Stores spend thousand of dollars on goods, which they mark up to make a profit. However, what about the unsold items that fill the store on a daily basis. Theft and accidents are common, and the best way that the retail industry can combat these things is with security.
Some stores, especially ones that sell very expensive items, employ security officers to work during the day. These guards may or may not carry a gun, but in order to work as a security officer, you must undergo training. Some stores will provide you with this training while others will require prior training and experience. Your main goal will be to learn how to remedy a potentially violent situation while still keeping yourself, other customers, and other employees safe. In most states, you must have a special license to work as a security officer.
More commonly, however, stores will simply hire officers to work at night. As a night officer, you may patrol the store itself or you may simply be in charge of watching surveillance cameras. Again, you may or may not have a gun.
Because the job of a security officer is more dangerous and requires advanced critical thinking skills, most stores will not hire someone under the age of 21. With the harder job, however, comes a higher paycheck. Your pay rate will be determined by two main factors: what you are guarding and how much experience you have. However, in general, security guards make between $28,000 to $35,000 per year. This takes into account the salaries of all security guards, from those who work at hospitals to those who work in casinos. In a retail setting, you’ll be paid around the average amount to start.
There is, however, room for advancement. Many times, security guards are employed not by the store themselves, but rather by the shopping complex or mall. You may start as a nighttime junior-level security officer, but if you consistently work hard, it is easy to work up to positions with more responsibility. A security officer works closely with a retail loss prevention officer and this could lead to a career directly linked to retail corporate management. This is also great work experience if you’re studying law enforcement or criminal justice in school. Although the job is slightly more advanced than working in sales or stocking, it is still a stepping stone for many on their way to even better jobs.