12 Top Security Guard Duties and Responsibilities: What Are the Roles of a Security Guard?

12 Top Security Guard Duties and Responsibilities: What Are the Roles of a Security Guard?

Whether you want to attract highly qualified guards through a well-written job description or just want to know what you should expect when hiring guards, here’s a comprehensive guide.

The duties and responsibilities of a security guard will depend on the type of guard you will be hiring based on your specific needs. Different security roles will require different expertise to guarantee the effectiveness of your security plan and ensure that you will get the level of security you need.

However, the basic duties of a security guard include physical crime deterrence, threat identification, patrol and surveillance, access control, emergency response, and even customer service. 

Regardless of the type of security guard you are looking for, from private security guards and mobile patrollers to CCTV operators and fire watchers, Scout Security’s certified and insured guards in the Colorado Springs and Denver Metro areas are ready to assist you 24/7. Call us to learn more about how we can improve your security strategy!

What Does a Security Guard Do?

What Does a Security Guard Do?

Security guards are the frontline defense for your property, assets, employees, and customers/guests. From temporary and contracted security guards to full-time in-house guards that you hire yourself, they play an important role in:

  • Preventing unauthorized access
  • Deterring criminal activities
  • Addressing safety threats
  • Responding promptly to security incidents

Thus, providing peace of mind to you and other people within your premises, knowing that they are safe from security issues.

As we’ve mentioned, security guards come in many types depending on your needs.

Each type of guard undergoes specialized training to allow them to perform their duties effectively based on the employment setting. These guards can be:

Also Read: How to Hire a Security Guard: 7 Factors to Consider & More

Top 9 Basic Duties of a Security Guard

If you are writing a security guard job description, below are among the major daily responsibilities of guards that you can include:

Basic Duties of a Security Guard: Surveillance | Report | Visible Security Presence

#1. Observation & Surveillance to Identify Suspicious Behavior

Security guards identify and mitigate potential threats before they escalate.

Continuous observation and surveillance allow security guards to pinpoint suspicious behavior and security vulnerabilities so they can handle the issue before it gets worse. They are essentially your eyes and ears and possess a keen sense of awareness to detect abnormalities through sight, sounds, or even smells.

They are trained to discern even the slightest hint of danger or irregularity. This includes detecting fires or chemical leaks through smell or unauthorized individuals attempting to enter your premises through strange sounds.

This task also involves monitoring surveillance cameras, conducting regular inspections and patrols, and enforcing security protocols to reduce the risk of criminal activities. Thus, proactively preventing and intercepting unlawful acts promptly to maintain safety on your property.

Also Read: Security Guard Legal Powers: What They Can and Can’t Do

#2. Report Any Suspicious Activity to Supervisors

Security guards will report any identified suspicious activity to you and other concerned individuals without delay to prevent mishaps before they occur. For worse incidents, they might also need to report to law enforcement and other relevant authorities like the fire department or emergency responders.

This ensures that not only is the immediate threat addressed, but steps are also taken to mitigate future risks.

#3. Provide a Visible Security Presence to Deter Potential Crimes & Unruly Behavior

Security guards are required to be highly visible in the area they are guarding. They are strategically stationed in high-traffic and high-risk areas not only to foster a sense of safety among your visitors and employees but also to effectively discourage law violators.

By simply being present, they serve as a powerful deterrent against criminal activities including theft, vandalism, break-ins, and others. Their visible presence makes would-be criminals think twice before committing acts that could harm your property, staff, or guests.

Also Read: How Can Uniformed Security Guards Deter Crime in Your Business?

Basic Duties of a Security Guard: Patrols | Enforcing Policies | Access Control | Writing Reports

#4. Conducting Regular Patrols & Inspections

Guards conduct regular patrols and inspections around your premises to spot and prevent early signs of potential security risks or suspicious behavior before they turn into major issues.

