Security guards are used for a variety of jobs at an array of locations. Depending on the job they are hired for they can either be armed or unarmed security guards. Traditional unarmed security guards can have a wide range of duties consisting of property watch, college or high school patrol, and department store security. Armed guards usually cover areas like banks, high-level personal security or duties involved within the Armed Forces. The individual needs of the business, college or department store will determine if they hire unarmed or armed security guards.

Most would assume that the training would differ for an armed security guards versus an unarmed security guards. That assumption would be correct, but is there a payoff to becoming an armed security guard versus being an unarmed security guard or is it just a personal preference?

In order to work at a basic level of security, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or something equivalent. According to Security Degree Hub in recent years, in order to help raise the quality of these specialists, states have begun requiring that every level of security guard pass a series of tests covering the powers of arrest. They must also complete a training program within the first 100 days on the job. Specific rules can vary based on state laws. According to online source, Study, topics typically covered during this training program consist of basic security techniques, investigations, report writing, patrolling tactics and emergency procedures. Training will also depend on the business who hires the guard. 

Surprisingly, all of those requirements are the same for an armed security guard. The only difference is that an armed security guard must complete additional hours of training that is specialized in firearm handling and safety (Security Guard Training HQ). What would be the benefit of going through the extra training to become an armed guard?


  1. You will be better protected: Especially as a security guard, the added protection can be comforting. This does not mean that you will have to use your firearm, but knowing you have the option to do so if the situation presented itself is reassuring. 
  2. You will have better chances to advance your career: Just like anything in life, the more training and experience you have in a field, the more opportunities there are to grow. There are many other types of jobs available to guards who are qualified to carry a firearm. (However, just because you are qualified to use a firearm doesn’t mean that every job or business will allow you to be armed officer.) 
  3. You will be paid more: The more training you have, the higher the pay. It is just like a college degree. The higher education you have, the more you will be paid. According to PayScale, an unarmed security guards average pay for a year can be anywhere from $18,074-$34,923. An armed security guards average pay for a year can be anywhere from $21,411-$51,636.

For more information on current security guard positions available in Northern Illinois visit today!

By: Christa Vandenburgh