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Security Guard

Security guards protect property, personnel, and information against fire, theft, vandalism, and illegal entry.

Also Known As

Asset Protection Officer, Guard, Loss Prevention Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Security Guards and Related Occupations (6651) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Security Guards and Related Occupations (G631) 
  • 2011 NOC: Security guards and related security service occupations (6541) 
  • 2016 NOC: Security guards and related security service occupations (6541) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Security Guards and Related Occupations
2006 NOC : 6651

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

METHODICAL

Interest in copying to perform security checks of passengers and luggage at airports; to operate security control room equipment to monitor establishment activities; to ensure that establishment safety and emergency procedures are followed; and to enforce regulations of establishments to maintain order

social

Interest in speaking with visitors to control access to organizations, issue passes and direct them to appropriate areas

directive

Interest in driving and guarding armoured trucks when delivering cash and valuables to banks, automated teller machines and retail establishments; and in responding to fire alarms, bomb threats and other emergencies

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

While their overall role is security, security guards’ duties vary depending on where they are employed. Guards may protect the premises at shopping centres, banks, or sports facilities. They may work at airports, conventions, parking lots, or construction sites. They may secure public buildings such as hospitals, museums, and art galleries.

In each setting, they will have somewhat different duties. In general, they:

  • Patrol an assigned area
  • Check doors, windows, locks, and building interiors for signs of damage or theft
  • Provide information, guide traffic, respond to complaints, and maintain order
  • Watch for intruders, sometimes using electronic surveillance systems
  • Observe and keep records of security-related activities

In some situations, security guards may make arrests. However, they most often respond to fires or the presence of unauthorized persons. When situations arise, they sound the alarm or call their supervisor, the fire department, or the police.

They may also work outside or in a vehicle. For example:

  • In patrol car service, alone or with a dog or another guard, they patrol construction sites, buildings, or property as a daily or nightly routine.
  • In mobile patrol, they respond to alarms from businesses, residences, and schools. If they detect a break-and-enter, they contact police.
  • In camps or construction sites, they patrol and do gate clearance. This kind of work can be seasonal. In general, there are more openings during the summer months.

Inspectors visit work sites to ensure that security guards are performing their duties.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Because of the wide-ranging nature of their profession, security guards may work indoors or outdoors in all kinds of weather. Some guards must stand a lot. Others sit for long periods at work stations, where they monitor electronic security systems. They may work in teams or check premises alone for long periods. They may need to wear uniforms.

Most of their work is in shifts, including weekends and holidays. There is a big call for evening and night shifts. Guards on day duty often deal with the public.

Security guards may routinely be required to lift heavy items.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Security guards need:

  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Mental alertness
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Honesty

They should enjoy having clear rules and guidelines. They should like dealing with people from diverse backgrounds. They should be at ease controlling access to facilities.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Security guards and related security service occupations
NOC code: 6541

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 49 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and May 25, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Judgement
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Patrol assigned areas
Produce reports
Enforce regulations to maintain order and resolve conflicts and to monitor establishment activities
Business Equipment and Computer Applications: MS Word
Screening questions: Are you currently legally able to work in Canada?
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

Employers require applicants to:

  • Speak and write English (equivalent to Level 3 or 4)
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have good character and employment references
  • Have no criminal record based on a current clear police information check (CPIC) with a vulnerable sector search
  • Be in good health

Most employers prefer to hire security guards who have at least finished high school. Once applicants have completed the required course for licensing, they receive in-house training. See the Certification Requirements for licensing details.

Some companies have further requirements. For example, they may need guards to have CPR Level 3 with automatic external defibrillator (AED) certificate. They may need guards to have a valid driver’s license and their own vehicle with a clean driver’s abstract.

Being able to speak a second language is an asset for security guards.

Prospective security guards should consult employers regarding the suitability and reputation of any post-secondary education program before enrolling.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Security Guard

Security guards protect an organization's property, personnel and information against fire, theft, vandalism and illegal entry.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Security Services and Investigators Act [pdf] and Security Services and Investigators (Ministerial) Regulation [pdf], you must be licensed by the Government of Alberta if you are paid to patrol, guard or provide security, or detect loss of or damage to the property of another person. There are five classes of licence: security guard, executive protection, loss prevention worker, guard dog handler and security alarm responder.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Security Guard.

 

Additional Information

The Canadian Society for Industrial Security offers 3 non-progressive levels of certification for security guards:

  • Certified Security Officer
  • Certified Security Supervisor
  • Certified Security Professional
Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Security guards work for:

  • Private guard-service companies
  • Governments
  • Retailers
  • Construction companies
  • Industrial plants
  • Hospitals
  • Other public and private building owners

Employment prospects are best for those with their own transportation who are willing to work nights.

Experienced security guards may advance to supervisor, manager, or inspector positions.

Security guards are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6541: Security guards and related security service occupations. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 6541: Security guards and related security service occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 211 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries for security guards vary widely depending on their duties and the type of employer.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Security guards and related security service occupations

2016 NOC : 6541
Average Wage
$20.35
Per Hour
Average Salary
$35,929.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6541 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $27.57 $17.78 $16.00
Overall $15.00 $32.29 $20.35 $19.59
Top $15.00 $37.38 $26.19 $22.78

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Retail Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

71%
71%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

30%
30%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website: www.alberta.ca/ministry-justice-solicitor-general.aspx

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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