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What Does a Night Security Guard Do?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A night security guard is responsible for monitoring the premises of a business, institution, or other area during the nighttime hours. The area the night security guard will monitor may be open to the public or a private area closed off to the general public. Guards may only be required to obtain minimal qualifications for some security positions, while in other cases, the guard or guards will be trained professionals who carry firearms and are prepared for emergency situations. These professionals may be considered a type of law enforcement, and they are usually employed by private companies who will then hire the guards out to other entities in need of security services.

Very often a night security guard can be hired with little or no formal training or education. The skills needed to be successful at the job can be learned through job training; this is usually only true for lower level security positions, in which the night security guard will not carry a gun. The guard may go through training in order to be qualified to carry pepper spray or other types of weapons, but generally, such a guard will not be given firearm training.

More advanced positions may require the night security guard to complete a high school education at the very least, as well as training in firearms safety and use, law enforcement training, and more. The guard may in fact be a former police officer or other law enforcement officer who has spent significant time on training and job experience. Such job candidates will have obtained training through a police academy or similar institution. Former military officers may also become night security guards, as their military training and experience will give them the skills necessary to be successful in the job.

A night security guard will work exclusively at night, which presents its own set of challenges. Working at night means the guard will need to develop a new sleep schedule and be prepared to be awake all night. He or she will need to be familiar with night security techniques, since darkness can make it more difficult to recognize potential threats or criminal activity. The night security guard will need to be familiar with police protocol, as he or she may need to contact local law enforcement agencies in the event of an emergency. A commercial driver's license may or may not be required, depending on the scope of the guard's responsibilities.

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Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By anon941399 — On Mar 22, 2014

I work as a day guard and recently was thrown a 14-hour night shift on short notice, which I jumped at. I then got another five 12-hour shifts.

The night guards I work with are morons. They once ignored a massive leak for four hours to let the day guards deal with it. They got a written warning. I found the first shift a little hard as it was short notice but when I got home, I blacked out my room and slept late then I was back to work. I have done five of the six shifts and after the first one there were no issues, yet the other guys are asleep half the time, which I find annoying when there are people looking for jobs at the moment.

Like others, I bring a laptop, watch movies, play games or read books. Night work is very easy work and I'm always available to deal with a call or a person. If a site were to ban laptops and such they would find all their guards go to sleep. If you need to sleep, take a lunch break and sleep for a hour.

By pleonasm — On Jul 08, 2013

This kind of work can really screw with your health. You might think that you'd eventually get used to being awake all night and sleeping during the day, but you never actually do. It always feels a little bit wrong and you never seem to get a good "night's" sleep.

The pay can be good and sometimes people don't have a choice, but I wouldn't recommend it if you do.

By indigomoth — On Jul 07, 2013

@browncoat - If someone doesn't want to pay for a full time guard they could try for something like a monitored alarm system instead. I think that's quite a bit cheaper than actually paying for a guard.

My mother's school has a system like that installed and basically it means the whole school is wired with an alarm that will go off if someone goes into the building when the alarm is set. The alarm is noisy and it also alerts the security company, who will call their contact at the school.

If the contact goes in and finds a bird has set off the alarm or something, the guards don't get paid and the school saves money. If the guards have to go out to the school, then they get paid.

By browncoat — On Jul 06, 2013

It really is worth getting a security guard from a reputable company, rather than just going for the cheapest one. If you don't have some way to check up on them there's no telling what you'll end up with. In some cases the guard might end up robbing you themselves.

Or they might simply sleep through their shift, rather than stay alert for problems. And even if they are willing to try and do their job properly, it is actually quite difficult to be a security guard, particularly if you are guarding something valuable and may actually come into contact with people trying to steal it.

You could end up spending all the money you saved and more on lawsuits if you get the wrong guard, so I would definitely not skimp on this area.

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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