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How to Become a Security Guard


Are you interested in becoming a security guard? Do you want to know what it takes to become a private guard? Do you want to know the requirements and basic training you need to become a security guard? Then read on.

The security services industry is one of the fastest growing in the world; thanks to increased crime rates, increased urbanization rates, reduced faith in public safety measures, and a growing rate at which the middle class are acquiring assets they wish to protect. According to a World Security Services Market report, the global demand for private security guards is estimated to rise by 7.4% annually through 2014. The US is the world’s number one consumer of private security services, holding over 30% of the global market. Countries like China, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Mexico are expected to record 2-figure growth rates over the next few years.

Now, what do these statistics suggest? Well, it simply suggests that the private security industry is fast becoming more lucrative. And that becoming a security guard may be a very smart idea, after all. Full-time or part-time, you will make some money (you may not make much from the start, though). Plus, it doesn’t require much of physical labor. If you have been planning to take up a new job and you have security duty on your list of options, this post is for you.

What do you really need to undergo a security guard training

So in this article, you will learn all you need to do in order to become a security guard. After reading this post, you will either strike out the idea of working as a security guard or strike out all other ideas on your list. So without wasting your time, below are the steps you should follow if you really want to become a security guard:

How to Become a Security Guard

1.  Find out about the educational requirements

In some states in the US, as well as in some countries, there are no minimum required educational qualifications for security guards. However, those with relevant certificates (such as a 2-year degree in a criminal justice program) are given preference during recruitment exercises. In most places, the minimum requirement is no more than a high school certificate. In fact, some employers may even hire security guards who don’t have this qualification. So, it’s all about the employer’s requirements.

2.  Enroll for a security guard training program

Even if you think you have an innate guarding instinct, you will still need to fine-tune your skills so as to put yourself in the best shape for the role of a security guard. If you are in the US, the minimum training program you can enroll for is the obligatory 8-hour pre-assessment course by the state department. Taking this course qualifies you for a state-issued security guard registration card. However, this doesn’t stop you from honing your guarding skills by taking other courses. Most courses include training on property rights, emergency handling, self-defense, effective communication skill, and so on. On the average, a training course spans a few weeks.

3.  Get a permit (if necessary)

While many states in the US do not require it, obtaining a permit boosts your credibility and gives you an edge over others during recruitment. Note that a permit is different from a license. While a permit gives you a blanket permission to work as a security guard, a license permits you to assume certain special duties, such as carrying firearms or gaining access to special place.

4.  Get your license

If you will have to be an armed guard, you need to obtain a pistol license (Class G License) after you must have completed a firearms training program. Such a program entails training on handling and safety of weapons. As an armed security guard, you will work in highly technical or restricted areas, and you will get higher pay due to the higher risk involved in such duties. But if you are unwilling to work as an armed security guard, you can stick with a Class D License, which is issued to non-armed security guards.

5.  Seek employment

After you have acquired the required certifications, training, and licenses, then you are ready to start work. To secure a job, you have two options:

  • Firstly, you can contact a private security company, telling them that you want to take up a job. The company will link you up with an employer whose requirements match your qualifications.
  • Secondly, you can approach a company directly and apply for a vacant job position. You can choose this option if you are unable to find a private security company.

As a security guard, you can work in casinos, museums, companies, private offices, banks and other financial institutions, as well as other places that are prone to cheating and robberies. In addition, you can work as a personal guard to a high profile individual. Depending on your qualifications, skills, and experience, you can earn between $4,000 and $120,000 per annum working as a security guard.

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