The Covid-19 lockdown has increased demand for security services and New Zealand Security Association boss says the pandemic response could open up 1000 more jobs in the industry on top of the 700 current vacancies.
CEO of the New Zealand Security Association, Gary Morrison, said "a small positive to come out of all this is that our people are getting appreciated a lot more."
"A lot of them work at night and go unseen, but I want people to know what a great job they are doing," he said.
With many businesses using security guards to oversee lockdown restrictions and rules, Armourguard Whanganui's Wayne Watson said the situation showed the community "just how important security personnel is."
Watson has over 30 years experience in the security industry and said his phone has been "ringing constantly" over the past week or so.
"It's not an easy job," Watson said.
"A lot of security guards get abused and criticised, and perhaps people don't appreciate the works they do, and my guys have been outstanding throughout the Covid-19 crisis."
Watson said people's tolerance was "pretty low at the moment", but stressed security guards were essential workers, "just like those in the supermarkets and hospitals."
"Ninety-nine per cent of people have listened to the guards and been really thankful," Watson said.
"There's always going to be a few who are having a bad day, but you've just got to take it on the chin and be as kind as you can.
"There's no point in making a bad situation worse."
Owner of Stronghold Security Whanganui, Trego Jnr. Ngariki, said many of his staff, including himself, are self-isolating away from their families.
"I've got a newborn baby at home, so I chose to self-isolate away by myself," Ngariki said.
"It doesn't make sense to put my family at any unnecessary risk."
Raising the public's awareness about the dangers of Covid-19 was important, Ngariki said, as those who were still unaware, or nonchalant, about safety measures were more likely to cause problems at places like supermarkets.
"We're making sure our team is staying in their own bubbles, and we all need to keep up with the latest government updates as much we can."
Morrison, said there were still seven hundred vacancies in the security industry throughout the country, with over 1000 more likely to open up as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'd encourage those who may have lost employment as a result of Covid-19 to get in touch," Morrison said.
"Those in the hospitality industry, for instance, can expect a similar wage and hours in our field."
Potential security employees are required to have a security licence before entering the industry, with a full police check carried out before that licence is issued.