I’m a big hit with guards at security. They’re the center of my fan base, the airport security guards.

Megan Mullally, Actress

Pros and Cons of Working as a Security Guard

advantages and disadvantages of being a security guard

You think about becoming a security guard but are not entirely sure whether this is the right career path for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a security guard in the following chapters.

Security Guard Job Profile

Job DescriptionSecurity guards protect people and buildings from intruders that try to get close to them.
Salary$37,000 per year on average, most security officers make between $29,000 and $48,000 per year.
Job SecurityRather low since security officers are easily replaceable.
Job SatisfactionPoor since you will have to work at nighttime quite often.
Work-Life BalanceDecent since you will not work that many hours as a security guard on average.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Can be mentally and emotionally demanding.
Future OutlookPoor since many jobs will vanish in the security business.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements. Completing high school will often be enough.

Advantages of Being a Security Guard

  1. Security guards can work rather independently
  2. You can avoid working in classical office jobs
  3. You can start your own security business
  4. Security officers learn how to protect their own home
  5. Security inspectors don’t need a college degree
  6. You can avoid student loan debt
  7. Security guards can become independent rather soon
  8. Working as a security guard is not that stressful
  9. You don’t have to work many extra hours
  10. You get a lot of fresh air
  11. You may be able to work for many celebrities
  12. You may be attractive in the dating market

Security guards can work rather independently

One advantage of being a security guard is that you can work quite independently.

Sure, you will also have to comply with the rules and values of the company you work for.

However, while many people have a boss who looks over their shoulder all day long, you will be able to do your work like you want it to be and as long as you do a good job, you will be able to enjoy a high level of freedom at work.

This is especially true once you become more experienced and your clients will trust you blindly.

You can avoid working in classical office jobs

As a security guard, you will also not have to work in classical office environments.

While some people like working in an office and staring at a computer screen all day long, many others don’t like those artificial work environments at all.

Moreover, office workers also often suffer from overweight and a lack of fitness, which may translate into serious health issues sooner or later.

In contrast, you as a security guard will get much more exercise and your risk to suffer from the issues mentioned before tends to be significantly lower.

You can start your own security business

Becoming a security officer can also make quite a lot of sense for you in case you dream about starting your own business sooner or later.

In fact, it is relatively easy to start your own security business since you will not have to invest large sums of money on machines and so on.

Instead, you can just start your business as a one-man show, make some money and get some employees later on down the road.

Of course, you could also just work as an employed security guard for a few years, gain some experience, save some money and quit your job and start your own business afterward.

Security officers learn how to protect their own home

Another benefit of working as a security officer is that you will also learn how to protect your own home.

In fact, you will have to protect the homes of many different people during your active career and this enables you to gain plenty of knowledge regarding what measures work and what things don’t keep away burglars.

In turn, you can minimize the risk of burglaries at your own home and you will also learn how to protect yourself against intruders in a physical manner in case there might be the need to do so.

Consequently, due to your extensive knowledge in this field, chances are that you will feel much safer and much more confident in general since you know that you can defend yourself in case of emergency.

Security inspectors don’t need a college degree

Another upside to becoming a security guard is that you will also not need any fancy education.

In fact, getting a high school diploma will be enough for becoming a watchman in most regions of our planet.

Sure, some companies also require you to get additional certificates.

However, it is relatively easy to get those certificates compared to going to college for many years and this means that you will be able to work as a security guard at a rather young age when many of your friends will not make any money at all.

You can avoid student loan debt

Since there will be no need to go to college if you want to become a security guard, you will also not have to spend lots of money on tuition and other costs related to college and this also means that you don’t have to take on lots of student loan debt.

Consequently, while many other young people have to pay off these student loans once they get out of college, you will be the one who will enjoy more financial freedom since you will not have to pay back anything and can rather use your money for other things.

Security guards can become independent rather soon

Since you can earn money right after finishing high school, you will also be able to become independent of your parents at a quite young age as a security officer.

This can be pretty important, especially if you don’t have a good relationship with your parents and want to get out of their house as soon as possible.

Working as a security guard is not that stressful

Another advantage of working as a security officer is that you will also not have to deal with lots of stress at work.

Sure, from time to time, you may have stressful periods, especially when you have to defend your clients from confused people who try to get close to them.

However, most of your workday will still be rather relaxed and you will also just wait for a long time until anything important happens.

You don’t have to work many extra hours

Security inspectors usually also don’t have to work more than 40 hours per week.

