First time poster. Very informational forum, glad to see what the security industry is like in other states too
Id like some information about different security companies in OR and WA.
I live in the great State of Hawaii. The security industry here is very easy to get into but it is very low paying. Most companies only offer unarmed security. The only armed contracts here is at the airport, federal offices and armored car drivers. I work for a locally owned company that is currently merging with King Security. Im a Patrol Officer and all of our mobile patrols are done unarmed, with just a flashlight on me haha. We even go into the ghettos to do our spot checks. Our new boss would like us armed because thats how they are in the mainland, but in hawaii its different. In Hawaii its very hard to get an open carry permit; all requests have to go through the chief of police and he has to write off on it. You have to have a very good reason to want one, and its rarely granted. Its even hard for security companies to even supply thier officers with pepper spray and batons, and even with pepper spray you need permission from the chief.
Well, with that being said, im looking at moving next year and i wanna know what the industry is like in OR and WA, specifically in patrol. I have LEO training as well as 3 years in the security industry. Whats the training like for guard cards in those states? Whats some good companies to look for?
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01-25-2013, 08:01 PM #1Junior Member
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- Jan 2013
Aloha! Questions about Security companies in OR and WA
01-26-2013, 12:26 AM #2Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Port Orchard, Washington
I live in WA state, I can tell you coming from CA it's a very strange way of doing things.
Jobs here, specifically in WA near Seattle are hit & miss with security. I have applied to almost every company in the area and 6 months later I sit here STILL unemployed. (with 4 years armed experience in CA under my belt) The problem here is that you have to get hired by a company BEFORE you can get your licenses to be a guard. Now, armed work requires you to get an unarmed license first, THEN you can go for an armed license. You must shoot the make & model gun you are going to carry on duty, and the gun has to be provided by and owned or leased to the company. (Most companies will let you use your own if you lease it to them for like a $1 a year) strange right? I have no clue on what training requirements there are for baton, OC, & Taser.
I can't fill you in on what training is like, what I do know is that I can take up to 6 months to get an armed license done and processed.
If you are going to move to this area, move near Seattle, Bellevue, or Everett. Those are where the guard jobs are. I live in Kitsap County, and security here is non existent almost (despite a interesting little crime wave we are having).
Craigslist can fill you in on much of the hiring trends here. Look into WA DOL (Department of Licensing) here and read the requirements for licenses. Again, much of it falls onto the company that wants to hire you to train you & send in the paperwork to get you licenses.
If I get a job, I will let you know. I have been applying with a fever pitch lately, and I swear there isn't a company here that doesn't have my information.
I am going to Lakewood tonight or Tomorrow to recon some companies to see who is out there that I have missed.Looking for work in Tacoma/South King County WA, PM ME if you have leads!
01-26-2013, 01:01 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
- Washington State
Puget Sound area jobs
Most Seattle area contract companies pay around $10.00 to $12.00 an hour for unarmed, which is what most of the work around here is. In house departments start around $14.00, plus benefits. Hospital security pays more, but you have to have a special certification for that, although some hospitals will hire you and allow you to get it within six months.
Most of the armed work I've seen is armored car, which pays surprisingly low. (I've actually seen armored car positions at or below what an unarmed guard position pays.) For TammaDrummer 88 you may still come out ahead here on the mainland because the cost of living in Hawaii is higher. Just understand that it isn't cheap to live in Seattle, and while Portland is a bit cheaper, I've noticed their wages are a bit lower also. Check out other job sites besides Craig's List - I notice some of the major employers here stick to NW Source and skip Craig's.
Leitung, being in Kitsap is probably the obstacle. The local scheduler at Warm Bodies 'R' Us probably figures you have to take a ferry to get to work, or you're not close enough to their major client that they constantly have to fill shifts for. Keep looking for in house positions, even if they're unarmed - you'll be pleasantly surprised at the benefits and how professional your fellow officers are. Sometimes it's a lotta stress, but you get the training and equipment you need.
01-26-2013, 01:08 PM #4
I have been in security in and around the Puget Sound WA area from Snohomish County to Lewis County for about 10-years now. Pretty much all of what leitung said is correct, but let me go into some further info...
For starters, it can be difficult to get an armed license in WA, but there are no training or certification requirements for OC, baton, TASER, etc... Your individual company may have requirements, but there is nothing laid down by the state.
The area is just inundated with patrol companies right now once you get up to Tacoma all the way up to about the Canadian border. Some of these are better than others when it comes to pay, and some are better than others when it gets into doing the work you want to do. We also have the big names in security all over the place (G4S, Securitas, Allied Barton, Guardsmark, etc...).
The smaller and mid-sized companies usually have a lot in patrol. Typically if you have a good amount of security or any LE experience, you'll be a quick move into their patrol divisions. These guys can be a good start if you want to get your armed guard license. You will probably find most of your patrols in housing communities ranging from upscale gated communities who just want a courtesy patrol, to seedy high crime communities where you drive with your gun in your lap.
The pay usually isnt so hot, ranging from around $9.50-$11.00 an hour for the small end companies, these are the companies who also pick up some of the more "active" properties. Benefits packages are generally slim to nil.
The midsized companies tend to pay just a little bit better, generally ranging around $11.50-13.00/hr. Usually very contingent on where you work. With the bigger you go in company size, generally the less opportunity there is for patrol as opposed to on-site work.
We also have the big players like I mentioned before. They encompass a lot of different kind of work and pay can go from poor to great. These are a good place to just get a start in security in WA. The pay you'd be looking at can range from $9.19/hr up to almost $30/hr.
