Security guards are everywhere: schools, malls, office buildings, hospitals, museums, nightclubs, and even movie theaters—just to name a few. They’re the first responders in a life or death situation and often the first person anyone turns to in a time of need. Whether answering alarms or apprehending individuals who pose a security threat, a security guard can be doing any number of tasks on a daily basis.
There are several different types of security guards: those who specialize in retail loss prevention, armored car guards, gaming surveillance officers, bouncers, etc. However, whether or not you want to go on to become a police or law enforcement officer, anyone who wants to start a career in security needs to obtain a certain type of training.
First and foremost, you should at least have a high school diploma. Most security guard jobs are entry level and typically require one. However, just having one won’t guarantee you a job. If a position requires use of a firearm, you must be legally allowed to carry a handgun. You must also have knowledge of public safety and security and of the laws and regulations that govern the security field. Know your manuals by heart and be familiar with the policies and the procedures of the company you work for.
Additionally, you should work out regularly and practice strength and aerobic training so that you’re always in your best condition and ready for whatever your job requires of you. Learn self-defense and practice it as part of your workout routine. Continue learning outside of the gym and go to workshops or seminars when you hear about them or go to refresher courses to learn from more experienced guards.
However, personal and interpersonal skills are just as important as tactical ones. You must be able to communicate effectively orally and in writing, work well independently and with others, and be mindful of customer and public service. You also must also be able to think quickly and critically and exercise good judgement in potentially dangerous situations. Never make assumptions. When you do, you are likely to be wrong and that can get both you and the company your work for in trouble. Never assume someone is safe or okay just because they’re in a suit and tie or because you’ve seen them around before. Letting down your guard is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Outside of the job, be aware of what’s going on in your community. You should know about crimes that are taking place before they come to you. Also, take the extra step and find a mentor. If you can find someone that can give you good advice when you need it, you’ll have a better chance at being a great security guard. Great security guards are highly trained to help keep you, your family, and your property safe. It’s proper training, dedication, and passion that end up making all the difference.