In fact, most protective agents work even fewer hours and this means that you will have plenty of time to spend with your family or to meet up with your favorite people.

In fact, your work-life balance will be pretty decent as a security officer, even though you may have to work in the evening quite often, which can become a little bit annoying in the long run.

You get a lot of fresh air

Since you will work outdoors on a regular basis, you will also get lots of fresh air as a security officer.

While many other people who work in office environments will stay indoors for almost all of their workday, you can avoid those artificial environments and rather enjoy the sun.

Of course, working outdoors is not always pleasant, especially when it rains or snows outside.

However, during good weather, it can be really pleasant to spend your workday outdoors instead of having to work on silly presentations nobody actually needs.

You may be able to work for many celebrities

If you are really good at what you are doing and are able to build a strong reputation in this field, you may also be responsible for protecting renowned celebrities.

Yes, it will be a long way to go until you get to this stage.

However, nothing is impossible and if you are willing to work hard and are also smart enough to build a strong brand, you may be able to work for famous and influential people from many different industries.

You may be attractive in the dating market

Security guards are also quite attractive to the opposite sex.

In fact, many women love to date people who work in the security business since they want to feel safe in their daily life.

Hence, you will almost have freedom of choice regarding whom you want to date if you work in this field.

As you can see, there are definitely many advantages of working as a protective agent.

However, there are also many downsides that come along with a career in the security business that I want to discuss for you in the following.

Disadvantages of Working as a Security Officer

  1. Security inspectors can’t work from home
  2. You will not make that much money
  3. Many protective agents need a second job
  4. Old-age poverty may become a problem
  5. You may not be able to afford proper health insurance
  6. You will have to work at nighttime quite often
  7. Many security officers suffer from sleeping problems
  8. Only few mistakes can ruin your career
  9. You have to be flexible as a security guard
  10. Working as a security guard can be risky
  11. You have to stay fit as a security guard
  12. Rather low social status of security guards
  13. Security guards often have to work outdoors
  14. Rather limited promotion options
  15. Poor job security
  16. Many jobs will vanish in this industry quite soon
  17. You may get bored with it in the long run
  18. Hard to get out of the security industry

Security inspectors can’t work from home

One downside to working as a security guard is that you will not be able to work remotely.

Instead, you will have to be present at your workplace in person and this means that you will not be as flexible as a person who can work from home.

Moreover, you will also have to spend lots of time and money commuting while other people who use teleworking models will not have to deal with these annoying issues.

You will not make that much money

You should also not expect to make good money as a security guard.

In fact, most security offers only earn poor money and are barely able to pay their bills.

In turn, they will also not be able to afford any luxury and in case money is really important to you, you should definitely not become a security officer but rather go for a medical or financial career instead.

Many protective agents need a second job

Especially if you live in a region where living costs are quite high, you may even need a second job to survive.

If you have to spend more than one thousand dollars a month on rent, your income from your security job will just not be enough to cover all other basic costs and you will therefore have to work in a second job to pay our bills.

This can be really annoying since you will barely have any leisure at all but rather have to hustle all day long while still not being able to afford any luxury at all.

Old-age poverty may become a problem

Due to your poor salary, you may also not be able to save and invest enough money for retirement.

Consequently, once you get older and are no longer able to work, you may not have enough funds to pay rent and other basic expenses.

In the worst case, you may even end up homeless in the streets since your landlord may just evict you in case you can’t pay your rent anymore.

This is not a nice situation at all and if you want to make sure not having to deal with these issues, you should rather go for a career where you can make more money instead of becoming a security guard.

You may not be able to afford proper health insurance

Many security guards are also not able to get proper health insurance.

In fact, many people who work in this field just don’t make enough money to afford solid health insurance plans and in case of medical emergency, those people will often not be able to afford expensive medical treatment and their life expectancy will therefore below average.

You will have to work at nighttime quite often

Another problem with being a security guard is that you will also have to work at nighttime quite often.

While other people sleep, you have to stay awake and make sure that burglars are not able to enter your clients’ buildings.

While some people like to work during those extreme hours, others don’t like it at all and if you belong to the second group of people who just want to sleep at night, chances are that you would be better off by just going for different job options instead.

Many security officers suffer from sleeping problems

Since security officers have to work at nighttime quite often, chances are that many of them also suffer from serious sleeping issues.

In fact, working during those unpleasant hours can destroy your natural sleeping rhythm and this means that you will just not get as much healthy sleep as someone who works at daytime and sleeps at night.

