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Job Description for a Security Investigator

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

A security investigator guards and patrols an area to prevent theft and violence. He answers calls and investigates any disturbances. A security investigator is also known under other job titles, such as a security guard or store detective.


A security investigator inspects, patrols and investigates property to protect it from theft, vandalism, fire or any other illegal activity.


According to the BLS May 2008 wage data, the national median hourly wage for a security guard was $11.28 and the median salary was $23,460. The national annual salary ranged from $16,680 to $39,360.


The BLS said the highest level of employment for security guards was in investigation and security services. They employed 601,600 security guards with an average salary of $23,830.


A security investigator may stand in front of an area, such as an office, gated facility or retail establishment. She may be patrolling business grounds or sit behind a desk to monitor output from security cameras.

Education and Training

Most employers look for security investigators with at least a high school diploma or GED. Security guards must be licensed in most states. Training is often received on the job.

Job Outlook

Employment for security guards is expected to grow 14 percent from 2008 through 2018, according to the BLS. This is considered a faster than average job growth compared with other occupations within the United States.

2016 Salary Information for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers earned a median annual salary of $25,830 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, security guards and gaming surveillance officers earned a 25th percentile salary of $21,340, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $34,680, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,134,000 people were employed in the U.S. as security guards and gaming surveillance officers.