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In the world of protective services, there are two types of security professionals: security guard and security officer. The security guard and security officer are both protectors but in a different manner. Each has their own separate job description, duties and training.
What They protect
The security guard "guards" something fixed, like a building or location and is more of the traditional "watchman." The security officer is a more flexible position who responds to emergencies until police can arrive and is often tasked with protecting people from unsafe situations.
Job Tasking Differences
Security guards typically have little responsibility other than basic fire safety and building integrity tasks. The security officer may have very elaborate protocols that involve a wider range of tasking and responsibilities.
Differences in Training
Security guards often have minimal training, since they are seen as more of a human alarm system that when tripped, reports incidents. Security officers, since they are often mandated to respond to incidents, are typically trained to a standard more approaching law enforcement.
Differences in Recruiting
Many security guards are simply able-bodied people twho may or may not have had any previous experience. Security officers are often required as a minimum to have previous security experience or have served in the military or law enforcement.
Security guards are entry-level personnel in the protective services field and, as such, are paid on average at or just above the state-mandated minimum wage. Security officers, due to their higher level of training, experience and job responsibilities are paid more in line with local law enforcement and corrections personnel in their community.
Christopher Eger has been a student of military history and hoplologist for more than 20 years. Since 2005, Eger has authored more than 200 published articles of interest that have appeared in the journals England Expects and Strike Fast. He also publishes with Suite 101, History Times and The Dark Paladin. He has a B.A. from the University of South Alabama.