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Security guard duties and responsibilities

Updated on February 7, 2013

A security guards job is a simple but essential service that many business have a real need for. What does a security guard do though, other than stand around and look menacing? Well, the main duties can be categroized into a few broad categories. Observe and Report, Deter Criminal Activity, Investigate Alarms, Patrol, Monitoring, and Provide Assistance. What exactly these mean for the potential security guard are as follows.


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A long day aheadGuard dog playing with his security officerKeepign guard
A long day ahead
A long day ahead | Source
Guard dog playing with his security officer
Guard dog playing with his security officer | Source
Keepign guard
Keepign guard | Source

Observe and report

Observing and Reporting are the bread and butter of the job and its what you will spend the most time doing. When patrolling you will take note of any damage down to the property or equipment. Take note of any persons who had gained access to the premises or anyone who tried to gain access without the proper authorization, and any usually activity that you may have observed during your shift. Once note you then compile that collected information in a report that is to be presented to your supervisor.

Patrol duty

While patrolling you may have to deter any criminal activity that you come across. This can be as petty as littering or as severe as an assault. You have to be prepared for the potential of intervening in a crime that you witness, which can be uncomfortable for some but is a very important part a security guards duties.

Most buildings will have an alarm system of some sort, so if one goes off, it will be your responsibility to investigate the alarm and what might have set it off. The result of which are usually put in your report.

Patrolling is the main staple of the job and is essential to performing the duties expected of a security guard. If you are not patrolling the grounds then your really not observing, and will have nothing to report will you? An idle guard is a guard that isn't doing their job.


Monitoring can mean a number of different things. You could be stationed behind a desk, behind a wall of monitors, or you could be stationed outside a gate, but its all essentially the same activity. You are there to look out for people that are not allowed on the property and to help control the flow of people in and out of the premises. This can often be a supplementary position to the main bulk of a security force or it can constitute the entirety of an establishments security. Management will often decide on the best measures to be taken for the building.

Cooperation with law enforcement

Security guards are often trained to immediately call the police when a crime is being committed, that having been said though, in cases where someone is in immediate danger a security guard should give assistance in any way that they can to help keep the property and the people using it safe. There are a multitude of tools that can be employed to do this, which include everything from pepper spray to actually carrying a firearm. Providing assistance can also mean helping the police with any possible investigations and assisting visitors with any questions they may present you with.

A security guard that understands their job responsibilities is an effective employee that has longevity in any place they are stationed.

While this article only covers a few of the most important points to take note of it is important to remember that the duties and responsibilities of a security guard are many and vary quite a bit with the job assigned. One thing that holds true for any security guard, though, is to observe and report.

What are your thoughts about working as a security guard? Please share in the comments below.


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