Security Guards: The Day-To-Day Job

Are you curious as to what the day-to-day job of the security guard is? It may be a lot different from what you have in mind. Security work involves many different kinds of responsibilities that, together, all add up to ensure the safety and well-being of people and the protection of private and public property.

In the paragraphs below, we will explain the most common tasks of the modern security guard. Please understand our descriptions are necessarily generic. Different jobs may require different tasks, different skill sets, and different ways of doing things. Any individual security shift will be heavily influenced by a long list of factors that can change from day to day. In a general sense, security work is about safeguarding people and premises.

Patrol Work and Surveillance

The vast majority of security guard jobs that do not involve travelling to separate locations comprise of patrol and surveillance. What do we mean by this? Well, patrol is the process of physically inspecting and monitoring premises by moving about. A security guard may roam the halls of an office building, walk around the perimeter of a shipping yard, check the facilities in a nightclub, or even mingle among shoppers at a department store. To patrol is to move about the environment looking for signs of potential trouble.

Surveillance enhances patrol by allowing security guards to continuously monitor areas even when a patrolling guard is nowhere near. The most common form of surveillance is that of CCTV cameras. A single guard can monitor multiple cameras focused on strategic locations. Surveillance can also be conducted through motion detectors, infrared sensors, and so forth.

Personal Interaction

A security assignment may involve personal interaction with others. The security guards working at sports stadiums are a good example. They constantly interact with guests to make sure things remain in order. Other examples of personal interaction would include managing the door at an office building, guarding the entrance of a manufacturing plant, or assisting patients arriving at a hospital emergency department.

Emergency Response

Every security guard dreams of the opportunity to respond to an emergency, right? Maybe not. But either way, emergency response is a regular part of the job. Some emergencies manifest themselves as medical problems; others involve people on site who are being belligerent or refusing to follow rules. The security guard must be a diplomatic person capable of defusing tense situations and restoring calm. He/she must also be able to make quick decisions, take charge of situations, and show the initiative to take action whenever necessary.

Crowd Control

Crowd control may be part of the security assignment in some venues. This could include enormous crowds that might be found at an annual outdoor music festival or it could involve smaller crowds seeking to gain entrance into the newest nightclub or bar. Patience, politeness, and consideration go a long way in crowd control.

Protecting Valuables

Some of the most prestigious security work involves the protection of valuables. Think of the security guard who works for an armoured courier company responsible for transferring large amounts of cash between banks and retail outlets. It takes a special kind of person to do this type of work. Why? Because there is always a significant amount of temptation that comes with protecting valuables.

Another instance of protecting valuables might be working at a museum or providing security at a jewellery store. This kind of work also involves interaction with the public, so security guards always have to be on the lookout for potential threats.


Regardless of the particular kind of work a security guard does, the one day-to-day task they all share is the job of reporting. This is why good communication skills are so important in security work. Every time there is an incident, a report must be written. In many cases, oral communications must also be made via telephone or radio. Furthermore, many security assignments require reports at the end of every shift – even if that shift was incident free.

Reports are either written on paper or created electronically. At any rate, security guards must be able to effectively communicate while also following the reporting standards of their agency or the client they are serving. Writing reports is part of the job every single day.

The day-to-day work of the security guard can sometimes be routine; at other times, it can be anything but. You should have a good idea of the kinds of tasks security guards are given. Does this sound interesting work to you? If so, we hope you find the rest of the information on our website helpful.