Security Guard Salary: How Much Do Security Guards Earn?

Discover the earning potential of security guards, including the national average and Ontario-specific pay information.

Security guards have plenty of reasons for pursuing this career. Whether it's a long-term goal, career stepping stone, or another part of their professional journey, their job means something to them. It also means you can pay your bills! Security guards can make a great living since they’re paid to take risks, deploy specialized training, and protect valuable property and priceless human lives. Knowing what to expect on your paycheck and how to negotiate in your job interview are essential steps in researching any job because they help inform the investment you make in training and education.

Security Guard Salary Trends

Is the salary for security guards rising or falling? Projections show the security guards' wages will increase by 10% in the next five years. That’s well above the average inflation rate, so your living standard should increase alongside your experience.

It’s also helpful to know these facts about security guard salaries in Canada:

  • Private-sector jobs pay 6% more than government jobs

  • With every 2-3 years of experience, you can earn a pay bump of 20% to more than 40%

  • A college degree, in addition to a security guard license, can lead to an 80% bump in pay

  • More than a third of security guards receive a bonus in addition to their standard salary

What Factors Influence a Security Guard’s Salary?

Likely the two most influential factors in your salary as a security guard are the location of your workplace and the risk involved in your specific duties. Here’s how those elements can influence your salary, as well as a few others.

Location and Demand

Think of it like this: some places need more security guards and are willing to pay them more. Big cities or areas with many businesses might offer higher salaries than smaller towns. This is all about supply and demand. If many people want security guards, then the job pays more. Location and demand also affect the cost of living. Again, people in big cities are likely to pay more because it costs more to live there. Some people choose to commute further to work to live in a cheaper area yet still make big-city wages.

Industry and Sector

Not all security guard jobs are the same. Working for a large corporate tech, defense, or luxury goods company might pay more than working at a local mall, parking structure, or college campus. The difference in pay will come down to how much danger or risk is involved and how much of a threat is posed if unwanted individuals gain improper access.

Experience and Training

Even a newbie security guard can confidently negotiate a higher-than-average salary if they have relevant experience (or can explain how unrelated experience makes them a suitable candidate) or have undergone in-depth training. As security guards gain experience on the job and in different environments, they can ask for raises or take new opportunities in higher-paying jobs. Security guards can combine their training with a college degree and enter a management or executive-level position to maximize earning potential. Bridging classroom learning with practical experience is an ideal mix in the eyes of many employers.

Shifts and Hours Worked

The time of day a guard works can also impact their salary. Working late at night, on weekends, or on holidays can sometimes mean extra pay, thanks to the employer’s policy or local/national pay regulations. Taking on overtime, unpopular shifts and coverage for unexpected absences can quickly push your paycheck a few digits higher.

Additional Compensation and Benefits

Security guards can achieve bonuses from certain employers for achieving performance milestones or maintaining certain metrics of success. They can also be rewarded for earning additional certifications or being able to train new hires.

Benefits can include health, dental, vision, life, disability, and other insurance, usually as a cost-shared between employer and employee. They can also offer retirement plans or pension programs. Most employers will offer attractive paid time off benefits. However, security guards must give advance notice to ensure their essential duties are accounted for while they are gone.

How Much Does a Security Guard Earn in Ontario?

The median wage for a security guard in Ontario, Canada, is $17.56/hour. On the low end, security guards earn around $16.55; on the high end, they earn up to $46.00/hour or more. Ontario's average wage is around $23.00/hour or roughly $48,000/year. The median wage is the middle value when all wages are lined up, while the average wage is the total of all wages divided by the number of wages counted.

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