Doorman v. Security Guard: What Are the Differences?

Doorman v. Security Guard: What Are the Differences?

You’re searching for a security solution for your facility. You’ve narrowed it down to two options.
Now the question is — do you need a doorman or a security guard?

Both titles imply that someone will be by the door in case help is needed. But there is a difference between a doorman and a security guard. If you’re considering hiring a doorman or security guard for your property, it’s good to know the benefits of each.
It’s not just the job title that’s different, but the capabilities of each job that could help protect your property or make your investment in safety worthwhile. And yes, the salary of each is different, meaning you’d also consider that.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the difference between a doorman and security guard so that you can make the best choice. If you find that, after reading, you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
For now, let’s dive in!

Doorman vs. Security Guard: Cost

With any business, it’s always important to consider your budget. How much does a doorman make vs a security guard? The answer may actually surprise you.
A union doorman costs $70,000 per year, while a security guard making about $15/hour will cost around $31,000. This information may be enough to help you make your choice on its own, but also consider how many you’ll need.
For 24/7 security, it will take about 4 full-time employees, which could move the savvy financial decision towards the corner of going with a building or apartment security guard.
But money, like usual, doesn’t always tell the whole story. Consider the fact that a doorman’s salary is fixed, while the number of security guards you maintain at your facility can change. This allows you flexibility in your security budgeting, another plus for having a security guard.

Why The Cost Difference?

A doorman makes more because they are a unionized employee. Generally speaking, their salary is higher because of the chances of having them around for a long time. Or at least, that’s what conventional wisdom would lead you to believe.
That isn’t to say that good security guards don’t stick around. Actually, there’s no evidence to suggest that one placed in the right job would stick around less than a doorman would. A good security guard agency can connect you with trustworthy people that stick around for both a commercial or residential property.
Now, a doorman might call taxis, open doors, and even help with some maintenance work around the building. But is that worth an extra $40,000?
These duties add up to a bigger role within the place of employment and may be distributed through a smaller number of employees (typically doormen aren’t staffed at the same numbers as security guards).
A security guard may have fewer responsibilities– or at least, more concentrated– that are specifically focused on maintaining safety and security in the building. If security is your #1 priority, then a security guard is the way to go.

Background & Training

When it comes to the hiring a security guard, always consider security guard training. Why? because it can vary. Some security guards have a background in law enforcement, but that’s not always the case.
As you research for security guards, you should screen potential candidates or hiring companies to ensure that you are getting quality candidates for your location.


How much training does a doorman receive compared to a security guard? The answer is that it depends, and may come down the work they’ve done previously or the type of training course they took.
Some doormen get their jobs on good people skills and experience alone, and never receive actual “training” for their position. For security guards, that isn’t possible.
While all doormen and security guards should be trained in CPR/AED, it’s more likely that a security guard has been trained for emergencies. Further, many security guards come from law enforcement or military backgrounds.
In case you are curious, here’s where you can learn what it takes to become a security guard in each state.

Other “Conventional Wisdom”

Doormen are responsible for getting to know people in their building, helping them, and being connected to what’s going on in the facility.
Further, most doormen are employed by the actual building. Conventional wisdom says that because they aren’t working hourly for a new site all the time means they will contribute to the vibe of the building.
But that’s not necessarily true. Hiring the right security guards can provide the same benefits, as well as actually security by people trained properly for your property.
A doorman might be more reliable– again, that’s questionable– but we’re pretty sure we know who we’d want working for us in the event of an emergency.


If you’re trying to decide between a doorman and a security guard, it may come down to what you value and your budget.
A security guard offers budget flexibility, trained skills for emergency situations, and can offer many of the same benefits a doorman can offer at a lower cost.
If security is your #1 priority and you need someone that can get the job done, a security guard is definitely the right solution. But even if it’s not, a doorman might just cost more than it’s worth.
In any case, do your research and, whenever possible, ask for references.

Doorman vs. Security Guard: Wrap-Up

There are a lot of factors to consider when you decide between a doorman and a security guard. Budget, training, qualifications, and the responsibilities you expect of the new employee are all things that need to be discussed before making a choice.
Ultimately, you’re hiring someone to keep your building safe and improve the experience of visitors, customers, and whoever else is coming inside. For more on security and safety tips, check out our blog. Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to learn more about security guards, visit us here:

OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at

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