The life of a security guard

I have been talking to some people in the security industry, and have done up a funny sort of FAQ for security guards. Please note that I have no way of verifying that all the information is correct.

FAQ for security guards

Q. What is the most surprising thing that you discovered when you became a security guard?

A.  The security guard in the box outside the VIPs’ houses – the majority of them are not allowed to use the toilet in the house.

Q. What does this remind you of?

A. The “natural aristocracy” in ancient times.

Q. Do you have a plastic bag – just in case?

A. Nobody  gave me a definitive answer.

Q. How long is the typical shift?

A. 6 hours.

Q How different is it from the normal shift?

A. The typical work hours for security guards is 12 hours a day for 6 days a week.

Q. So, what are the dos and don’ts?

A. Never drink anything before you start your shift.

Q. Who are the security guards in the boxes outside VIPs’ houses?

A. Most if not all of them are employed by a private security company.

Q. Who works as security  guards in Singapore?

A. About 40 per cent are Malaysians (maximum allowed).

Q Do they live in Singapore?

A. No. Most of them commute to and from Singapore daily.

Q. And the balance 60 per cent?

A. PRs and Singaporeans. There is no available breakdown into PRs and Singaporeans.

Q. What’s the pay like?

A. According to the MOM web site’s wages benchmarking tool – the median basic pay is $857 and the median gross pay is $1,749.

Q. Why  is there such a big gap between the basic and gross pay?

A. Mostly overtime and the allowances from working typically at least 72 hours a week.

Q. How many security guards are there?

A. More than 30,000?

Q. Is there a shortage of security guards to work?

A. Yes, about 10,000 shortage.

Q. How many people have a security guard license?

A. More than 70,000? Licences cost $16 each and are valid for five years.

Q. Why is the scheme to encourage people to work part-time as security guards not working well?

A. Because the pay is only about $6.50 an hour.

Q. What does the future hold for security guards?

A. “An NTUC-led committee of unionists, government officials and security industry associations has launched a “progressive wage model” for guards – a wage ladder that ties basic salaries to training. Under the plan, which kicks in from September 2016, guards will earn a minimum monthly basic pay of $1,100 per month and supervisors, $1,500.”

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