Mall security officers may be employed by a single store or the entire shopping center. The basic function of a mall security guard is to protect his employer from theft, vandalism and other illegal activity while maintaining order. Specific job duties vary from position to position. Mall security guards are also referred to as loss prevention agents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the median salary for security guards in 2008 was $23,460. This means if you lined up every security guard according to her earnings the individual right in the middle of the line took home this much. The same study concluded 50 percent of all security guards earned between $19,150 and $30,100 in 2008. The top 10 percent of earners made a little more than $39,000.
The BLS estimates that the number of security positions in all industries including shopping centers and malls is expected to grow 14 percent between 2008 and 2018. This is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. Heightened concern over crime and other illegal activity is attributed to the accelerated growth.
Security officers either patrol a selected area or remain stationed at a single position. Guards assigned to patrol spend most of their shift on their feet. However some employers provide personal transportation systems that allow guards to zoom through mall corridors quickly without tiring themselves out. Guards assigned to a single station may be required to stand or be given a chair as part of their post.
Many security guards are employed part-time, allowing workers to pursuit other interests. However weekend and holiday shifts are common. Security guards may also be asked to work longer hours during peak shopping seasons including Christmas.
Training and Education
Check local regulations for rules regarding special certifications. Some states legislate that security guards need to get a license that requires that they pass a background check. Special requirements may also be in place for officers that will be armed when on the job.
Most security guard positions only require a high school education and on-the-job training is provided. The American Society for Individual Security (ASIS), a leading occupational organization for security guards that refers to itself only by that abbreviation today, recommends employees complete 48 hours of training their first 100 days on the job. ASIS also offers a certification program.
Mall security officers may be required to wear uniforms so they are easily identifiable. Some employers provide the necessary attire but it is not unusual for mall management to ask employees to supply their own garb. Workers can purchase the items they need at specialty uniform shops. Some mall security guards work undercover in plain clothes to spot possible thieves.