Security guard supervisor

A security guard supervisor


Security guard supervisors monitor and oversee the activities of guards who protect properties from vandalism acts and theft. They assign areas to be patrolled by guards on a regular basis, transfer the individual caught trespassing to police custody and develop safety plans and drills for the buildings and employees under their supervision.

Security guard supervisors typically do the following:

  • Supervise and oversee security functions in an organization.
  • Train and schedule programs and functions to security personnel.
  • Evaluate, assess and analyze performance of security personnel.
  • Initiate disciplinary measures wherever necessary.
  • Provide security to office staff, buildings and properties.
  • Keep the premises free from all kinds of dangers.
  • Screen visitors before allowing them to enter the premises.
  • Maintain all security devices and products in good working condition.
  • Develop and implement preventative measures against accidents, thefts and other risks.
  • Ensure compliance of applicable policies and regulations while implementing security measures.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to security guard supervisor:

security supervisor
guard chief
guard supervisor
security guard chief
guard manager
commercial security officers supervisor
security officers manager
security chief
security guard manager

Working conditions

Security guard supervisors work in a variety of places, including industrial settings, stores, and office buildings. They may spend considerable time on their feet patrolling buildings and grounds or may sit for long periods at a single post, such as in a guardhouse at the entrance to a gated facility or community. Others may spend periods of time in a vehicle, patrolling the property and grounds.

Security guard supervisors may also spend much of their shift sitting at a desk or counter in a dark room, observing customers on video surveillance equipment. They may have to monitor activity on multiple screens for long periods of time without distraction.

Work Schedules

Security guard supervisors usually work in shifts of about 8 hours, with rotating schedules. Night shifts are common. Most security guard supervisors work full time. Seasonal work may be available during the holidays and during the warmer summer months in some locations.

Minimum qualifications

Security guards supervisor is not an entry-level role. To reach this position, people should have a significant work experience in a security-related job, such as security guard, bodyguard, gate guard, or similar.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Security guard supervisor is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Security guard supervisor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to security guard supervisor.

security guard
gate guard
security consultant
security alarm investigator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of security guard supervisor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of security guard supervisor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

store detective
hand luggage inspector
police inspector
immigration officer
police detective

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of security guard supervisor.

  • Security threats: Types of threats to public and private security such as unauthorised entry, aggressive behaviour, molestation, robbery, theft, assault, kidnapping, murder and public demonstration.
  • Criminal law: The legal rules, constitutions and regulations applicable for the punishment of offenders.
  • Surveillance methods: Surveillance methods used in the gathering of information and intelligence for investigation purposes.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of security guard supervisor.

