US States & Cities for Security Officers Jobs

As stated before, your location makes a significant difference in the security guard salary that you can earn.

This variation occurs due to many reasons like labor agreements, workforce availability, and working conditions.

For instance, the security guard salary in New York is relatively higher than the security guard salary in Florida.

Listed below are some of the US states that offer high-security guard salaries:

Hawaii $40,340
Minnesota $34,465
Washington $39,685
Alaska $40,080
California $35,454
District of Columbia $35,657
New York $33,428
Nevada $31,294

security guard salary


Check out the following highest paying US cities for security guard jobs:

New York, NY $40,963
Philadelphia, PA $37,317
Atlanta, GA $37,155
Brooklyn, NY $36,837
Phoenix, AZ $36,013

Also read: How to ask for a raise at work?

How to Earn a Higher Security Guard Salary?

As a security guard officer, there are ways you can earn more than the average salary.

Besides moving to a state with higher security guard salaries, the following are some tips that you can follow and start earning more:

Take Up Relevant Training

One of the quickest ways to increase your pay scale as a security guard is by taking basic and advanced training to improve your skills.

The more advanced training you have, the higher your pay scale.

Plus, getting trained is a great option for security guard professionals who lack experience and are just starting their careers.

This way they can make up for the lack of experience and compete better with candidates who have more experience in the field.

Also, by taking various training, you’ll have more certificates and licenses under your belt, making you more employable.

Given below are some of the best security guard training you can consider taking:

Look for the Right Employer

How much you get paid as a security guard can vary widely depending on the employer you work for.

For instance, security guards employed by parks and other recreation centers do not earn as much as guards who work for top security companies and government agencies.

You might need advanced training to be employed by such employers but it is worth the effort as you can get paid much better.

Take a look at the below-listed top companies in the US for security guard jobs:

Prosegur $40,031
GardaWorld $39,040
Summit Security Services $38,833
Security Industry Specialists, Inc. $38,608
Inter-Con Security Systems $38,490
Contemporary Services Corporation $38,371
Twin City Security $38,218
Guardian Security Services, Inc $38,141
United Security $37,986
Pacwest Security Services $37,960

Gain Experience

Like every other job profile, gaining more experience is a certified way to earn more bucks as a security guard.

Coupled with some advanced training, having rich experience in the field will not only pave the way to higher salaries but also to senior-level positions and even a career in law enforcement.

With more experience, you can take over roles like team leader, supervisor, and other executive roles that come with handsome salaries.

Also read: How to negotiate a higher salary?

Common FAQs about Security Guard Salary

How much does an armed security guard make per hour?

In the US, the median salary for an armed security officer is $17.55 per hour.

Where do armed security guards work?

Armed security guards can work in many settings - from retail stores to banks, private businesses, government facilities, and individual properties.

What is the highest paid security guard?

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a senior executive level position and one of the highest paying security jobs.

How much does private security make?

The median annual pay for a private security job is $47129 in the US.

What is the highest paid security guard?

Armed security officers earn up to 45% more than unarmed security guards. This is because armed security professionals need more training and have greater responsibilities.

How much do security guards earn in SA?

While the average security guard salary in South Africa is R 178,800 per year, experienced professionals can make up to R 1,190,700 per annum.

What state pays the highest for security guards?

The highest paying US state for security guard jobs is District of Columbia ($49,130/year).

How much does a security guard make a week?

The median weekly pay for an armed security guard in the US is $659 a week.

Also read: How to get the best security guard jobs in 2022?

Conluding Points

  • While many entry-level security jobs pay minimum wage, your salary will largely depend on your experience level, location, role, training, and employer.
  • The average security guard salary is $35,398 per year in the US.
  • The primary duty of a security guard is to ensure the safety of premises or individuals by preventing thefts, vandalism, or any other criminal behavior.
  • Personal protection officers, private security guards, and armed security guards are paid relatively higher than their counterparts.
  • Hawaii, Washington, and the District of Colombia are among the highest paying US states for security guard jobs.
  • Among others, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta are some of the best US cities for security guard jobs.
  • The best ways to earn higher security guard salaries is by taking advanced training, working for the right employer, and gaining more experience.

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