Consequently, you will also often feel tired and will also become more vulnerable to health problems since you will confuse your body and your brain in the long run.

Only few mistakes can ruin your career

Another downside to working as a security officer is that only one big mistake can ruin your whole career.

In fact, if you don’t do your job well for just a single day, unpleasant things might happen which can destroy your reputation in the security industry forever.

You have to be flexible as a security guard

You also need a high level of flexibility in the security industry.

Quite often, the plans of your clients change and you therefore have to change your schedule as well.

You may also have to react rather spontaneously quite often and if you are a person who rather loves working with rigid schedules and always wants to know what you have to do many days or even weeks ahead, chances are that you will be better off working in a different field instead of becoming a security guard.

Working as a security guard can be risky

You should also not underestimate the risk that comes along with working in the security industry.

In fact, you will be one of the first targets of intruders that needs to be eliminated and this means that you will have a much higher risk at work compared to the average person.

Sure, nothing bad will happen most of the time. However, there is still a significant risk involved in your job and you should make sure that you are willing to take on this risk before you decide for becoming a security officer.

You have to stay fit as a security guard

You will also only be able to protect your clients if you stay fit.

This means that you will have to go to the gym or work out in a different way on a regular basis.

In turn, this also implies that you have to do additional work after your actual work has been done and while many other people out there enjoy a nice drink after work, you will just not be able to do so to stay in shape.

Rather low social status of security guards

Another issue with becoming a security officer is that you will also have a rather low social status.

While your clients will appreciate your work, many other people will just belittle what you are doing for a living and some people will even make fun of you.

Hence, make sure that you are emotionally stable enough to deal with snarky comments in this regard before you decide for a career in the security business.

Security guards often have to work outdoors

As a security guard, you will also have to work outdoors quite often.

While some people like working outdoors and it can indeed be pleasant during times of good weather, it can also be really annoying in cold periods of the year.

Consequently, while many other people who work in office jobs will enjoy the privilege of working indoors, you as a security officer will often have to work outdoors during periods of extreme heat or during heavy rain or snow.

Rather limited promotion options

Security guards also don’t have many promotion opportunities.

This means that you will do the same things for many years or even decades without the option of getting to a higher position anytime soon.

This can be really frustrating and many people who work in this field lose motivation due to that sooner or later.

Poor job security

You will also be easily replaceable as a security guard.

In fact, almost everyone can do this job and if someone comes along who is better or demands less money, chances are that you will get fired from one day to the other.

Many jobs will vanish in this industry quite soon

Not only will your job prospects be pretty poor right now, but it may get even worse in the near future.

In fact, many jobs in this industry will vanish pretty soon since people will be replaced by intelligent machines that will be able to do the job much better and also much cheaper in the long run.

Consequently, if you want to have a safe job, you should not become a security guard but rather go for industries where humans are not replaceable that easily.

You may get bored with it in the long run

Since you will just wait for something to happen for most of your workday, you may also get pretty bored with your job as a security officer.

In turn, your motivation may drop substantially over the years and you may just secretly wish to work in a different industry instead.

Hard to get out of the security industry

Once you become a security officer, it will also not be easy to change fields anymore.

Since you will not learn many skills that are valuable in the job market, you may get stuck in the security business for quite a long time and you should therefore make sure that you have a passion for this industry to avoid any issues in this regard.

Top 10 Being a Security Guard Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Security Guard ProsBeing a Security Guard Cons
Security guards can work independentlySecurity guards don’t make good money
You learn how to protect yourselfYou may need a second job
You can start your own security businessOld-age poverty may become an issue
Security officers don’t work many hoursRather low social status of security officers
You don’t need a college degreeYou often have to work at nighttime
You can avoid student loan debtSecurity guards may be liable for mistakes
You get plenty of fresh airRuining your reputation is pretty easy
You can become independent soonSecurity officers have to be flexible
You can work for celebritiesPoor job security for security guards
You learn how to protect your homeYou may be replaced by machines soon

Should You Become A Security Guard?

As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being a security guard.

Now that you know all the pros and cons of a career in the security business, it is on you to decide whether you still want to work in this field or if you rather want to go for different job options instead.

Also make sure to check out the following articles to get more information on different job options:

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a relocation agent

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a property manager

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a real estate agent

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_guard

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1086851/share-security-guards-united-states-gender/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/323321/states-with-the-highest-level-of-employment-of-security-guards-us/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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