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Job Outlook for:
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

SOC: 33-9032        OOH: U216

Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers
Quick Stats
Total Jobs in 2016 1,133,900
Expected Growth 6%    (As fast as average)
New Jobs To Be Added
from 2016 to 2026
71,000
Median Pay $25,000 to $34,999

 

 

Employment Outlook for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Overall employment of security guards and gaming surveillance officers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment of security guards is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Security guards will continue to be needed to protect both people and property because of concerns about crime and vandalism.

Employment of gaming surveillance officers and investigators is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Although states continue to legalize gambling and casinos continue to grow in number, advances in video surveillance and anti-cheating technology may limit the employment of gaming surveillance officers and investigators.

Job Prospects

Overall job opportunities are projected to be excellent, especially for security guards. The large size of the occupation and the number of workers who leave the occupation each year should result in many job openings. However, there will be more competition for higher paying positions that require more training and experience.

Candidates who have experience with video surveillance equipment should have the best job prospects in the gaming industry. Those with a background in law enforcement will also have an advantage.

 

 


 

Typical Pay for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

The median annual wage for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators was $32,630 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $52,500.

The median annual wage for security guards was $25,770 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,260.

In May 2016, the median annual wages for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

State government, excluding education and hospitals $53,880
Casino hotels 35,420
Gambling industries (except casino hotels) 31,720
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 31,030
Spectator sports 30,550

In May 2016, the median annual wages for security guards in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Government $32,320
Educational services; state, local, and private 31,590
Healthcare and social assistance 30,710
Accommodation and food services 26,780
Investigation, guard, and armored car services 24,230

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers usually work in shifts of approximately 8 hours, with rotating schedules. Night shifts are common.



 

What Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers Do All Day

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and protect property against theft, vandalism, and other illegal activity.

Duties

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers typically do the following:

  • Enforce laws and protect an employer’s property
  • Monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras
  • Respond to emergencies
  • Control building access for employees and visitors
  • Conduct security checks over a specified area
  • Write reports on what they observed while on duty
  • Detain violators

Guards and officers must remain alert, looking out for anything unusual. In an emergency, they are required to call for assistance from police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards are armed.

A security guard’s responsibilities vary from one employer to another. In retail stores, guards protect people, merchandise, money, and equipment. They may work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers and employees, detain shoplifting suspects until the police arrive, and patrol parking lots.

In offices and factories, security guards protect workers and equipment and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises.

Security guards work in many other environments, because they work wherever people and assets need to be protected.

Security guards, also called security officers, protect property, enforce rules on the property, and deter criminal activity. Some guards are assigned a stationary position from which they monitor alarms or surveillance cameras. Other guards are assigned a patrol area where they conduct security checks.

Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators act as security agents for casinos. Using audio and video equipment in an observation room, they watch casino operations for suspicious activities, such as cheating and theft, and monitor compliance with rules, regulations, and laws. They maintain and organize recordings from security cameras, which are sometimes used as evidence in police investigations.

 



 

Work Environment for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators held about 10,700 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals 47%
Gambling industries (except casino hotels) 25
Casino hotels 19
State government, excluding education and hospitals 4
Spectator sports 2

Security guards held about 1.1 million jobs in 2016. The largest employers of security guards were as follows:

Investigation, guard, and armored car services 58%
Educational services; state, local, and private 6
Accommodation and food services 6
Healthcare and social assistance 6
Government 4

Security guards work in a wide variety of places, including public spaces, stores, and office buildings. Gaming surveillance officers and investigators are employed only in locations where gambling is legal.

Most security guards spend considerable time on their feet, either at a single post or patrolling buildings and grounds. Some may sit for long periods behind a counter or in a guardhouse at the entrance to a gated facility or community.

Security guards who work during the day may have a great deal of contact with other employees and the public.

Most gaming surveillance officers sit behind a desk observing customers on video surveillance equipment.

Work Schedules

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers usually work in shifts of approximately 8 hours, with rotating schedules. Night shifts are common.

 


 

How To Become a Security Guard or Gaming Surveillance Officer

Most security guard and gaming surveillance officer jobs require a high school diploma. Gaming surveillance officers sometimes need experience with security and video surveillance. Most states require security guards to be registered with the state, especially if they carry a firearm.

Education

Security guards generally need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not have any education requirements. Gaming surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent and may need experience with video surveillance technology depending upon assignment.

Training

Although most employers provide instruction for newly hired security guards, the amount of training they receive varies. Most security guards, however, learn their job in a few weeks. During this time, the employer-provided training typically covers emergency procedures, detention of suspected criminals, and proper communication.

Many states recommend that security guards receive approximately 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8–16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. This may include training in protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training related to the security guard’s assignment.

Training is more rigorous for armed guards because they require weapons training. Armed guards may be tested periodically in the use of firearms.

Gaming surveillance officers and investigators receive training in topics such as the rules of casino games, gaming regulations, identifying cheating techniques, and the proper use of video and radio equipment.

Drug testing may be required both as a condition of employment and randomly during employment.

Work experience in a related occupation

Gaming surveillance officers and investigators may need previous work experience in surveillance or in casinos. Experience with video monitoring technology is particularly helpful, and some workers gain this experience by working as a security guard.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require that security guards be registered with the state in which they work. Although registration requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete training

Guards who carry weapons usually must be registered by the appropriate government authority. Armed guard positions have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards. Rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, are required for armed guards in most states.

Some jobs may also require a driver's license.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Security guards and officers must communicate effectively with others, even in stressful situations.

Good judgment. Security guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises.

Observation skills. Security guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary.

Patience. Security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions.

 

 

 

 

 

"Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers"   SOC:  33-9032     OOH Code: U216

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