Open for Business? We’re delivering security solutions and peace-of-mind for essential staff. Learn More


30+ Facts and Statistics About the Security Guard Industry

By Carlos Hazbun | Security Guards | No Comments

30+ Facts and Statistics about the Security Guard Industry

More and more industries are examining their security practices in an effort to protect their employees, deter cyber and physical crime, and ensure safe environments for visitors or customers. And more than ever, security officers are becoming an integral part of those plans. Research conducted by The Guardian  indicates that the contract security industry employs approximately 20 million private security workers across the globe. Private security officers now outnumber public police officers in more than 40 countries, including the United States, which had 800,000 police officers and 1.1 million private security officers in 2017.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers, and some of the reasons behind the growth.

Security Guard Statistics

Where Do Security Guards Work?

●        71,000 new security officer positions will be created between 2016 and 2026 — this is a 6% growth rate.1

●        24% of the global security officer workforce is in the United States. The largest share, 26%, is in Europe.2

●        The largest concentration of security officers, more than 680,000, work in investigation and security services in multiple industries.3

●        Elementary and secondary schools in the United States employ 31,800 security officers.3

●        Hospitals employ 38,820 guards.3

●        Arts, entertainment and sporting events employ nearly 20,000 security officers.3




Security Challenges in the Retail Industry

  • Marijuana dispensaries: When new industries appear, there are ripples in the security industry as well. Today, 29 states have legalized marijuana medicinally, recreationally or both. While the number of dispensaries nationwide is a moving target — estimated at between 800 and 2,100 in different reports — their growth is having an impact on security employment. “The cannabis industry has created a lot more security officer jobs,” says Michael Julian, who owns a cannabis consulting business. A primary reason is the fact that Marijuana dispensaries tend to be cash-only businesses because federal law prevents banks and credit unions from accepting industry money.
  • Shoplifting: There are an estimated 27 million active shoplifters in the United States, and only 1 in 48 are caught, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention.
    • A shoplifter typically steals $2-$200 worth of merchandise at a time, often on impulse
    • Losses in the retail industry total $35 million per day, adding up to more than $13 billion per year
    • Adults make up 75% of shoplifters, with men and women equally represented; habitual stealers do so an average of 1.6 times a week


Source: National Association for Shoplifting Prevention

  • Organized retail crime: Theft or fraud by two or more people that results in the loss of large quantities of merchandise or money, such as with no-receipt returns add tens of billions of dollars to retail losses each year. According to the National Retail Federation, ORC results in losses of $777,877 per $1 billion in sales.
  • Employee theft and fraud: $50 billion is stolen by employees at U.S. businesses annually, which equals 7% of annual revenue, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute:
    • At least 75% of employees have stolen at least once from their employer
    • 5% have done it at least twice
    • About 33% of bankruptcies can be attributed to employee theft
    • On average, it takes two years to detect fraudulent activity. And 25% of the time, the amount stolen is $1 million or more.

Hospitals Fight a Rise in Violent Crime

  • In the two years between 2012 and 2014, hospitals and other large healthcare facilities experienced a 40% increase in violent crime, according to the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety.
  • More than 10,000 incidents were reported in that time; the majority were aimed at employees, with domestic violence, or associated with gang activity, homelessness, and the opioid crisis contributing to the increases.
  • The IAHSS indicates that in 2014, 52% of the medical facilities had armed security officers on site; another 47% allowed the use of Tasers.

Safeguarding the Construction Industry

  • Theft costs the construction industry between $300 million and $1 billion dollars per year, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau and National Equipment Register report.
  • The recovery rate? Just 21 percent. That year, there were 11,574 thefts of equipment; Texas, North Carolina, Florida, California, and Georgia were the top five states in number of thefts.
  • A report from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) estimated that the industry loses at least $500 million a year to vandalism and theft together.
  • Amost 19% of sites had vandalism weekly and almost 43% of sites experienced it monthly — issues include graffiti and damage to the site, materials, equipment or the project itself.

How Security Guards Can Help You

On-site security officers can be a deterrent to crime . When used effectively as an extension of your operational team, security officers can be key in implementing and carrying out effective, integrated security solutions at any level. And because we work with each client to determine the best protocol and training for each workplace or site, our security measures are always the most appropriate and cost effective solutions possible.

For more information on how we do business, download our free eBook, “ECAMSECURE &GardaWorld: Partnering to Offer Integrated Security Solutions .” Or contact us to discuss your project and security needs.

Ready to secure your property?

No matter what your security needs, ECAMSECURE can customize the perfect security and surveillance solution.

Related Articles