Security guards are a vital part of society, providing a sense of safety and security to businesses, organizations, and even homes. Unfortunately, many of these individuals are paid a low wage and are not afforded the same benefits and protections that other professions have. This lack of income and stability affects not only the security guards themselves but also the communities they serve. Paying a livable wage to security guards helps to ensure that these dedicated individuals can provide the best possible service to their employers and the communities they serve. By doing so, we can create an environment where security guards are compensated fairly, have access to adequate benefits, and are able to achieve financial stability. Paying a livable wage to security guards is not only an ethical imperative, but it is also a key factor in promoting safety and security in our communities.
The current state of security guard wages
The State of the Union blog recently conducted a survey of U.S. security guard salaries; the results of that survey are not promising. The survey found that most security guards are not making a livable wage. In fact, the average salary for security guards was just $11.91 per hour, which is not enough to support a single individual in any state. In some areas of the country, security guards may be able to make a slightly higher wage, but they are still not being paid enough to make ends meet. Security guards in the New York City area earned the highest average salary, at just over $18 per hour. In the vast majority of other cities, the average salary was below $15 per hour. Even in high cost of living areas like New York City, $18 per hour is far from a livable wage.
The impact of paying a livable wage to security guards
There are many positive impacts that come from paying a livable wage to security guards. First, it promotes fairness and equity. Individuals who are working hard should be fairly compensated for their efforts. A livable wage not only provides security guards with economic stability, but it also enables them to support their families. Paying a livable wage to security guards also promotes efficiency in businesses and organizations that use security guards. It can be incredibly challenging to find and train new employees if the security guards you currently employ are underpaid and can’t afford to stay in their positions. The impact of paying a livable wage to security guards on communities is also especially important. When communities have access to safe, well-trained security guards, everyone benefits. Businesses can operate more efficiently and safely, residents can go about their daily lives without fear of harm, and first responders have more support and information during emergencies.
How paying a livable wage to security guards benefits employers
One of the biggest benefits of paying a livable wage to security guards is that it increases retention rates. Security guards who feel valued and fairly compensated are far more likely to stay in their positions for long periods of time, which makes the hiring and training process far less challenging for employers. Paying a livable wage to security guards also enables employers to attract better candidates to the field. Individuals who are interested in becoming security guards but do not want to be underpaid can be attracted to the field and may even be motivated to pursue security guard certification.
How paying a livable wage to security guards benefits the community
Beyond the direct impact that paying a livable wage to security guards has on employers, there are also numerous benefits to the communities where these individuals work. One of the most important is that it creates a more diverse security force. Communities are best served when security guards reflect the people they serve; however, the current situation often results in underrepresented groups being hired for these positions. Paying a livable wage to security guards also enables communities to benefit from long-term stability. Communities suffer when security guards are constantly rotating out of their positions, taking valuable time and effort away from keeping people safe.
Ethical implications of paying a livable wage to security guards
There are ethical implications associated with paying a livable wage to security guards. However, when weighed against the positive impacts described above, these implications seem manageable. The first ethical implication is the potential for security guards to turn to crime to meet their financial needs. This is most likely to occur when security guards are struggling to make ends meet and are forced to live paycheck to paycheck. Fortunately, many businesses that pay livable wages to security guards take additional steps to ensure that their guards are receiving appropriate benefits.
This includes offering assistance with things like childcare and health insurance, which can help reduce the risk of security guards turning to crime.
How to ensure security guards are paid a livable wage
There are a few steps that employers can take to ensure that they are paying a livable wage to security guards. First, it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to the profession in your area. Employers must understand what is needed to be in compliance with state and federal laws. Next, employers should assess the wages they are currently paying to security guards. This involves calculating the average hourly wage based on the length of the shift and the number of hours worked. Employers can then compare this figure to the state’s minimum wage to determine if they are paying a livable wage to security guards. If not, it may be necessary to make adjustments to ensure compliance with the law.
The security guard profession has been thriving in recent years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in this field will increase by 10% between 2016 and 2026. However, many of these positions do not pay a livable wage. Pushing for higher pay for security guards is an ethical imperative, as well as a strategic way to advocate for the profession as a whole. It ensures that the individuals we trust with our safety are supported with a living wage.