How to Become a Security Guard

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A person who wants to become a security guard generally needs to complete a high school education. Depending on the company for which they work, security guards may also need training in the use of firearms and detention techniques. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the number of positions for security guards will increase by over 200,000 by the year 2020.[1]

Wikimedia Commons: Alex Proimos
Education High school diploma or higher[1]
Starting pay $17,210[2]
Median pay $24,380[2]
10 yr growth Average: 18%[1]
Related professions Detective
Author Selena Robinson

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Security Guard Job Overview

Security guards are responsible for protecting property, buildings, and individuals, as well as monitoring traffic and activity within the premises. They may work for private companies, government agencies, public agencies, or individual clients. Most security guards work on a full-time basis, but others work on a part-time basis or for sporadic events, such as conventions or conferences.[3]

Security Guard Responsibilities

The job duties of a security guard vary widely, according to the kind of property he or she is hired to monitor. Security guards inspect visitors, perform baggage checks, and patrol the premises. If the property is large, security guards may have to monitor visitors on closed-circuit television and contact other guards if they notice a security issue. Some guards may have to detain suspicious visitors and perform interrogations. If criminal activity is suspected, guards may need to contact local law enforcement agencies.[3]

Security Guard Education

In general, becoming a security guard does not require a college degree. However, students who think they may be interested in pursuing a career as a security guard could benefit from taking college coursework in criminal justice.[4] In each U.S. state, security guards may have to meet certain requirements regarding age and criminal background. For example, the state of Tennessee stipulates that armed security guards must be at least 18 years of age and have not been convicted of any felonies in the past five years.[5]

Security Guard Training

Training for security guards may include lessons in how to use firearms and how to detain individuals. Several states have mandatory training requirements for new security guards. For example, the state of Virginia states that armed security guards must complete at least 50 hours of training in order to become registered to use firearms.[6]

Security Guard Careers

What prospective security guards must do to find work

Also See: How To Become a Private Investigator, How to Become a US Marshal, How to Become a K9 Police Officer, How to Become a Detective


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