Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Career, Salary and Education Information

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a security guard or gaming surveillance officer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Security Guard Jobs

  • Security Guard - Secured Enterprise Protection - Brooklyn, NY

    Assume overall responsbility for the safety and security of designated areas • Patrol designated areas in accordance with outlined security

  • Unarmed Security Guard - Tactical Response Security - Philadelphia, PA

    TRS is hirning Unarmed Security Officers for various sites in Philadelphia Applicants must be willing and have the following: Willing to work nights

  • Unarmed Security Guard - Taurus Protection Agency - Decatur, GA

    Locations: Decatur, Ga. and Southeast/Southwest Atlanta, Ga. Shifts available: Evening and Overnight shifts available The perfect candidates should

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What Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

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[About this section] [To Top]

Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators hold about 10,700 jobs. The largest employers of gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators are 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 hold about 1.1 million jobs. The largest employers of security guards are 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.

Security Guard and Gaming Surveillance Officer 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 and Gaming Surveillance Officer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers near you!

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 for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

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.

Security Guard and Gaming Surveillance Officer 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 for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

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 for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

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 for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

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 Guard and Gaming Surveillance Officer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators is $32,630. 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 is $25,770. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,260.

The median annual wages for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators in the top industries in which they work are 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

The median annual wages for security guards in the top industries in which they work are 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.

Job Outlook for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of security guards and gaming surveillance officers is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment of security guards is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, 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 over the next ten years, 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 for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

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.

Employment projections data for Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers, 2016-26
Occupational Title Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers 1,133,900 1,205,000 6 71,000
  Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators 10,700 11,100 4 400
  Security guards 1,123,300 1,193,900 6 70,600


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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