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Security Guard Jobs And How To Get One

Updated on January 10, 2012

There is an on-going demand for well-trained security guards.


Because security guards may be required to chase and apprehend desperate and often vicious criminals, they must be physically fit. Because they need to interact with a variety of individuals, they must be observant, vigilant, have good communication skills and the ability to remain, always, tactful, and persuasive. Security guards must also have good reflexes, good hearing, and good eyesight. Security guards may work alone or as part of a team.

Security guards work in locations such as airports, bus depots, financial institutions, educational facilities, and entertainment facilities. They may also be found in shopping malls, hospitals, construction sites, and military installations. Some security guards are hired by home and property owners.

Depending on where they are employed, security guards may work at any time of the day or night, as well as weekends, and holidays. The work of security guards may be both stressful and dangerous.

Security guards may remain on duty in one location, or may patrol, either on foot or in a vehicle. They will be constantly checking for criminal activity, and evaluating passersby. When business are locked down, guards will check lighting, windows, doors, and alarm systems. In some locations, they may be required to detain, question, and even arrest those suspected of breaking laws. Security guards may carry weapons, and use guard dogs, as well as communication and surveillance devices. Security guards wear uniforms and at times may wear protective clothing. During and after periods of duty, security guards will get in touch with their supervisors, write reports, and attend meetings.


Those that wish to become security guards, will need at least a high school diploma. While in high school, take courses in English, computers, and a second language. Get some experience working in the public sector, where you will learn how to interact with a variety of individuals, and work as part of a team.

Take a course in first aid and CPR. Even if these are not required, they will be useful. You will need to obtain training in such areas as self defense, the use of firearms, and crowd control. These training courses are offered at community colleges and technical schools, as well as security guard training facilities. Further training will be given on-the-job.

Although a high school diploma is sufficient to get a job as a security guard, those with a college education will be eligible for the more prestigious jobs, will earn higher salaries, and will more likely be promoted to positions as supervisors and managers. Consider a college course in criminal justice.

Anyone with experience in law enforcement or the military will have a decided advantage in getting a job as a security guard.

All security guards, in all states, must be state-licensed, be at least eighteen years of age, pass a security test, and pass on-going drug tests.


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    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      You are very flattering Tillsontitan - I write this kind of article in hopes that it will help someone find a satisfying career - thanks again - b.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Another hub with a great job description. Have you thought about being a career counselor? Seriously, well written and informative. Voted up.

    • RK Sangha profile image

      RK Sangha 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for a good hub and information.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you for you comments thelyricwriter, and for voting up - I am very grateful - B.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, and awesome billips. Great article. This is a very informative article my friend. Very well written. Hope you are doing great and hope you have a great day. Take care.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Glad you liked it HP RoyChoudhury - I appreciate your commenting - B.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

      I like it.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for you comment Alocsin - I am glad you found the hub interesting and I appreciate the vote up - B.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      A job anyone can consider, even with just a high school diploma. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you very much for your kind comments Derdriu - I appreciate the time you took to read the article and am flattered that you found it useful - B.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Billips, What a clear, logical, useful summary of the successful application for security guard! Security guards have heavy responsibilities, which can be quite stressful. In particular, you do a great job of identifying the key requirements and tasks of guarding a place's security. You also make suggestions of the extra but relevant accomplishments which one can bring to the job, such as community college coursework and rescue skills.

      Thank you for sharing, voted up + all,