An armed security guard is a licensed gun holder who works to keep a building or business safe from crime, fire or other threats. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 17 percent increase in demand for security guards through 2016, resulting in the creation of 175,000 new jobs.
Armed security guards patrol the area, where assigned looking for suspicious individuals and handling threats as they occur. Often, the mere presence of an armed security guard is enough to deter crime or vandalism.
Some armed security guards work directly for the company or business they serve, while others work for agencies that supply guards to businesses. Armed security guards work in banks, hospitals, office buildings and government buildings as well as a number of other locations.
Some armed security guards work daylight business hours, while others work evening, overnight, weekend and holiday shifts when businesses are closed.
Because of the nature of the position, armed security guards face a threat of violence from perpetrators of crimes. There is also a threat of accidental injury related to use of a gun or trying to apprehend or detain a suspicious person.
In most states, guards must obtain a license by submitting to a background check and participating in a state or company-run training course. There are some technical or professional training schools that offer a diploma in security for prospective guards.
According to October 2009 reporting on Payscale.com, the average annual salary for armed security guards is between $22,566 and $54,938.