What Salary Does a Security Guard Make?

The latest data out of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is good news for those interested in pursuing a career as a private security officer, with salaries continuing to climb. The median yearly salary in the United States for those working in private security is $31,050, with the top 10 percent making over $51,000.

The amount of pay security officers receive varies by industry. Those working for government institutions tend to make the most, with median pay being nearly $37,000 per year, with half making more. The second-best paying security officer jobs are with educational institutions: public schools, community colleges, public and private universities, and trade schools. The median salary for security guards in those industries is $35,600. Security officers that work at healthcare and social assistance institutions make slightly less, but still exceed $35,000 per year. Those who work in food services, hotels, and other industries tend to make the least, but the median salary is still over $30,000 per year. Based on their models, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts salaries increasing 3 percent annually in the coming years.

Security guard positions are excellent jobs for those interested in safeguarding their communities and its institutions. Working as a security guard is also an excellent stepping stone to transition into other private and public protective service jobs, including law enforcement.

For those interested in gaining employment as a security guard, having a competitive application is important. Typically, security guard positions require applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, meaning there is a lot of competition for each open position. Making your application stand out from the rest is key.

An effective way to do this—particularly for those looking to break into the field—is by completing security guard training. Many states require it, making pre-trained applicants more attractive to employers (see what training your state requires here). Even in states where training is not required, a training certificate demonstrates to a potential employer the dedication of the applicant and the kind of professionalism they will bring to the job.

At Top Gun, we specialize in providing the training and certification that prepares security guards, security officers, and other protective service employees for their careers. Learn more about how Top Gun can help you launch your career in security or take it to the next level by visiting our training programs.