Through a meticulously planned patrol strategy that optimizes patrol schedules and routes, guards can ensure that only authorized individuals gain access to your property. This also ensures the safe management of crowds during events and that all policies are respectfully followed.

In addition, security guards also do the following during their patrols:

  • Ensure that access points remain open and unrestricted in high-traffic areas
  • Make sure that emergency exits remain unblocked
  • Ensure that fire alarms and systems are working properly
  • Secure all entry points, exits, doors, windows, gates, and other access points after your office hours
  • Enforce parking rules

Also Read: How to Increase Business Security With a 24-Hour Guard

#5. Enforcing Your Company Policies & Controlling Access

Security guards manage entry points to limit access to specific areas in your property to ensure that only individuals who have a valid reason to be at your premises can enter. Aside from hospitality settings, this is also common in events, schools, construction sites, and high-profile venues where guards also need to follow your company protocols and standard operating procedures.

Specific duties involved in monitoring and regulating access to your property may include the following:

  • Verifying identities
  • Checking credentials of both employees and visitors
  • Keeping a log of visitors, employees, and other individuals
  • Verifying the identity of the person that the visitor wants to meet
  • Denying visitors without a prior appointment
  • Monitoring and authorizing the entry of vehicles
  • Evicting trespassers and wrongdoers from your property
  • Detaining perpetrators until police officers arrive to take over (depending on your jurisdiction)

Security guards who are stationed at building or event entrances also act as the first point of contact for your visitors. They play the role of a receptionist and a strict gatekeeper at the same time to enforce access control. In these cases, approachable and friendly unarmed guards are the best options.

Also Read: A Complete Guide to Ensuring Building Security: 11 Helpful Tips

#6. Writing Accurate & Detailed Incident Reports

Detailed security incident reports are crucial in preventing liabilities in case of lawsuits.

Incident reports are important in documenting security breaches like thefts, break-ins, and other unauthorized activities. They not only provide evidence for potential investigations or legal proceedings but also offer valuable insights on how to improve your security plan.

Guards keep daily logs that detail their surveillance activities, security occurrences, and any interventions they’ve done during their shift.

They are also responsible for submitting end-of-day reports that include entries, exits, visitor information, and incidents to the reporting officer.

Documenting events in real-time is vital in creating a reliable account of their observations and actions. This can be done through digital tools like mobile patrol apps to simplify the complexity of mobile patrol tasks.

Basic Duties of a Security Guard: Crowd Management | Traffic control | Emergency Response | Contacting Authorities

#7. Crowd Management & Traffic Control

Traffic control and crowd management duties are especially important in events, large gatherings, and other busy locations. Security guards will direct vehicles and attendees to ensure that everyone is guided to the appropriate places based on pre-briefed information from you.

The aim is to maintain order and safety by effectively managing the flow of people and traffic. To make the process more efficient and effective, digital tools can also be used to streamline communication and incident reporting.

In these situations, security personnel must remain vigilant in monitoring any breaches of your company rules while keeping an eye on surveillance systems to preemptively identify and mitigate potential disruptions. This requires constant communication within the security team and with the command control to coordinate efforts.

Also Read: How Security Guards Handle Conflicts & De-escalate Violent Situations

#8. Responding To Emergencies & Security Incidents Promptly

Security guards help in ensuring the safety and security of all individuals in emergencies. Through their vigilant presence and proactive actions, they help minimize risks and protect lives and assets during critical incidents.

They are trained to respond quickly and effectively to a wide range of emergencies (e.g. natural disasters, health emergencies, etc.) and thus, can utilize their skills to manage crises with confidence and decisiveness.

Security personnel are prepared to act as your first line of defense in preventing and mitigating incidents. Their responsibilities include:

  • Assessing emergencies and incidents
  • Guiding people to safety
  • Administering first aid
  • Responding to and investigating alarms
  • Working closely with law enforcement and fire departments

Also Read: The Role of Security Guards in Emergency Response

#9. Contacting & Collaborating With the Authorities

The responsibilities of security guards include collaboration with law enforcement and emergency services during dangerous situations.

