Security in Illinois

Security Jobs in Illinois differ by location and job duties, but there are many roles available with all levels of training and education.

About Illinois

The “Land of Lincoln” is a state with a diverse landscape. Illinois spreads from an urban Chicago metropolis south to rolling farm fields of corn and grain. The mighty Mississippi River flows along its western border and it shares its eastern border with a small portion of Lake Michigan and the state of Indiana.

The Chicago “L” train is the second-largest and third-busiest rapid transit system in the United States. The Metra rail system is the second busiest commuter rail system. Moreover, the retail has four major stations in Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, LaSalle Street Station, and also Millennium Station. The Union Station is also the hub for Amtrak train traffic.

Added to its busy airports and train stations, the major coastlines on Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, along with 71 public marinas, make Illinois a marine transportation mecca with many opportunities for securing employment.

Security Education and Scholarship Opportunities

A high school diploma, GED, or also equivalent is necessary for entry-level positions as a security guard or transportation security screener. Individuals need a post-secondary education in order to be a police or sheriff officer, depending on the jurisdiction. Advancement in any position will most likely require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

The Department of Homeland Security offers 10-week internships for students in security programs. For students enrolled in criminal justice programs, the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) also funds annual scholarships. Furthermore, federal and state loans and scholarships are available to help pay for higher education.

Security Jobs and Career Outlook

For its category of Security Guards, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 15 percent increase in jobs between 2020 and 2030. The BLS May 2021 information also reports the average security guard salary in the state is $36,710.

The report also lists Illinois as the state with the fifth-largest number of employed security guards in the nation. Likewise, the Chicago metropolitan area is the third-largest area for employment in both categories.

LocationTotal Security Guard EmploymentAverage Salary
All of United States1,057,100$35,830
BLS May 2021 employment of Security Guards by State

Two Illinois airports, Chicago Midway and O’Hare are both large employers of Transportation Security Screeners. In addition, the Police and Sheriff Patrol Officers category of the BLS shows Illinois as a large employer. Illinois and the Chicago metropolitan area hold the same distinguishing honors as the state. Both have the fifth-highest employment level in this occupation and the third for the metropolitan area.

Unarmed and Armed Security Guard Requirements

Do you need a license to be a security guard in Illinois? Security guard licenses are issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. So, visit their website for details and the specific requirements.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation