Job market for guards set to grow

Industry experts say more security officers will be hired in 2012

"Today, we have to provide a level of security officer that can not only be the guard at the gate, but also have that concierge skill set and be able to do security and safety inspections while on guard tours and identify safety and risk issues throughout an organization. I think there is an opportunity for security providers to become a bigger more valuable part of the corporate process," he said.

Innovations in security technologies such as video surveillance and access control have also had an impact on the duties of security officers; however, industry experts agree that the utilization of technology is not a substitute for having a well-trained guard.

"The technology is only as good as the people that are using the technology," Gillece said. "The technology will continue and probably increase the level of sophistication and demand on our security officers to protect our clients."

Because so much of a guard's duties are now related to managing equipment, Aube said that guards now really need advanced computer skills.

"We are asking a lot from our people to document their actions so they need to be competent using software and managing the equipment under their control," he said. "There is a lot more equipment to manage. Where a guard ten years ago had one or two cameras to manage with one screen, now he has software with 50 cameras and gates that can open."