As we’ve covered the security guard industry over the last few years, we’ve noticed several growth patterns – new interest in security guards in retail, healthcare, and apartments, among other places. 2022 also promises to be an interesting year for the growth of security opportunities. Let’s check out the major locations that we expect to continue hiring in 2022, and what security guards should know about their expectations.
As COVID-19 has continued to be unpredictable, hospitals have struggled with overflowing ICUs, vaccine distribution, and overworked staff. That has led to a rise in hired security guards to help maintain order in hospitals and clinics. We expect that trend to continue throughout 2022: While vaccines have been widely distributed, hospitals continue to see serious staffing problems, irate patients, and ICUs that still struggle with a number of unvaccinated patients.
However, it’s important that guards focus on the scope of their duties and avoid getting involved in the hospital’s own struggles: For a chilling example, security guards recently sued a hospital that told them to handle bags of decomposed COVID-19 corpses, a health risk that was certainly not in the job description.
Many college campuses have their security forces and rarely use third-party services. However, increased demand for guards in many industries have put a strain on campus security, and it’s more likely than ever for colleges and universities to partner with a local firm to provide important security services, especially at events that are likely to see crowds.
Colleges are also starting to hire security guards to help reduce liability issues and growing concerns over parties that get out of hand. For example, USC is now starting to mandate security guards for frat parties to make sure they don’t get out of hand. Guards with club and bar experience will be well-prepared for jobs like this.
At first, a local library doesn’t seem to be the place for a long-term security guard contract, but many libraries do work with security firms to arrange for guard shifts during open hours. Many libraries are seeing increased incidents of drug use, issues with the homeless, and similar problems that the staff is not equipped to deal with. Partnering with a local security firm, especially one that may already be known by the city government, is a common solution. But guards need to be careful here, too: This security officer, for example, was attacked by a person’s dog when they were trying to administer Narcan to a suspected overdose at a library.
Grocery Stores have also had a rough couple of years, and it’s no surprise that many have turned to security guards for help protecting staff and other employees. Violent incidents have increased during the pandemic and continue to be an issue with stores that are administering vaccines, requiring masks, or dealing with employee shortages from the “Great Resignation” of late 2021. Even grocery chains that weren’t previously considering security guards are now planning on partnering with security firms for protection, like Hy-Vee in Missouri. If your guards are available to work in retail or grocery stores, 2022 could be a great year of expansion for your business as well.
Don’t discount this segment of the security industry, which continues to grow as more vendors offer cloud-based solutions and remote storage options for business. Server rooms need both high-end environmental controls (an increase in heat or accidental fire can be disastrous) as well as protection against any unwanted visitors or even potential attacks. That means that these data centers often want a pair or two of human eyes on location at all times, which may provide opportunities for patrol guards in the right areas.
Landlords have also been looking forward to their industry returning to more normal conditions, even as tenants struggle to find rentals in their price range and more areas struggle with growing homelessness. It’s still a situation in flux, but multi-family housing has a growing number of reasons to offer security as a major amenity. That means more apartments are looking for security patrols, or for security firms that offer more specific skills (or lower prices) than what they have found before. This is also an area where neighborhood organizations like HOA have shown interest.
2022 is an excellent year for making plans for your security firm. Do you want to expand with new clients and new types of jobs? There are plenty of opportunities to look for, but it’s also the time to read contracts carefully and help protect your guards from work-related liability issues. Are you thinking about offering new training opportunities to help increase the number of armed guards you offer, or provide guards with particular venue skills? This is a great year to look for classes in your area, as well as look at the current state of security guard licensing in your state. We’ll continue to keep you informed of the latest trends and industry developments.