Security guards protect property, personnel, and information against fire, theft, vandalism, and illegal entry.
Asset Protection Officer, Guard, Loss Prevention Officer
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:
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
Interest in speaking with visitors to control access to organizations, issue passes and direct them to appropriate areas
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
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 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.
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:
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:
Inspectors visit work sites to ensure that security guards are performing their duties.
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.
Security guards need:
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.
Employers require applicants to:
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.
For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.
Security guards protect an organization's property, personnel and information against fire, theft, vandalism and illegal entry. For more information, see the Security Guard occupational profile in OCCinfo.
Under Alberta's Security Services and Investigators Act and Security Services and Investigators (Ministerial) Regulation, you must be licensed by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General 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.
An applicant for licensing must be at least 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen or legally entitled to work in Canada, fluent in spoken English, competent and of good character, and not the subject of a criminal investigation; have no serious criminal record or outstanding criminal charge; and successfully complete the training and examination requirements for the class(es) of licence being sought. For official, detailed information about licensing requirements, visit the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website.
Security guards who are licensed and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for licensing in Alberta if licensed security guards in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).
Licensing Department, Security Programs
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
10th Floor John E. Brownlee Building
10365 - 97 Street
Canada T5J 3W7
Phone number: (780) 427-3457
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 1-877-462-0791
Fax number: (780) 427-6470
The Canadian Society for Industrial Security offers 3 non-progressive levels of certification for security guards:
Security guards work for:
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:
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
In Alberta, the G631: Security Guards and Related Occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 234 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.
Salaries for security guards vary widely depending on their duties and the type of employer.
|Wages*||Low (5th percentile)||High (95th percentile)||Average||Median|
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.
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.
|Health Care & Social Assistance||$66,898|
|Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing||$47,384|
|Business, Building and Other Support Services||$32,757|
|Information, Culture, Recreation||$29,887|
|Accommodation & Food Services||$18,621|
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website: www.alberta.ca/ministry-justice-solicitor-general.aspx
For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.
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.