A new report highlights the best cities to be employed as a security officer.

The report studied 379 cities, looking at annual average salary, number of jobs, cost of living and location quotient.

According to the report, the 1 million-plus security officers employed in the U.S. in May 2014 earned $28,040 on average, or an hourly wage of $13.48, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

The top 5 cities are: 

1. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital scored highly in each of our categories, namely in total jobs (32,890), the fourth-most in the country, behind only New York (80,970), Los Angeles (52,160) and Chicago (41,850). Helping its cause further is that the National Association of Security Companies is based in D.C., with ASIS International in nearby Alexandria, Va. There are also a lot of elected officials with their own details.

2. El Centro, CA
El Centro has just 850 security guard positions in its city limits but makes up for that with the nation’s top annual average salary, $43,490, which is 55 percent higher than average. Generally speaking, less jobs equals higher pay, as nine of the top 10 paying cities in the country have fewer than 1,000 total positions. California as a whole has 14 percent of the nation’s security guards, the most. El Centro in particular boasts a public safety training center to produce future security personnel.

3. New York, NY
Aside from its sheer volume of security guard opportunities, the Big Apple recorded a top-10 location quotient, meaning that there is more demand for their services here than most anywhere else. Many larger security companies – including Guardsmark, Apollo International, Elite Investigations, among many others – call the city home. With large public departments “NYPD” and “FDNY,” security guards here can, in some cases, serve as an important intermediary between them and the public.

4. Trenton, NJ
With its data also capturing that of nearby Ewing, Trenton security guards take home an annual average of $39,170, the 10th-best salary of the cities we studied. The New York-New Jersey area is represented seven times on our list of the top 30 (below). Trenton, it should be noted, was ranked near the bottom of our study of New Jersey’s safest cities, ostensibly pointing to the high rate of security guards employed by businesses. The city has many jobs listing a desire for security officers, an oft-used synonym.

5. Augusta, GA
Augusta – and the county of Richmond, its data-reporting partner – round out the top five due, in part, to a low cost of living. It’s nine percent less expensive for security guards to live here than in an average American city. Augusta’s top employers are schools and hospitals, both of which require security services; it’s also the home of a Minor League Baseball team, the Class A GreenJackets and their Lake Olmstead Stadium. Moreover, nearby Atlanta is the headquarters of larger firms like SecurAmerica, while Roswell, Ga. hosts US Security Associates.

The full list is at http://www.valuepenguin.com/2015/05/best-cities-security-guards