The requirements to becoming a security guard include a high school diploma, a complete criminal background check, proper physical fitness, and a security license—also known as the guard card. The
requirements change depending on the state and the country.
The overall duties of a security guard include keeping watch over a specific target. The might be direct watch, wherein the guard stands on the property or walks around, or through the use of monitoring security cameras. Their job is to make sure that no suspicious activity or malpractices are taking place that would be harmful or otherwise damage the property. Protecting against robbers and thieves is another aspect of being a security guard. If the guard is unable to control the situation on their own, then informing the police is the next step.
The overall job description associated with a security guard entails safeguarding, patrolling, and monitoring for violence or theft on the premises to which the guard has been assigned. Larger organizations will employ more than one security guard while smaller ones will use a
single guard. In either case, the guard is held responsible for providing safety against violators by determining which disturbances will results in losses to the client and then intervening in those disturbances. Certain organizations will offer additional training for security jobs to better explain their responsibilities.
The duties are dependent upon employment in a static security position or a mobile position. For a static position, the hours are specific and the assignments can be to monitor close circuit camera, arms, and alarms. Monitoring visitors to the premises is also a part of
this role. For mobile positions, the guards are responsible for patrols via foot, scooters, or cars in a defined zone.
Daily reports are required to explain any activities or disturbances which took place during the guarding period. Unusual circumstances are to be reported such as property damage or the entry of an unauthorized individual. If something such as a fire occurs, fire departments should be notified for additional support. Likewise, if individuals have been apprehended or a large threat exists, the police department should be notified.
Lastly, the job requirements of a security guard include checking lights, windows, doors, gates, as well as alarm systems.
There are other jobs which require additional qualifications and duties. For instance, if the position is as a marine security guard, a hospital security guard, or a hotel security guard, then being attentive to the people working, the premises, and being physically fit are considered “a must”. If one is employed with a company as an entry level static security guard, there are sometimes opportunities to advance with the completion of additional training such as firearms training. It is important that employees inquire about the potential
for advancement and the additional requirements therein.
The educational requirements for becoming a security guard are minimal. There is no minimum education requirement, but having an associate degree or a certificate in criminal justice is recommended. A degree in a field related to security job placement is also
recommended. There are certain states which require a high school diploma or a GED. However, there are certain employers who hire without these requirements. The minimum age requirement to become a security guard is 18 years of age.
Why Become a Security Guard?
There are many reasons to become a security guard. One of the biggest reasons is how the private patrol
industry continues to grow and expand. Growing
industries such as this one give employees advantages
such as promotion availability and competitive pay.
Those starting out in the security industry start out at the
bottom and quickly climb the rank to high paying
positions such as supervisor, captain, etc.
How high your salary is depends on how long you have worked for the company and your position. Generally security guards will earn $20,000-$50,000 per year, however those who climb the ranks can make a salary significantly higher than this.
Another big reason is that the process of becoming a security guard is relatively simple and straight forward. Security guard applicants find themselves on the job within a short while after applying. After some quick initial training and other quick processes you could be on post and starting your security guard career within a week.
Also consider that the stress level a security guard faces can be relatively low (especially compare to police officers.) Although this is not true with all security guard posts, it is true for many. Low stress security officer positions are usually the "behind the scene" positions, typically night shifts. That is not to say there aren't highly stressful security posts, however it is not hard to find a low stress security guard post.
And last but not least, as a security guard you will have the opportunity to help others. Security guards are responsible for maintaining order at their post. In the event of a crime they can be a valuable asset that can result in arrests and even the saving of lives in certain cases.
To recap, here are the biggest reasons to become a security guard:
- Its a growing industry that continues to expand
- Private patrol companies offer competitive wages
- Security guard advance quickly through the ranks
- You will have the opportunity to help others
- Security guards face less stress than police officers
If you are debating on whether or not to become a security guard, I strongly urge you to take the next step today.
Security Guard Requirements
Following your states due process of being a licensed security card will result in employment with a security guard firm. As mentioned above, each state has different requirements and regulations for becoming a security guard. However nearly all states are universal on certain applicant requirements.
Here is an overview of what most security guard companies require card before starting work. Those pursuing a guard card must complete a set number of training hours through a licensed class. These required training hours can range anywhere from 20-40 hours+ total. Those pursuing an armed guard position will need to complete additional training.
Age Requirement: Legally all Security guard companies must require their workers to be at least 18 years of age.
Education Requirements: Although it is not required by all security companies, most will require applicants to have graduated high school or obtained a GED. Those who hold a 2 year degree in criminal justice hold a greater advantage in the security industry.
Criminal Background: Most security companies run a background check on their potential employees. Applicants with a criminal past including felonies and/or misdemeanors offenses may be refused a job position.
On-The-Job Training: Some newly hired security guards will be required to complete a set amount of on-the-job training time.