Guards must take swift and decisive action in contacting authorities in the event of serious incidents such as armed robberies or assaults involving deadly weapons where their intervention could be life-saving.

Security guards serve as your partners as well as of law enforcement, fire services, and medical responders in handling emergencies effectively and swiftly.

They act as a point of contact for the authorities or emergency responders and facilitate quick access to the location. They can gather the necessary information needed by the authorities to address incidents promptly and allow for immediate access to important contacts to ensure that no time is wasted.

Also Read: Why Private Security and Law Enforcement Collaboration is Crucial

3 Additional Security Guard Tasks

Additional Security Guard Tasks: Maintaining Security Systems | Administrative Support | Employee & Guest Assistance

Security guards can adapt to different tasks beyond their primary security duties.

Aside from the traditional security guard responsibilities above, you can also assign additional tasks to your guards such as maintaining security systems and customer service depending on your needs.

#10. Maintaining Security Equipment and/or Systems

This task may include:

  • Regular inspection, testing, and upkeep of your security systems to ensure that they are operational at all times
  • Initiating maintenance procedures when necessary
  • Ensuring that security equipment is not left operational without supervision

#11. Providing Administrative Support

Security guards may offer administrative support including liaising with public safety officials or handling telephone inquiries to reduce the administrative load on your staff. In some instances, they may also be tasked with various personal duties when employed by an individual such as:

  • Managing emails
  • Running errands
  • Occasionally looking after children

Also Read: 11 Problems a Security Guard Can Help You Solve

#12. Providing Employee & Guest Assistance

Aside from monitoring potential threats and verifying IDs, security guards also help you enhance the overall experience of your guests.

Security guards who are stationed at your entrances can offer help to your visitors who may need directions or have questions. They guide guests to their destinations, especially in residential complexes, hotels, hospitals, or other similar settings.

In addition, they can assist your employees with badge access, escort them to and from their vehicles, and offer support in various security incidents. This role requires not only vigilance in security matters but also proficiency in customer service to create a welcoming environment for your guests.

Also Read: The Role of Security Guards in Retail & Commercial Properties

How To Hire Professional Security Guard Services: Helpful Tips in Creating a Security Guard Job Description

How To Hire Professional Security Guard Services: Helpful Tips in Creating a Security Guard Job Description

Ensure that your job description is clear, concise, and inclusive of all necessary details to attract qualified candidates who are a good fit for your security needs.

Step #1. Start with an Eye-Catching Summary

Begin your job description with a compelling introduction that highlights the unique aspects of your company and the security guard position. Include an overview of the following:

  • Services or products you offer
  • Who or what needs to be secured (place, object, or person)
  • Your organizational structure
  • Other details that will encourage potential candidates to read further

Step #2. Outline the Position’s Responsibilities

Detail the responsibilities that the security guard will be taking on clearly. This should include the:

  • Scope of services
  • Reporting mechanics
  • Deployment schedules
  • Any specific security protocols that they should follow

NOTE: The duties of a security guard may vary based on your location, shift needs, and your on-site requirements.

Step #3. Specify Work Hours & Benefits

Be transparent about the expected work hours and schedule:

  • Whether the position requires daytime or nighttime shifts
  • Specify if it’s part-time, full-time, or seasonal

In addition, highlight the compensation package and any unique benefits your company offers such as:

  • Flexible hours
  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Other attractive benefits (e.g. gym membership)

Also Read: When Should You Hire Short-Term or Temporary Security Guards?

Step #4. List Position Requirements & Skills

Include essential qualifications such as:

  • A valid security guard license
  • Eligibility to work in the specified location
  • Any necessary background checks
  • Physical requirements (e.g. the ability to patrol on foot, operate a security vehicle, stand for extended periods, lift a certain amount of weight, etc.)