  • Undertake inspections: Undertake safety inspections in areas of concern to identify and report potential hazards or security breaches; take measures to maximise safety standards.
  • Ensure public safety and security: Implement the relevant procedures, strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities for the protection of data, people, institutions, and property.
  • Maintain facility security systems: Ensure that proper and functional security systems are in place, including alarm systems, fire alarms, sprinklers and emergency exits.
  • Monitor surveillance equipment: Monitor the operation of equipment used in surveillance and gathering of intelligence to ensure it functions properly and to gather the surveillance information detected by it.
  • Manage the security team: Plan, organise and schedule work, equipment and procedures to be followed for the security staff under your supervision.
  • Manage security equipment: Oversee and conduct inventory of security tools and equipment.
  • Supervise staff: Oversee the selection, training, performance and motivation of staff.
  • Coordinate patrols: Coordinate the investigation and inspection of a certain area by assigning patrollers to routes and areas, establishing the area that needs patrolling, and coordinating the activities during the patrol.
  • Write security reports: Compile data on inspections, patrols and security incidents into a report for management purposes.
  • Detain offenders: Keep back offenders and trespassers in a certain area.
  • Liaise with security authorities: Respond quickly to security incidents and violations by calling the police and keep in touch with other relevant parties involved in the potential prosecution of the offender.
  • Ensure law application: Ensure the laws are followed, and where they are broken, that the correct measures are taken to ensure compliance to the law and law enforcement.
  • Execute inspection walkway: Carry out a route in order to verify if all the doors and windows are closed.
  • Practice vigilance: Practice vigilance during patrol or other surveillance activities in order to ensure safety and security, to look out for suspicious behaviour or other alarming changes in patterns or activities, and to respond quickly to these changes.
  • Coordinate security: Organise the personal, technical and organizational security requirements.
  • Supervise security at manned access gates: Ensure that surveillance operations undertaken at manned access gates are carried out as effectively as possible.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of security guard supervisor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Check methods: Procedures used for investigative purposes such as surveillance by physical and electronic means, interrogations of witnesses, collection of objects and data for assessment and analysis and physical and electronic research for collecting data.
  • Legal use-of-force: The characteristics of the use-of-force, which is a legal doctrine employed by police and army forces, to regulate acts of violence during interventions. Use-of-force is ought to balance security needs with ethical concerns for the rights and well-being of intruders or suspects.
  • Security in industrial buildings: Security procedures, characteristics, tasks and risks encountered in industrial areas such as factories, ports, warehouses and mines.
  • Fire safety regulations: The legal rules to be applied for fire safety and fire prevention in a facility.
  • Legal requirements related to ammunition: Legal regulations and requirements in the field of selling, buying, handling and storing ammunition.
  • Illegal substances: The forbidden substances which cannot be transported from one area to another, or carried by an individual, as well as their nature and how to handle them.
  • Security in commercial buildings: Security procedures, characteristics, tasks and risks in commercial areas and institutions such as banks, malls, tourist spots, hotels and restaurants.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of security guard supervisor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Operate radio equipment: Set up and operate radio devices and accessories, such as broadcast consoles, amplifiers, and microphones. Understand the basics of radio operator language and, when necessary, provide instruction in handling radio equipment correctly.
  • Restrain individuals: Restrain, or control by force, individuals who violate regulations in terms of acceptable behaviour, who present a threat to others, and who perform acts of violence, to ensure the individual is unable to proceed in this negative behaviour and to protect others.
  • Provide first aid: Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.
  • Monitor parking areas to maintain security: Monitor the entry and exit routes within the parking areas and report on any hazards, accidents or violations.
  • Train security officers: Instruct, train and further educate security officers.
  • Provide door security: Spot and monitor individuals or groups of people at the door who intend to enter the premises unlawfully or have potential for causing threats.
  • Manage major incidents: Take immediate action to respond to major incidents that affect the safety and security of individuals in private or public places such as road accidents.
  • Handle surveillance equipment: Monitor surveillance equipment to observe what people are doing in a given area and ensure their safety.
  • Check official documents: Check an individuals’ official documentation, such as driver’s licenses and identification, to ensure compliance with legal regulations, and to identify and assess individuals.
  • Ensure hotel security: Guarantee the security of guests and the premises by monitoring the hotel premises.
  • Perform security checks: Monitor and check individuals’ bags or personal items in order to make sure the individuals present no threats and that their behaviour is legally compliant.
  • Document security incidents in the store: Prepare documentation and specific reports of the security threats, observations and incidents, such as shoplifting, that occur in the store, to be used as evidence against the offender, if required.
  • Patrol areas: Patrol a designated area, watch out for and respond to suspicious and dangerous situations, and communicate with emergency response organisations.
  • Deal with aggressive behaviour: Respond promptly to adverse behaviour in a professional manner by taking appropriate and legal action to prevent further aggressiveness, such as verbal warning, lawful removal from the premises or apprehension of the person involved. Report details of adverse behaviour in line with the organisation’s procedures.

ISCO group and title

5414 – Security guards

  1. Security guard supervisor – ESCO
  2. Security Guards and Gambling Surveillance Officers : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. List of Security Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities – Great Sample Resume
  4. Featured image: By Akatamba Richard – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on November 19, 2022

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