If you’re looking for a new career or if you’re interested in part-time work after retirement or during college, you may be wondering how to become a security guard. As of 2016, there are over a million security guards in the country, and there are between 11,500 and 23,000 in Arizona alone. If you want to join their ranks, here’s the criteria you need to meet.
1. You Must Be Over 18
To work as a security guard, you must be over the age of 18. However, for some posts, including agency associates, you must be over 21. Facilities that serve alcohol may prefer guards to be over 21 as well.
2. You May Need a License and Training
Generally, if you’re going to work for a company that supplies security guards to other companies, you need to be licensed. The Arizona Department of Public Safety offers training and licensing. The training for unarmed guards is just 8 hours long. If you want to be an armed guard, you will take 16 hours to complete the training.
The training covers some criminal laws and rules of arrest. These classes also cover how to be a first responder and how to preserve a crime scene. If you’re the only authority on site and a crime takes place, you need to know what to do until the police arrive.
During training, you will also cover basics such as ethics, grooming and uniforms. If you take the longer course to be an armed guard, you will be trained with either a revolver or a semi-automatic gun.
3. You Need a Clean Background
Before issuing your license, the state will do a background check to ensure that you don’t have a criminal record. In addition, most companies will do another background check before hiring you. Typically, you can only become a security guard if you have no felonies or other serious crimes on your record.
4. Experience Can Help
Experience is not required to become a security guard, but it may help you land a job. In many cases, former police officers move into security. If you were in the military or held any other related posts, note that experience on your resume to increase your chances of finding a position.
5. There May Be Additional On-Site Training
In addition to the training you do to get your license, you may need to do some site-specific training before taking a job. Security guards work at hospitals, schools, casinos, sports venues, hotels and a range of other establishments. Each of these facilities is likely to have its own unique needs and training requirements.
On top of that, you may need to learn how to work x-ray machinery or metal detectors. If you do virtual security, you will learn how to watch the monitors and how to respond if something is amiss.
6. The Right Personality Can Help
The tangible criteria explained above aren’t the only factors that affect your future success as a security guard. The right personality and innate skills can help. Strong security guards are attentive. They are often visual, detail oriented people who can look at a situation and easily tell if something is going wrong.
7. Confidence Is Essential
Successful security guards tend to be confident and have a natural air of authority. In many cases, just the presence of a security guard deters crime, but that usually only happens if the guard has the right demeanor.
If you think you have what it takes to be a security guard, we encourage you to apply. Trident Security is a locally owned and operated security company based out of Tempe, Arizona. We provide highly trained security guards and vehicle patrol professionals to a range of businesses and gated communities throughout the area.