What’s it like being a security guard?

We interviewed three security guards about their experiences on the job. 

The first guard we interviewed was Chris Ballantyne. He’s had 3 years working in health care security after graduating from the Protection, Security and Investigations from Georgian College. 

What led you to become a security guard?

Chris Ballantyne, #OPEN_TO_WORK

“I wanted to become a security guard in order to build an excellent foundation and reputation for a further career in law enforcement. Working in a hospital, we work alongside law enforcement almost daily, building rapport as well as getting a brief sneak peek into their procedures.”

Check out Chris on Linkedin

When asked What do you like about the job? Chris said, “Knowing I’m building my knowledge and resumé base for my next career, the people are awesome, and it’s not the same thing every day, always a little different.”  

Chris says that working as a security guard, he found he dislikes, “Unfortunately the pay, sadly in New Brunswick security is a tad underpaid, even when calculating cost of living factors percentage-wise, it’s still low in my opinion, but many careers are lower paid in the Atlantic provinces of Canada.”

Next, we interviewed Damien Rickus, who has been working as a security guard since March 2021.

Damien became a security guard because being a security guard was one of the three career paths I chose when leaving secondary as there can be a lot of progression within the security business from a static guard up to close protection and going from employee to employee self-employed into a business owner.

When asked, “What are some misconceptions people have about security guards? “Damien said:

“The biggest misconception people have about security guards is that we are lazy and have no clue of what is happening around us; this is untrue as a security guard needs to be fully alert at all times also we have a multitude of tasks and training in which we need to complete in order to keep every person as safe as possible.”

Check out Damien on Linkedin

How many hours do you work as a security guard?

The majority of shifts are 12 hours; however, you can work a 15 hour shift if your company lets you do so; signing the opt-out agreement is the best thing to do as you can then work 5 days out of 7, making for a total minimum of 60 hours in a week.

How much do you make as a security guard? Do you feel it’s fair to pay?

Chris says, “$16.50/hr. I feel it’s low compared to where I used to live, which was about $10/hr more. The hospital there and here are similar in size (the one I currently work at is technically bigger by bed count), thus serving a similarly sized community.’

Damien has similar views stating, “The majority of pay for security staff is around £10 per hour; I believe this to be unfair as there ate costs that we security personnel have to endure to qualify and get our badges”.

What are some of your responsibilities?

Chris, who works in healthcare security, says his responsibilities are:

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Maintaining secure entrances (Locking doors, making sure windows and doors are closed, not damaged and functioning as intended. Maintain parking lot standards (written warnings, counts of spots). Assist staff with upset or possibly violent patients, visitors etc.

Whereas Damien says, “The responsibilities of a security can include, first aid, patrols, access and egress control, CCTV monitoring, key keeping, some receptionist responsibilities (if working in a gatehouse), spotting potential threats.”

Phillip Brigante is currently working as a security officer who previously worked as a security police officer in the air force. His military training is what led him to become a security guard. One thing he enjoys about the job is being able to help people and find there’s nothing he dislikes about the position. He shares Chris and Damien’s views on the common misconception of being a security guard is that they are seen as rent-a-cops. 

Check out Phillip on his Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/phillip-brigante-a174aa20b/

2+ years in Design and Marketing. Works at Baig Security as a Digital Design and Marketing Manager.
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