Thanks to the ongoing war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, the contractors provided by private military companies make up a workforce that is larger than the combined forces of the U.S. Military. Private military companies (PMC) offer job opportunities to contractors to provide services to the military rather than as soldiers trained in combat. As wars have become more sophisticated, there are many more operations and duties that need to be performed, but some of these can be performed by outsourcing to a mercenary or contractor of a PMC rather than being carried out by a military soldier.
As a private security contractor, you are an employee of the PMC and preference is given to those who already have a military background or some sort of experience in law enforcement. It's very helpful to be an ex-policeman or former military MP if you want to sign on as a PMC security guard. Mercenaries are in no way accountable to the U.S. military and are considered civilians rather than military personnel. Most PMC employees find a rewarding second career in mid-life after being honorably discharged from military service or honorably retiring from the police force.
Security contractors are very well paid for their services, as much as $1,000 a day, but usually with no benefits. Their mission is to provide protection and defensive security to corporations and government agencies as well as military forces anywhere in the world. Work assignments include guarding ambassadors and other high-ranking civil servants stationed internationally, operating counter-drug operations, protecting oil operations, providing security force training and security planning, and training and protecting guards who work in animal preservation to stop poaching. Because contractors are charged with protecting the personnel they guard, they can find themselves in dangerous situations as well as under fire, so they certainly earn their per diem wages.
Contractors are often considered soldiers for pay because their goal is a paycheck rather than serving their country. PMC contractors owe their allegiance to the country or government paying their salary rather than to the United States. In many instances, governments decide to hire mercenaries because it is more cost effective than expanding their own military forces from the civilian population.
Worldwide, military forces in many countries are shrinking due to budget problems. The slack is being picked up by private military companies to provide a cost effective way to offer military and security activities. As a result, opportunities are increasing for those able to work far from home and willing to be exposed to some element of the dangers of war and foreign intrigue as a private military company contractor.