Security Guards


What is a Security Guard?

A Security Guard or Security Officer is usually a privately employed person who is paid to protect property and/or people. Security guards are responsible for protecting property by maintaining a high visibility presence.

While on the job, they are responsible for observing, either directly, through patrols or by watching alarm systems or video cameras) for signs of crime, fire, or disorder. In addition, they work to deter illegal and/or inappropriate actions in their assigned area of responsibility. If they notice inappropriate activity, they are responsible for taking action and reporting the incident to their client or law enforcement if necessary.

Security personnel are either hired as individuals or as independent contractors or employees of a company.

Equipment Used by Security Guards

The types of equipment and tools that a security guard needs will vary depending on several factors, such as the requirements of individual security companies, the physical environment, the weather, the level of danger, the specific assignment, and others. Following is a list of the equipment that personnel may carry in the line of duty:

  • Uniform – This helps others to identify security personnel. Also, it helps those who need assistance know whom to ask for help. Of course, the specifics of the uniform vary based on the individual company—for example, a branded shirt, matching pants, etc. In addition, the uniform may include a hat, utility belt, and appropriate shoes.
  • Radio – Mainly, security personnel use radios to communicate with a centralized dispatch. Also, they may use radios to speak with the main office and other personnel.
  • Flashlight – In some cases, guards use flashlights to illuminate dark areas. Also, a flashlight can serve as a weapon if necessary.
  • Mobile phone – Used to contact other personnel, the main office, or call the police, if necessary.
  • Computer, laptop, or tablet – To record information, monitor video or camera equipment, file reports, look up information, etc.

Individuals in this industry use many of the same tools and equipment law enforcement officers use.

Weapons Used

Depending on the assignment and with the appropriate license, a guard may carry a weapon to protect themselves and others. For example, the types of weapons may include:

  • A firearm, usually something easy to carry like a pistol/handgun
  • A baton or nightstick
  • Pepper spray or mace
  • A stun gun

For more detailed information on the nature of the work, see the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook on Security Guards.  The handbook describes the nature of the work performed by security professionals, the job outlook, information on training and advancement, how much a security guard earns, and more.

Security Guard Books

Following is a list of books related to the profession. Learn how to start a career as a security guard, where to get education and training, and how to find a job.

Private investigators with law enforcement or military experience often provide their clients with security and personal protection services. Private Investigators often serve as bodyguards or security consultants due to their experience and knowledge in security-related fields.

If you’re interested in starting your own company or at least offering this service to your clients, use the following books to learn how to get started with a career in the security field. In addition, you’ll pick up tips on how to get the necessary training and development you need to find a job. Also, you’ll learn about the various types of positions and careers available, such as bank security guard, armored car driver, prison guard or corrections security, neighborhood security officer, bouncer, and more.

List of Books

Following is a short list of security guard books if you would like to learn more:

Security Guard Training Manual: The American Security Guard
This book covers general topics related to security guard training, such as first aid, emergency procedures, how to handle bomb threats, patrolling techniques, how to evacuate a building, observation techniques, and much more. The book is used in many states as a training guide for new students.
Practical Security Training
Practical Security Training is a book designed to help business and corporate security departments to develop an effective force of security personnel. It is geared more toward those needing to set up a security department rather than the individual. The book includes information on screening applicants, security training and education programs, case studies, drill practice, emergency training, and more. Buy it on

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about becoming a security guard, please visit one of the websites above, or post a comment below.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


  1. Thanks for explaining that a security guard may require specific equipment based on their situation. My brother is interested in opening a jewelry store and wants to discourage people from stealing from his display case when the store closes, but he needs someone that can work in the dark so that he can conserve energy. Maybe he should find a security guard that will know what equipment should be used for the job.


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