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Types Of Security Guards Explained

Types of Security Guards Explained

Danger never sleeps. It constantly evolves in a variety of ways. To keep yourself safe, you should always stay one step ahead of it.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that there are many different types of security jobs to cover various situations. You can choose from uniformed armed guards to patrols in civilian clothing and everything in between.

To maximize your protection, it’s essential that you choose the right type of security guard that fits your needs. Making that decision starts with knowing the options available to you.

This article will explore the different types of security guards and answer important questions along the way, such as “what is private security and do I need it?”

The Different Types of Security Guards


Generally, all types of security guards can be classified into one of three categories, depending on how they’re hired:

  • Government Security

These are security personnel hired by the U.S. government to protect sensitive federal property and personnel. They are often seen in military facilities, police stations, post officers, and courthouses.


  • Proprietary Security

These are security guards hired directly by an organization or individual. Since they are permanent employees, the company hiring them is responsible for their training, payroll, and equipment.

Also called in-house security guards, they are often seen in larger organizations like banks, museums, hospitals, and hotels. Some residential buildings also hire in-house security.


  • Contract Security

Contact security guards aren’t hired directly by an establishment. Instead, they are contracted through private security agencies like The Guard Alliance.

This arrangement has several benefits. The client doesn’t need to worry about hiring or training as the private security service agency does those for them. The agency can also assign the best type of security guard that best fits the client’s needs.

What Can Private Security Agency Services Provide?


As we previously mentioned, agencies offer a much more advantageous way of getting top-notch security than hiring internal staff.

The reason is that clients can benefit from the agency’s expertise. For example, when clients hire The Guard Alliance, we first assess their needs and requirements. That includes site visits and consultation sessions. These steps ensure that we know exactly what our clients need and give them the services to match.

Reputable agencies also have a highly-trained talent pool that allows them to offer many different types of security guard services. The Guard Alliance covers both armed and unarmed guards but also offers roving patrols and fire watch personnel.

Security agencies invest in their hiring and training, which guarantees that they have the best security professionals for hire. For instance, we have one of the most stringent hiring processes that require background checks with the DOJ and local law enforcement. This is something that is simply challenging or expensive for businesses to do on their own.

The bottom line is that hiring through an agency is often your best bet, no matter the size of your business.

But before you begin searching through a list of private security agencies, it’s helpful to talk further about the kinds of guards you can expect.

With that in mind, let’s talk about armed vs. unarmed guards and when you should use each.

Armed vs. Unarmed Guards


Armed guards are security personnel who are authorized to use lethal weapons. They are often used when high levels of security are required, such as government buildings and banks.

On the other hand, unarmed guards don’t carry any weapon except for non-lethal deterrents like tasers or batons. They are suitable for establishments that need mid-level protection but not necessarily force, such as shopping malls and schools. But despite being unarmed, these guards will still use force to restrain criminals or resolve conflicts if needed.

Generally, armed guards are more expensive since they require more training and extensive military or police background.

Uniformed vs. Plainclothes Security


One other security consideration is whether you want uniformed or plainclothes guards on your premises.

The advantage of uniformed guards is that the mere sight of them is often enough to act as a deterrent to would-be troublemakers. Thus, these guards are more suited to traditional duties like keeping watch over building entrances or stores.

Plainclothes security can blend in much better with the crowd, making them great for undercover work. The other benefit is that they can make people much more comfortable, perfect for venues like schools or concert venues. In many ways, plainclothes guards can spot signs of trouble better because perpetrators will be at their worst when no one is watching.

No Matter Your Security Needs, Trust The Guard Alliance


No matter which type of security guard you need, The Guard Alliance can deliver. We have over ten years of experience fielding the best guards, security patrols, and fire watch professionals to clients in California. Contact us today or request a security guard service quote to get started!

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