There are more private security guards than police officers in the United States. As of 2017, there were an estimated 1.1 million security guards in America. That’s in comparison to an estimated 800,000 police officers.
Working as a security guard comes with a lot of responsibility. You must have strong observational powers and be ready to act at a moment’s notice. But the requirements for becoming a security guard aren’t as stringent as those for becoming a cop.
That makes it a more appealing career choice for those who don’t want to go through the police academy. Read on to find out the basics of how to become a security guard.
How to Get a Security Job
A security job isn’t like a job in fast food. In other words, you can’t walk in off the street and start the next day. You’ll still need training.
For starters, you have to be at least 18 years old and in the United States legally. You should also have a clean background because you’ll get fingerprinted before you can start working.
The background requirements will vary a little depending on your state. Some companies may also have stricter requirements than others.
For instance, there are some companies that will allow you to be a security guard if you got arrested for public intoxication 10 years ago in college. There are other companies who have a zero-tolerance policy for that sort of thing.
It’s definitely not a career for people with long rap sheets. Once you pass a background check, you should expect to undergo several hours of training before you start work.
Most security guards are not armed. If you want to carry a weapon, you’ll need even more training.
The training and classes won’t be free. Your employee may pay some of the costs. But there’s a chance you’ll be responsible for paying some fees out of your own pocket.
Working As a Security Guard
Not all security guards patrol the premises. Some security guards stay stationed in one spot for their entire shift. It all depends on the type of security you’re providing.
You’ll mostly be working in commercial security. Some security companies also provide services for private events. But if you hire security guard services by OPS Security Group, you’re hiring a company that specializes in protecting corporate buildings.
Your main job will be to look for any signs of suspicious activity. If you see suspicious activity, you may feel compelled to intervene and detain someone.
You can do that with the proper training. But you should also be ready to bring in local police.
Security guards can prevent a lot of crime by being visible. There are criminals who will see a security guard on patrol and decide it’s not worth the effort.
But some bad guys are more determined than others. Security guards are often at a higher risk of getting injured on the job.
Knowing how to be a security guard means knowing when you should call for backup.
How to Become a Security Guard
Security guard jobs are in high demand. Once you figure out how to become a security guard, you’ll need a few years of experience. But after that, it may be time to start your own security business.
Ready for the next challenge? Check out our blog post on becoming your own boss.