February 15th, 2013
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Security Guard Salary – How Much Does a Security Guard Earn?
Working as a security guard can be a challenging but rewarding job. There are many people who work in this field right out of college, but most will attend training academies or earn a degree in criminal justice prior to entering the workforce. The amount that these individuals earn is dependent on many factors, especially, though, on how much education and experience you have. Those who work in this field are often paid hourly, though some will earn a salaried pay check for a set number of hours per week.
How Much Can Security Guards Earn?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for someone working as a security guard in 2010 was $24,380 per year. That equates to about $11.72 per hour. This is the median pay, not the average. As a result, many people are making much more while others are making much less.
What Factors Determine How Much a Security Guard Will Earn?
Three factors play a role in this decision. It is an accumulation of all three elements that determine how much someone in this field can earn. The first is the amount of education the individual has. Entry-level positions for those who are out of high school or have a GED will earn far less than those who have obtained a college degree. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, or a certificate allowing the individual to maintain a firearm will earn much more.
The second factor influencing the pay of these individuals is experience. Since this is a very pressure-filled job, many people do not do well in it. Therefore, there can be a high turnaround in the career. However, for those who have ample experience, it is likely you will earn more than someone with little to no experience. Keep in mind that the earnings are dependent not only how experience but on the type of experience. Those working basic security at a store, for example, do not qualify for higher paying jobs supervising money transfers, for example. Job specific experience is important.
The third element that affects pay is risk. The more risk is involved in the situation the more the position will pay to well-qualified individuals who can provide the protection necessary. For example, security guards at detention centers, government locations or personal security guards for individuals such as politicians or celebrities are often the most well paid in this field. Likewise, in low threat areas and positions, the pay is likely to be significantly less.
For those who are considering becoming a security guard, there is opportunity for advancement. There are high paying positions in this field for those who are experienced or trained. The more risk involved, the more positions pay as well, though individuals must decide how much risk they are willing to take on for the position. Keep in mind that this is an industry that will see job growth in the coming years. As a result, the salary may increase as the demand for well-qualified individuals increases.
Security Guard Salary Summary
The average pay for a security guard is a little under $12 per hour.
Security guards’s with many years experience can earn far more per hour.