The Two Basic Types of Security Guard Jobs
Security guards are everywhere, from corporate office buildings and warehouses to apartment complexes and stadiums. With so many different opportunities to choose from, being a professional guard is one of the few careers that truly has a position to fit any personality type or preference.
Most security guard jobs can be sorted into one of two types:
- Stationary positions
- Patrol positions
While a lot of jobs can involve some overlap, the majority of the activities you’ll take part in on post will fall into one of these two categories.
Stationary guard jobs
The hard work and vigilance of professional security guards helps keep property safe from theft, vandalism, illegal entry, fire, and countless other dangers. But there’s a limit to the amount of protection one person can provide.
That’s where stationary security positions come into play.
With a bit of help from modern technology, staying put allows a single guard to carry out his two main duties of observation and reporting over either a larger area or a larger number of people.
- Cover more area – Closed-circuit television cameras give security guards the extra eyes, and sometimes ears, they need to keep track of spaces they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to cover. Jobs that involve watching security cameras may also involve monitoring lighting, heating, and cooling systems to ensure buildings and their occupants stay safe.
- Cover more people – Posting guards at choke points, such as at entryways to gated communities or in the lobbies of residential or commercial buildings, guarantees that everybody that comes and goes can be monitored with ease by just a few security guards.
Patrol-type guard jobs
While stationary positions give guards the ability to cover more ground, they’re no substitute for the physical presence of a security officer. Patrols put security guards in the field so they can recognize and respond to problems faster.
Patrol-type guard jobs generally involve either:
- Walking – This includes policing the perimeter of industrial or commercial areas such as warehouses, parking lots, and malls.
- Driving – Examples include private security patrols in residential neighborhoods or armored truck deliveries.
Understand the job requirements before you sign on
Despite all the options that are available in the security field, at a basic level all security guard jobs can be classified as either stationary or patrol-based. And that’s where your need to start when you’re planning your career.
Before you accept a job, figure out what type it is and how well it meshes with your personality. If you’re an active person by nature, a stationary position probably isn’t the best fit for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a slower pace or like solitude, then a post that requires you to watch security monitors may be more your speed. (Just keep in mind that basic fitness is a requirement of every guard job… even the ones that let you sit for most of the day.) There are also plenty of guard jobs that mix the two types so you can experience a bit of variety each day.
If you want to be happier at work, take the time to find a security job type that really fits you. A little effort upfront can pay off in the long run and lead you to a fulfilling career that lasts a lifetime.