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Security guard supervisor salary & career outlook

Security guard supervisors have the important responsibilities of ensuring the safety of lives and property, and of teaching and supervising other security personnel. These experienced professionals may inspect buildings for compliance with safety codes, develop emergency plans, or oversee security at public functions, all in a day's work. Most security guard supervisors have extensive training in the field, which enables them to be more effective and knowledgeable leaders.

Security guard supervisor salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer salary information for security guard supervisors specifically, but salary information for security guards could be used as a baseline for supervisor positions. In 2010, the BLS reports that security guards earned mean annual wages of $26,870, with the top ten percent earning $41,240 on average.

Salary.com does provide information for security guard supervisors, reporting $42,918 as the average annual salary for first-level supervisors, and upwards of $58,994 annually for the top 10 percent. Level-two and level-three supervisors earned average salaries of $52,673 and $70,280, respectively. Information from GlassDoor.com, a site that reports data from specific employers, lists average security guard supervisor earnings as between $11 and $22 per hour at a large securities employer, and between $31,000 and $34,000 annually at one Las Vegas-style casino.

Location can play a significant role in earnings for security guard supervisors, as general cost of living expenses can be much more affordable in certain states. The BLS reports that security guard salaries were among the highest in these states in 2010:

  • District of Columbia: $37,870
  • Washington: $37,190
  • Alaska: $35,470
  • Idaho: $31,590
  • Virginia: $31,290

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), areas like Alaska and District of Columbia rank among the highest cost of living indexes nationwide, while in Idaho, Washington and Virginia, the average cost of living is much lower.

The following metropolitan areas offered high mean annual salaries for security guard supervisors in 2010, and also scored well in terms of cost of living:

  • Seattle, Wash.: $42,350
  • Burlington, N.C.: $39,850
  • Amarillo, Texas: $39,790
  • Ann Arbor, Mich.: $34,990
  • Springfield, Ill.: $34,260

Security guard supervisor training: Online and in-class options

While experience plays a critical role in many supervisory security positions, there are formal education paths that may be required or may be beneficial for career advancement. The BLS reports that most states require security guards to be licensed. Licensing includes classroom coursework, covering subject like emergency practices, property rights, and criminal detention.

Additionally, guards can choose to pursue certification, which is not required but can offer validation of knowledge and skills. Finally, the BLS states that guards with some postsecondary education may have an advantage when it comes to advancing to higher paying positions like security guard supervisor. Online education can be a great opportunity to boost your earning power while still maintaining a full-time job or other responsibilities.

Career outlook for security guard supervisors

The BLS reports that job outlook for security guards is expected to be favorable during the 2008 to 2018 decade, with faster than average employment growth. Because higher paying jobs like security guard supervisors may be more competitive, the right education and training can lead to the best opportunities in this field.