Security guards and gaming surveillance officers typically do the following:
Guards and officers must stay alert, watching for anything unusual. In an emergency, they are required to contact police, fire, or ambulance services. Some security guards carry firearms.
Security guards work wherever people and assets need to be protected. Responsibilities vary by employer. In offices and factories, for example, security guards protect workers and equipment and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises. In retail stores, guards protect people, merchandise, money, and equipment. They may work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers and employees, detain shoplifting suspects until the police arrive, and patrol parking lots.
Gambling surveillance officers work in freestanding casinos and other facilities that have designated areas for gambling, such as hotels, video gaming terminals, and riverboats. They typically work from an observation room within the gaming facility.
Security guards, also called security officers, protect property, enforce rules on the property, and deter criminal activity. Some guards are assigned a stationary position from which they monitor alarms or surveillance cameras. Other guards are assigned a patrol area where they conduct security checks.
Gambling surveillance officers and gambling investigators act as security agents for casinos. Using audio and video equipment, they watch casino operations for suspicious activities, such as cheating and theft, and monitor compliance with rules, regulations, and laws. They maintain and organize recordings from security cameras, which are sometimes used as evidence in police investigations.
Security guards typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not require formal educational credentials. Gambling surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Most states require that security guards be licensed by the state in which they work. Although licensing requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:
Guards who carry weapons usually must be licensed by the appropriate government authority. Positions for armed guards have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than do those for unarmed guards. Most states require rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, for armed guards.
Some states and gaming facilities require a minimum age of 21 to work in a casino.
Some jobs may also require a driver's license.