Security guard schools train students to become a security guard for an office, retail store, museum, government building and other locations that require onsite security monitoring. In order to become a security guard or security officer, you will need to complete several courses in law enforcement and log in service hours to get your security guard license. Many security guard schools offer very intensive, accelerated learning programs and will assign students to various locations to complete their service requirements. Trained guards are usually issued a certificate on completion and are registered to provide services in their state.
How to Become a Security Guard
In order to become a security guard, you need to be in great physical shape and successfully complete your security guard training program. Security guard training programs typically consist of a variety of courses, including human protection, property protection, computer code protection and emergency procedures. Every state has its own set of security guard training requirements, so the types of courses you take and the length of the program will depend on where you live or choose to relocate to complete your studies.
Some schools grant you a security guard license after successful completion of your course requirements, and after completing your required service hours.
Security Guard Training Programs
Security guard training programs can be two-year associate's degree programs, semester certificate programs, or four-year bachelor's degree programs in the area of law enforcement and criminal justice. Every security guard school offers different types of security guard training programs, with an emphasis on arrest procedures, report writing, surveillance, self defense and emergency procedures.
The most common types of security guard training programs include:
Security Guard Pre-Certification Training
Security Guard In-Service Training Programs
Bachelor of Science in Security Management
Personal Security Guard Training
Security guard training programs typically consist of the following types of courses:
Attending Security Guard School
When you attend a security guard school, you will be trained to work in a variety of public settings, including banks, retail stores, airports, building management companies, government offices, schools and even restaurants or bars. The demands of the security officer vary significantly depending on the location, type of business and the hours of operation. You will be trained to perform a number of surveillance and reporting duties, and will also learn how to operate various types of weapons and equipment.
Armed security guards receive formal training in self defense, weapon retention and the use of force. These skills ensure that the officer is well-equipped and trained to handle emergency situations and respond to assault situations and criminal activities.
Security guards who wish to further their career may pursue a bachelor of science in law enforcement or security management. These formal degree programs are designed for individuals who want to specialize in areas such as corporate crime, criminology, computer security and emergency planning.
Getting a Security Guard License
Almost all states require security guards to be licensed, and all prospective officers must complete a special application and pass a background check and drug test. Every state has different licensing requirements for armed and unarmed security guards.
When you are ready to get your security guard license, you will need to:
Complete your classroom training requirements and pass a written test
Pass all applicable drug tests
Pass a criminal background check
Undergo weapons training if you are entering the armed security field
It's important to keep in mind that armed guards are usually certified as "special" police officers, and may be able to explore several career opportunities.
Some companies that hire teams of security guards provide ongoing training and workshops in various procedures and protocol. This ensures that he security guard is well-equipped and trained to handle all types of situations.
Licensed security guards can also enroll in a training program offered by The American Society for Industrial Security International. This organization offers training programs and exams in the areas of evidence handling, emergency procedures, crime prevention and report writing.