Security Guards and Related Security Service Workers

Occupation:Security Guards and Related Security Service Workers
Category:Sales and Service

About the job

Nature of work:

This group includes workers who guard and implement security measures to protect property against theft, vandalism and fire, control access to establishments, maintain order and enforce regulations at public events and within establishments, conduct private investigations for clients or employers and provide other protective services not elsewhere classified. They are employed by public or private security agencies, residential complexes, educational, cultural, financial, and health institutions, retail establishments, businesses and industry, investigation service companies, transportation facilities, and organizations throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties:
The following is a summary of main duties for some jobs in this group:
  • Security guards control access to establishments, operate security control-room equipment and patrol assigned areas to guard against theft, vandalism and fire, enforce regulations to maintain order and resolve conflicts and to monitor establishment activities; ensure safety and emergency procedures are followed; issue passes and direct visitors to appropriate areas, check age identification of patrons, and perform security checks of passengers and luggage at airports.
  • Armoured car guards drive and guard armoured trucks, pick-up and deliver cash and valuables to banks, automated teller machines and retail establishments.
  • Corporate security officers investigate unlawful acts of employees or patrons of establishments and recommend security systems such as electronic detection devices and access devices.
  • Private investigators conduct investigations to locate missing persons and obtain information for use in civil and criminal litigation matters or for other purposes; they may also conduct polygraph tests (integrity surveys) for clients.
  • Retail loss prevention officers prevent and detect shoplifting and theft in retail establishments.
Sample job titles:
  • bodyguard (except police)
  • bouncer - security
  • commissionaire - security
  • loss prevention officer - retail
  • private detective
  • private investigator
  • retail loss prevention officer
  • school crossing guard
  • security alarm system consultant
  • security guard

You should be physically fit and in excellent health, and have a valid driver's licence. Cultural sensitivity, patience, and mental stability are important. You must be resourceful and able to work on your own carrying out instructions given by your employer. It will be necessary to gain a good knowledge of the regulations pertaining to your work. Excellent communication, observation, and problem-solving skills are essential. You should also be able to communicate with and gain the respect of the public. Candidates are required to pass the appropriate background check.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • A college diploma in law and security or police technology may be required.
  • Training is provided for airport security guards and establishment-specific training may be provided for security jobs in this group.
  • Security guards carrying firearms require a licence.
  • Armoured car drivers require a Valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) and a Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) for both restricted and non-restricted firearms.
  • Private investigators require provincial licensure.
  • Responsible beverage service certification is usually required for security staff in establishments serving alcoholic beverages.
Other considerations:

Corporate security officers may require experience as a police officer.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available (yet overall job prospects are still considered good due to other factors). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Security Guards and Related Security Service Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 48% of Security Guards and Related Security Service Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $30,491. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Security Guards and Related Security Service Workers3,345decline slightly215Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $12.50
Maximum: $19.00
Minimum: $5,139
Median: $23,096
Maximum: $46,506
Occupations in Sales and Service102,605Decline slightly5,260Moderate
Minimum: $10.70
Median: $12.50
Maximum: $21.17
Minimum: $2,949
Median: $16,629
Maximum: $45,086
Security Guards and Related Security Service WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
Percent employed full-time71%59%
Percent self-employed1%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentSecurity Guards and Related Security Service WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton15%$21,84813%$32,974
Annapolis Valley10%$22,05513%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeSecurity Guards and Related Security Service WorkersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5037
GenderSecurity Guards and Related Security Service WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
EducationSecurity Guards and Related Security Service WorkersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school16.4%$20,31918.8%$9,486
High school36.5%$22,15740.4%$12,982
Trades certificate8.4%$24,5568.0%$18,797
College certificate or diploma26.2%$26,28419.9%$19,514
University certificate or diploma1.4%$33,5621.6%$18,279
Bachelor's degree9.1%$22,40810.0%$20,807
University advanced certificate or diploma0.9%$17,8840.5%$15,716
Master's degreex$13,1550.8%$20,769
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.1%$17,368
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Policing Services Division
P.O. Box 7, 1690 Hollis Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2L6
Tel: (902) 424-4030

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Program Name:Securities services administration/management
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to plan, manage, and supervise services providing private security protection for people and property and related investigative and consulting functions. These programs include courses in security and loss prevention services, private security and investigation techniques, security technologies, personnel management, business operations, marketing, applicable laws and regulations, and client relations.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Security and loss prevention services
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to perform routine inspection, patrol and crime prevention services for security companies. These programs include courses in the provision of personal protection as well as property security.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.