Security Guards and Related Security Service Workers

(NOC 6541)

in All Sales and Service

This group includes workers who guard and implement security measures to protect property against theft, vandalism and fire, control access to organisations, maintain order and enforce regulations at public events and within institutions, conduct private investigations for clients or employers and provide other protective services. They work for public or private security agencies, residential complexes, educational, cultural, financial, and health institutions, retail stores, businesses and industry, investigation service companies, transportation facilities, and organizations throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 405 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate 10325 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 17495 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. 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 may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a average portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 46% 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)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$14.14

Median

$23.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,139

Minimum

$23,096

Median

$46,506

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$18.36

Median

$22.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

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 organisations, maintain order and enforce regulations at public events and within institutions, conduct private investigations for clients or employers and provide other protective services. They work for public or private security agencies, residential complexes, educational, cultural, financial, and health institutions, retail stores, businesses and industry, investigation service companies, transportation facilities, and organizations throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Security guards:

  • Control access to institutions, use 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 organization activities.
  • Make sure 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 businesses.

Corporate security officers:

  • Investigate unlawful acts of employees or patrons of businesses.
  • Recommend security systems like electronic detection devices and access devices.

Private investigators:

  • Investigate to locate missing persons.
  • Get information for use in civil and criminal litigation matters or for other purposes.
  • May also conduct polygraph tests (integrity surveys) for clients.

Retail loss prevention officers:

  • Prevent and detect shoplifting and theft in retail businesses.

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

Skills

  • 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

  • High 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 company-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 businesses serving alcoholic beverages.

Other considerations

  • Corporate security officers may require experience as a police officer.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,205

employed in 2016

67.7%

employed full-time

1.1%

self employed

25.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
74.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
50.3

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

56.4%

employed full-time

5.8%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

56.5%

Halifax

$25,140 median annual income
15.0%

Cape Breton

$21,074 median annual income
12.8%

North Shore

$19,048 median annual income
10.3%

Annapolis Valley

$25,895 median annual income
5.3%

Southern

$17,111 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

73.9%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

8.7%

Public administration

4.2%

Educational services

2.4%

Transportation and warehousing

2.1%

Retail trade

What is the age of Employment?

23.0%

55-64

20.0%

65+

16.0%

25-34

16.0%

45-54

14.0%

15-24

11.0%

35-44

Compared to: All Sales and Service

30.0%

15-24

17.2%

45-54

17.2%

25-34

16.1%

55-64

13.8%

35-44

Top levels of education

36.1%

High school

$22,157 median annual income
26.2%

College Diploma

$26,284 median annual income
16.4%

Less than high school

$20,319 median annual income
8.9%

Bachelor

$22,408 median annual income
8.8%

Trade Certification

$24,556 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

39.8%

High school

$15,705 median annual income
19.7%

Less than high school

$9,866 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$20,644 median annual income
9.9%

Bachelor

$21,262 median annual income
8.0%

Trade Certification

$21,234 median annual income

Education & training

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Security and Loss Prevention Services

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to perform routine inspection, patrol and crime prevention services for security companies. They include courses in the provision of personal protection as well as property security.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Policing Services Division
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.