If you’renew to the security industry but are interested in pursuing a career as a security guard, the guide below will help you understand exactly what is needed of you, and how you can go about getting the training and skills to fulfil your desired role:
Step One: Select the right training program
Depending upon where you live, or which state you plan to train as a security guard in, you’ll need to complete a certain type of schooling and training. Begin by reaching out to the relevant state licensing board, who oversee all regulated professions for the state. They will help you determine the necessary requirements for becoming a security guard in your location, and when selecting a training program, look out for the following qualities:
- State-approved curriculum
- Classroom and practical training
Step Two: Be aware that continuing education will likely be required
Courses designed to supplement your existing knowledge (continuing education), are required by the majority of states throughout the U.S. and in many cases, security guards must complete 16 hours of continuing education within the first 30 days of working as a security guard. Note that this doesn’t include the 8 hour Power to Arrest initial training requirements.
Often, newly qualified security guards must then undertake a minimum of 16 hours of additional training.
Even if the state in which you’re in doesn’t mandate that you pursue continuing education, it’s always a good idea to do it anyway, since it enables you to keep your career options open and stay ahead of the competition.
Step Three: Apply for security guard designation
After completing the training as required by your state, you can then go on and apply for a security guard designation, and this will usually be a license or official certification.
Obtaining a security guard license means that certain license requirements specific to your state, must be met, and while they can vary, most require security guards to qualify for the following:
- Be 18 years old or above when applying
- Have completed all of the required training/curriculum
- Pass a physical fitness aptitude test
- Pass a criminal background check and FBI fingerprinting
- Pass a multi-panel drug screening
- Qualify for license renewal
- Be able to pay a licensing fee and agree to the professional code of conduct
Step Four: Start applying for jobs
Because you’re a newly licensed security guard with no experience, it’s best to try and find an employer who is comfortable with this, and who has a reputation for offering promotions and other opportunities to progress within the company or career.
Step Five: Get yourself specialty certified
The best opportunities for career advancement, a higher salary and job security is by specializing in a certain role within the security industry, and there are a variety of unique certification programs available that allow you to do exactly that. A successful career within the security guard industry is entirely within your grasp, provided you follow the steps above, and always take your training and the responsibilities that come with it, extremely seriously at all times.