Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Different Kinds of Security Guard Jobs

The security services field is a large industry with many varying work environments and situations that may arise. From the simple patrolling of a small piece of land to large scale surveillance operations, this industry has a lot of different options.

Do you like crowd control? Do you prefer a more office type setting working with monitoring equipment and computer software? Do you like to work during the day or at night? Do you like to interact with the public on a regular basis? These are the types of questions that you should be asking yourself before considering which company and type of security guard job you would like to apply for.

Types of Employers

Security guards can be public or private employees although typically these days more and more government work is being outsourced to private firms. For this reason, private security personnel far outnumber public ones in most countries today. Public security guards will usually have high paying very challenging jobs such as guarding military sites or highly sensitive buildings or property. Often they have years of experience working for private firms and are recruited to these positions.

Many security officers today use car patrols similar to the police and also travel with a partner. Having a partner around provides protection and companionship. 2 sets of eyes are always better than one. And many security hiring managers have realized that most people are more productive working with others as opposed to solitary work.

Security Guard Clothing

Security guards can be in plain clothes or wear a uniform. Typically this depends on the type of work that you do. For more hands on type roles such as patrolling, communication with the public and customer service, the officer with usually wear a uniform with a badge. This lets everyone know of your authority and presence. On the other hand, if you are doing more backroom type security work such as monitoring closed circuit cameras you will usually not be required to show up for work wearing anything besides your regular street clothes.

Legal Designations

There are many laws in places to make sure that the markings on the uniforms and vehicles clearly distinguish the security personnel from law enforcement. Some security guards also carry weapons on the job. But there are also strict laws in place in most jurisdictions that require that they only be used in the most dire of circumstances. Indeed, there is a whole host of specialized training and permits that a security officer must attain before they can even carry a firearm.

All in all, working in the security guard industry is a very challenging and rewarding profession. But it is a good idea to identify your strength's and weaknesses beforehand and make sure that you find the type of security job that fits you.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Security Guard Training Program: What to Expect

The first thing you must do before you can apply for a job as a security guard is enroll in a training course. As most new recruits soon find out, a career in the security industry entails a lot more than walking around with a flashlight guarding stuff. You can expect a roughly 4 week program featuring intense training, both physical and mental. Nearly all jurisdictions require such a course although in some cases it can be done primarily online.

If you want to get a job as an armed security guard you will need to look into further licensing and training after you complete the regular course. The same goes for highly specialized security positions such as government employees, casino or armored car personnel.

So what can you expect to learn in a security guard training course? Most programs today will cover 5-10 broad areas. A few of the more important ones will be discussed below.


In this aspect of the course the pupil will learn how to communicate effectively with fellow staff and law enforcement using the wide variety of electronic equipment available to security officers. Students will also learn public relations and customer service as they will often spend large portions of time interacting with curious onlookers and passerbys. This also includes how to resolve petty disputes and diffuse potentially explosive situations without the use of force.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Ever since the attacks of 9/11 the threat of terrorism has been front and center in many aspects of our lives. And it has spilled over into the security industry as well. Especially for government or other high profile type security staff, training in the basic identification of WMD materials and imminent terrorist threats is essential. 

How to Arrest 

Sometimes you will have to detain or even perform an arrest on a bad guy or unruly member of the public before law enforcement arrives to deal with the situation. You will be taught how to use a variety of restraining devices such as handcuffs in order to detain someone. This will also include where to take the subject, what to say to them and their legal rights and yours.

Documentation and Observation

Much of a security officer's time is spent watching over property or persons and writing reports on suspicious activity. Indeed, security reports and your eyewitness testimony are often a huge help to investigators. In this aspect of the course you will be taught how to stay on top of a situation and take accurate but quick notes.

Security guard work is anything but stationary or ordinary for that matter. You will often find yourself in different environments with various challenges. It is essential that you are properly trained to carry out the multitude of duties that will be assigned to you. Therefore, a security guard training program is something that you should look forward to and enthusiastically participate in. It will make your future job that much easier.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Benefits of Becoming an Armed Security Guard

Becoming an armed security guard can be a very good choice for your career. Although it isn't completely easy to become one. Depending on the country, usually licenses are issued by a government agency. In the UK for instance, the SIA provides firearms permits and licenses for all security guards. In the United States, you will have to apply through your state's Department of Justice or the Bureau of Security. So why go this extra step and spend your time and money (sometimes covered by your security company) to get this extra training? Well there are 3 good reasons.


While security guards are usually used as a deterrent mechanism only, potentially dangerous situations may develop every once in awhile. Being able to wield the threat of lethal force is usually enough on its own to thwart the bad guys. But in the last case scenario where you have no other options but to use your weapon, you know that you will be safe. And you will have the confidence in using your weapon effectively from your training.

Career Advancement

There are several jobs in security that are only available to people with the proper firearms training and associated licensing. These include an armed car guard, a casino guard and several government positions. If you want to have a chance to move up in your career into one of these more prestigious positions, then you will have to go through the required weapons training first.

Higher Pay

Not only are the jobs listed above more challenging and higher profile, but they also come with the requisite higher salary and benefits. This reason alone is why many security guards pursue their firearms permits.

What Should You Expect in a Weapons Training Program?

Before you get started, you should be aware that most jurisdictions will require a thorough background check before even accepting you into any training program. This should not be an issue for the vast majority of people. Only if you have some sort of weapons related offense in your past may this be a problem.

Most weapons training programs take place over a couple of weeks or months depending on the country. There is usually some classroom type work but most of the time spent is hands on, often at a firing range.

You will learn three things during your weapons training program.

  • how to retain your firearm
  • self defense
  • any applicable laws surrounding the use of your weapon

Retention of your weapon is crucial as the worst thing that can happen to you during an altercation is for somebody to get a hold of it and potentially use it against you. Self defense training will provide you with a variety of techniques both armed and unarmed to protect yourself should a dangerous situation arise. And lastly, there are strict rules in place about the use of a firearm that you need to be aware of and these vary depending on the jurisdiction.