Now, outside all of this, are the in-house security departments. Fortunately in WA, we have a ton of them. In house usually has the best working conditions, good pay, and the better benefit packages. I am currently working for an in-house security department, I have made more at a contract site, but my benefits currently are really hard to beat (100% medical and dental, pension plan, company and community discounts, paid time off, etc...) I would say if you want to get into security in WA and have a real sustainable lifestyle, keep shooting for government and in-house security.
Some places to look into...
Smaller and mid-sized companies:
Pierce County/Pacific Coast Security
1 company 2 names
Northwest Security Services
Mid-size company with patrol opportunites
Mid-size company with patrol and TWIC sites
Formerly Whatcom Security
Small company, lots of patrol
First Security/Puget Sound Security
1 company 2 names again. Mid-size with patrol
Midsize company with some loss prevention opportunities
Larger companies include:
They have multiple large accounts like Microsoft, Sound Transit, King Co Metro Transit, etc... The transit jobs pay pretty good money, around $15-17/hr.
I dont know what kind of accounts these guys have much anymore, but I know they're constantly advertising for armed bank guards in Seattle and they provide screeners at the Pierce Co. Courthouse.
I havent interacted with these guys much so I dont know a lot about them except they're here.
Same with AB.
These guys have a lot of observe and report style security. They were in the news a while back for not intervening while a girl was attacked in a Seattle bus tunnel. I have worked for this company before, not a bad place to get your feet on the ground.
They do a lot of large shopping malls.
These guys have most of the government contracts. Its all armed and pay is around the $25+/hr mark now I believe. Difficult to get hired on if you dont have an armed license.
There are also a few of the armored car services:
Brinks, Loomis, Garda, etc... pay usually floats around $11-13.50/hr. Just watch your back, watch the people around you and watch your partner.....
Going into in-house and government:
There are a lot of opportunities here. They usually take a while to get into, but they are usually worth it.
Boeing Security is an armed patrol with good pay and great benefits.
Almost all indian tribes have a casino with in-house security, comes with good pay and government level benefits.
Western State Hospital (Mental Health Facility) and the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center (Civilly Committed sex-offenders) both have state hired security officers. Good pay, full state benefits.
Most counties hire their own security officers for court security; again with the good pay and govt benefits. King County also hires govt security officers for some of their buildings through the Dept of Executive Services.
City of Everett hires security for the transit station.
List goes on and on and on. It usually takes a lot of time and effort to get hired on in-house, but it is usually worth it.
Anyway, I hope this helps."Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
"The Curve" 1998
01-26-2013, 09:26 PM #5Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
Wow! thanks for all the information!
It definetely helps. Here in hawaii we have securitas, G4S, and the like. We have the smaller local companies that get away with paying 7.25-8.00 because our min wage is 7.25. The state just implemented a guard card, but it is only for unarmed, as it is impossible for a guard company to get a open carry permit (and if a company wanted to do so they must have VERY valid reasons for having it) Hell, even out section8 housing here has unarmed security (they should have some armed security, as the crime there has been in the news alot lately)
I have LEO training and experience, as well as a few stints in the security industry. I found some places around tacoma--seattle area mainly on the outskirts which is very cheap and i can easily live off of 13.00 there.
I have also heard something a while back where some police depts in WA hire contract security to supplement them in alot of rural areas where backup can be more than 10 mins away. Is that true?
01-27-2013, 12:56 AM #6
I do not know of any police departments that contract with private security to perform law enforcement patrol duties, not to say they aren't there, but I've never heard of them and I worked for a pretty rural police department.
(Edit: I have to renege here a little bit. I did work for a security company for a little bit that had a really good working relationship with the local police. While we didn't have any specific contract, we would from time to time get calls from the police department asking for our assistance. Any assistance we provided to the police would be free of charge and simply as a courtesy.)
With a few exceptions, pretty much any county sheriff's office working in rural areas can expect backup to be more than 10-mins away.
I am pretty well versed in the Tacoma-Seattle and surrounding/metro areas, if you want to private message me what you're looking at I can give you a good idea on where to go and where is "less-desirable" for the average person.
Last edited by Lawson; 01-27-2013 at 01:04 AM."Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
"The Curve" 1998
01-27-2013, 06:45 PM #7Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
Wow, thanks for all of the information! I wont be moving anytime soon, maybe early next year but i just wanna see whats out there right now.
I definetely know i wanna go into patrol. But seeing as i wont know the areas straight off the plane i know i wont get it from the get go. I do patrol now with my company and i love it but just wish we had more contracts and we carried some sort of defensive stuff (at least OC, baton and handcuffs, because getting armed is nearly impossible, especially with this chief). Any companies do armed posts, like with section 8 housing or anything like that?
Armored car-did it, kinda liked it, until they fired me after 3 months. claimed i had too much "call in's" from the 1800 number they put on the back of the truck. No violations or accidents. suspended me for a couple days and then terminated me. Definetely not doing that again. This was with Loomis.
02-01-2013, 09:48 PM #8Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Port Orchard, Washington
Hey Lawson thanks for the info! You gave me some good company leads there.
I wanna get into the armed patrol thing again up here, how much do you know about pierce county security doing such work? I was told to come into their office on Monday and fill out an application.
I tried to shoot you a PM but it says your inbox is full, if you can fix that I would love to pick your brain about security up here.Looking for work in Tacoma/South King County WA, PM ME if you have leads!
02-01-2013, 11:46 PM #9
Didnt even realize that, its clear now."Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
"The Curve" 1998