Security guards work at many different establishments, including office buildings, hospitals, retail stores, stadiums, government agencies and airports. You don't need to be a hulking female wrestler to be an effective security guard, though it couldn't hurt your chances. But you do need to be honest, physically fit and have observational, communication and decision-making skills.
Control Access to Entrances
Security guards control access to entrances at stadiums, courthouses and government agencies. They check for weapons by having everyone empty the contents of their pockets and walk through body scanners. They may also use personal scanning devices to verify people aren't carrying weapons. And they confiscate items that could be used as weapons. Watching for suspicious activity or examining people's personal items are other duties of security guards who control entry points. Some even monitor traffic and direct parking at sporting events.
Protect People and Property from Theft
A security guard also protects people and property from theft. They provide safe environments for restaurant and retail customers to shop by walking the grounds and parking lots after dark. They also prevent illegal parking lot activities such as break-ins. As a security guard, you are usually hired by retailers or banks to protect their merchandise and assets from theft. At times, you may work with undercover detectives to prevent theft, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unruly customers, thieves or those carrying weapons may need to be detained by security guards. In these situations, security guards usually escort offenders away from the public for their protection. In a retail store -- where someone has stolen merchandise -- you may take them to an office in the stockroom and wait for the police to arrive. Managers and other employees may assist security guards in these situations.
Security guards also interview witnesses. For example, you may have prevented a theft that several people witnessed. Subsequently, you may interview witnesses to obtain all the facts of the robbery, or substantiate your personal account of events. You may also need information from witnesses to write a report for the police. Security guards also present their information in courtrooms.