Step #5. Education and Experience Requirements

Specify any educational background or previous experience required for the position. This helps you filter applicants who meet your minimum expectations and are more likely to perform successfully in their roles.

Step #6. Include a Compelling Call to Action

Conclude your job description with clear instructions on how applicants can apply. You can provide:

  • The contact details of the hiring manager
  • A link to your hiring website
  • Instructions for applying in person

Important: Before you write a security guard job description, make sure that you understand your specific needs.

Assessing your specific security needs will help you find security guards who specialize in your industry and have the necessary expertise to handle your security concerns.

For instance, firewatch security guards are trained to handle fire emergencies and identify fire hazards effectively. On the other hand, residential and retail security guards may undergo different training programs specific to the nature of their duties.

Better yet, you can work with a contractual security agency, like Scout Security, which can help you determine your specific needs through a comprehensive risk assessment.

Thus, ensuring that you get robust security solutions tailored to your requirements.

Also Read: Proprietary Security vs Contract Security Companies: Which Suits Your Business Best?

Other Key Things to Know About Hiring Security Guards

Other Key Things to Know About Hiring Security Guards

Security Guard Salary Expectations: How Much Does a Security Guard Earn?

The rate of security guards will depend on:

  • The nature of their shifts
  • Their education
  • Their level of experience
  • Your location
  • Your industry

But, the average annual base salary is around $39,000+ with an average hourly rate of ~$16+.

Examples of Security Guard Skills to Include in Your Job Description

  • Attention to detail
  • Good judgment
  • Strong observation skills
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Customer service skills
  • De-escalation strategies
  • First-Aid and CPR
  • Basic computer skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Friendly personality
  • Ability to operate security systems and emergency equipment
  • Ability to react appropriately in stressful situations
  • Knowledge of local legal guidelines for security
  • Familiarity with report writing

Also Read: 15 Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Skills to Look For

Examples of Security Guard Education and Training Requirements You Can Include in Your Job Description

  • High school diploma or equivalent (e.g. GED certificate)
  • Licensed as a security officer
  • Trained in security strategies
  • Proven experience as a security officer
  • Certification in self-defense, first aid, and CPR/BLS
  • Satisfactory criminal record 

For higher security guard roles, a four-year degree in a related field like criminal justice may be required

NOTE: Security guard certification, education, training, and other requirements will also depend on your local and state laws.

Also Read: 10 Benefits of Hiring a Security Guard to Protect Your Business


What are the main duties of a security guard?

The main duties of a security guard include:
– Observation and surveillance
– Reporting any suspicious activity
– Providing a visible security presence
– Conducting regular patrols
– Enforcing company policies
– Controlling access
– Maintaining accurate and detailed incident reports
– Responding to emergencies and security incidents promptly
– Contacting and collaborating with authorities during emergencies

What are the primary duties of a security guard in apartments and hotels?

Apartment and hotel security guard duties are generally the same as that of your typical security guard. These include:
– Monitoring for suspicious behavior
– Patrolling your property and parking lots
– Logging guests and managing access
– Assisting your residents and guests
– Responding quickly to emergencies
– Coordinating with management and law enforcement

What are the duties of a security guard supervisor?

A security supervisor’s duties include:
– Hiring security staff
– Overseeing the performance of security guards
– Conducting training for new hires
– Implementing security policies
– Acting as a liaison between security personnel and management or law enforcement agencies


Security guards play a major role in protecting your property, assets, employees, and guests. Thus, understanding their comprehensive roles and duties is crucial in enhancing the safety and security of your premises. Whether you’re crafting a job description to attract qualified candidates or aiming to strengthen your security strategy, recognizing the versatility and specialized skills of security guards will ensure that you get what you need.

Scout Security is dedicated to providing top-tier security solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of businesses in the Colorado Springs and Denver Metro areas. We have different types of security guards who are fully certified and rigorously trained for different applications and industries. Reach out to us now!

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