Special event security guards patrol the grounds of special events venue to protect against terrorism, theft and other illegal activities. They observe special event attendees to ensure that they are abiding by the laws and rules of the venue. Special event security guards may work at sporting events, concerts, conventions, parties or other large events. There are usually few education requirements for these positions, but special event security guards usually complete employer-sponsored training to prepare for the work.
Special event security guards may be stationed at various posts throughout a special event venue. Some sit at a security desk and check attendees’ tickets or credentials. They may also search bags or other belongings that are brought into the venue for contraband. In some cases, they may monitor electronic surveillance equipment to ensure that no one is violating the law or rules of the venue. Other special event security guards patrol the grounds of the venue. They observe attendees, and may detain anyone who is in violation of the law or venue rules. Special event security guards must also perform crowd control, and may be required to supervise parking or direct traffic after the event is over.
There are no formal education requirements for special event security guards who do not carry firearms. Those who are armed usually require a high school diploma or GED. Most employers provide training for new guards, though programs vary based on the company. Armed special event guards must receive more thorough training, including instruction in laws regarding the use of force, and must be tested in firearm safety skills. Many states require guards to be licensed, and call for them to participate in continuing education as a condition of license renewal. Guards usually receive instruction in first aid, crisis deterrence and self-defense. Some employers follow the training standards established by ASIS International, a security professionals association. These include requiring security guards to receive at least 48 hours of training during their first 100 days of employment and administering a written exam that tests their knowledge of various security-related topics.
Special event security guards usually work at crowded events that take place at sports stadiums, concert theaters or convention halls. They must spend a great deal of time on their feet, and often have to patrol the venue as well. Special event security guards’ schedules will vary based on when events take place. Many guards work eight-hour shifts, arriving before an event to ensure that the venue is secure and all necessary security measures have been implemented. There are dangers associated with the job, as special event security guards must always be on the lookout for security threats and must sometimes intervene when problems arise.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of security guards, including those who work special events, was $23,460 as of May 2008. The highest 10 percent were paid more than $39,360, while the lowest 10 percent were paid less than $16,680. The middle 50 percent were paid between $19,150 and $30,100.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for security guards, including special event guards, will increase by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is a faster rate than the average for all occupations. As private security companies receive more special event assignments, there will be an increased demand for guards. In addition, opportunities will arise as experienced guards leave the field or retire.