Security Guards: A quick guide to make you better at your job, earn more money and dominate your competition
Article by Cezar Ionica MABI, MD Bravo Security Ltd
The security industry is plagued with untrained, uninterested and poorly prepared security guards. One of the reasons this happens is despite the size of the security industry of nearly £4bn per year, most security guards are on minimum wages, work long hours, and have a disastrous work/life balance.
Security guards provide an effective deterrent for criminals and are an excellent first point of contact between organizations and their clients. Their mere presence prevents shoplifters, vandals, arsonist etc. from even showing up at their workplace or, in the worst-case scenario being a lot more careful to not get caught.
The question is why would anyone take this job?
Let’s look at the facts first: the average security guard earns between £8.50 to 11.50 per hour and works around 60 hours per week. That’s roughly about £1,500 take home after tax for working most of the time.
It’s a very poor payment considering you have to work 12 hours shifts almost every day whilst being away from your family, friends with almost no spare time.
The fact is that the industry especially security companies are in a race to the bottom. Quoting the lowest rates per hour to get contracts and eventually the security guards that are actually doing the work are suffering.
How can you move from being underpaid to get more money, a better work life balance and generally work less hours for more money as a security guard?
First of all most security guards are underpaid because they are undertrained, inexperienced and generally lack the professionalism that differentiate them from a high paid close protection officer for example.
Think about it. What is the difference between someone that earns £9 per hour to someone that earns £25 per hour or more? It’s all coming back to what you know, your skills, competences and how your present yourself.
Let’s start breaking it down so you can understand how to move up on the pay grade.
This article will help you learn how to become a better security guard, be more competent at your job and outline the steps you need to take to earn more money whilst working less. Do I have your attention? Good.
Who works as a security guard?
I’ve started working as a security guard when I was just before the legal age at 17. One night I was walking home when I’ve seen two big security guards in uniforms kicking out a homeless man from a store. Sounds bad I know but that guy was making trouble. I stood there and watched the whole thing and then I said to myself. THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO. Maybe because I was young and full of testosterone. Who know why I thought that. But that’s how long it took to make that decision.
At the time I was between jobs working part time waiting tables for a firm called Tip-Top in Bucharest. I was training in boxing, had a funny walk and most of the time had bruises over my face. When I was serving clients and they saw how I walked and my bruises from boxing they usually asked if I’m going to serve them or beat them. So, security was the right choice for me. It just felt right.
After I’ve seen the incident I decided that night that I’m going to work for that company as a security guard.
The next day I woke up early, went to the bus station and bought a news paper with jobs ads. There was no or little internet back then. So, I found an ad for that same company stating they hire security guards. I noted their address, wrote down on a piece of paper my C.V which was basically 3 lines containing my name, address, date of birth and hobbies and took off to their office.
I didn’t know how much the pay rate was or even if they will hire me. All I knew is that I wanted to work there. I entered their office and stated that I want a security job and I will not leave until I get hired.
They tried to tell me that I’m not legal age, don’t have qualifications, experience etc. I persisted. Eventually they hired me on the spot to work in a telecommunications store in the town centre. Boom. Result.
Who becomes a security guard?
My opinion is that every person has a calling. If you are in this line of work, then you probably have a calling for it. I don’t know what it is but it’s s