How to Become a Security Guard: Proper Training & Requirements

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security guard talking on a walkie-talkie

If you had a career in law enforcement or spent time serving in the military, coming back to work as a civilian is a challenging transition. One of the best jobs for that shift is to become a security guard. Having the skill and experience to transport and guard high profile clients is the best way to utilize these skills after retirement. Even if you are looking to make a career change, becoming a security guard through the proper training can make a difference in your career. Below outlines how to become a security guard so that you can continue working in a job that appreciates your skillset and allows you to continue growing your career if you choose.

1. Apply and Meet Initial Eligibility

When you are applying for professional security positions, your experience and career in law enforcement are essential. You will want to outline the different areas you have carried in your past job. Further, the posts can be either armed or unarmed. Any official certifications and training that you have passed should be outlined on your resume, showcasing your credentials and why you are qualified for these positions.

Before you can begin employment with professional security positions, you will be required to pass several exams and a background check. Someone taking on assignments of this caliber must be free from substance or alcohol addictions and be able to handle themselves professionally in all environments.

2. Security Guard Training

There is a security guard training course that is required either after you gain employment, or you can take on your own while applying for these positions. This security guard training offers a variety of different aspects that prepare you for the potential environments and situations that could arise. Since many security guards are unarmed in public settings, they require these individuals to have 24 hours of pre-assigned training, where they are taught the basics in managing situations until backup arrives to take over the position if necessary. 

  • Pre-Assignment Training
  • On-the-Job Training Course
  • Firearms Training (if applicable)

Pre-Assignment Training

Before you can start your employment as a security guard, there is pre-assignment training that generates around the type of environment and security detail that you will be doing with your new employer. Some of these skills and practices apply to all kinds of security guard positions. You may find yourself in training with other recently hired security guards taking on assignments that differ from your own. For many, this pre-assignment training is a review course on skills and abilities that you acquire in their previous law enforcement and military careers. This training course requires 8 hours before you can begin your job.

security guard talking on a walkie-talkie

On-the-Job Training Course

Once you have started your position, you will begin on-the-job training for your security assignment. This on-the-job training will be specific to your particular job and the environment where you will be working. You will have direct access to the various scenarios and those you will be encountering regularly while on the clock.

Firearms Training

If your security assignment requires you to carry a firearm, you will undergo firearm training. This training will get you acquainted with the gun that you will be taking, how to use it, clean it, and carry it safely at all times. You will also learn how to discharge your weapon safely, if necessary, and when you may need to use this weapon. This training is a 47-hour training where you have shown the instructor that you understand how to use and manage your gun. This training is often the end of the initial training cycles and necessary for those assignments with a firearm necessity.

3. Examinations

When seeking information on how to be a security guard, the training requirements include a few exams that test your knowledge of the career and also your ability to handle yourself and others in unpleasant situations. Below are the two reviews that you will have during your security guard training, allowing you to move forward.

  1. Physical Exam
  2. Security Guard Exam

Physical Exam

You will check on your physical ability to handle situations after you have met the hour requirement for security guard training. You must meet specific health requirements and physical skills to be a security guard. When you have reached the environmental criteria of your training, you will move to the security guard exam.

Security Guard Exam

There is a vast amount of legal responsibility to maintain in the security profession. These security officers are a different level of law enforcement, and understanding where you stand with police officers and others is essential.

After your training, you will have a security guard exam, testing you on your training and confirming that you are ready for the career you have selected. This exam will cover everything from procedures and terms to potential situations that you may be prompted with once you begin your assignment. Passing the security guard exam will confirm your security guard licensing.

4. Secure a Security Guard License

If you are looking to transition to a career as a security guard and work in security detail, you should pursue security guard licensing. No matter your experience in law enforcement, military, or other career paths, this licensure indicates that you have undergone the appropriate training and gained the knowledge necessary to be successful in your assignments.

Being able to handle high-level assignments and guard high profile diplomats and politicians in the DC area requires you to have an understanding of your job. You should have the ability to protect these individuals in all types of situations. Employers are seeking those with the right credentials to serve on their security detail.

Are You Ready for Your Career as a Security Guard?

security guard on duty training

The security profession is one of the most sought after occupations. The demand for security is essential to the daily operations of businesses and government organizations in the DC area. As the Capital of the Nation, the risk of unwanted circumstances is higher, and the need for qualified and licensed security guards is essential.

If you would like more information about becoming a licensed security guard, reach out to our training team at SMART Security Pros today. We look forward to helping you move forward with your security guard career.

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