What does a surveillance agent do?
Surveillance agents (also know as gaming surveillance officers) are responsible for observing the operations of casinos and other gaming facilities to identify any wrongdoings and suspicious behavior such as cheating and theft. They also ensure all patrons and employees are complying with the required laws, regulations, and rules. They typically use video and audio equipment located in observation rooms. Some use one-way mirrors that are located above the floor of the facility. They organize and maintain security camera recordings just in case they are needed for evidence in investigations by law enforcement. Surveillance agents are also responsible for walking the floor of gaming facilities periodically to observe the activity. They must write detailed reports to document unusual activities.
What kind of training does a surveillance agent need?
Surveillance agents need at least a high school diploma or GED, but most employers prefer some type of postsecondary training. Some employers prefer candidates that are former law enforcement personnel. Many surveillance agents have an associate or bachelor degree in criminal justice, security, law enforcement, or other related field. Prospective surveillance agents often complete courses in criminal justice, public relations, crisis deterrence, and surveillance equipment. They also often complete classroom training that is provided in a casino-like environment. Most employers also require surveillance agents to pass a thorough background check.
What are the prospects for a career as a surveillance agent?
Employment of surveillance agents is expected to grow as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The increase in casinos and more state legalizing gambling will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be favorable, especially for surveillance agents with extensive experience. Numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace surveillance agents that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do surveillance agents make?
As of January 2010, surveillance agents with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $27,497 and $39,524. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $31,360 and $63,000 (2).
A career as a surveillance agent is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in providing a variety of surveillance duties in the gaming industry. Surveillance agents must have a solid understanding of gaming operations and the necessary surveillance procedures. Physical stamina, strong observation skills, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Surveillance agents must have good communication skills because they interact with a variety of people. They must be able to document suspicious behavior and specific violations. They must also be quick on their feet because they sometimes have to detain suspects until the necessary officials arrive.