It has been said that we live in a dangerous world. Wars, terrorism, civil unrest, all seem to be on the rise. Consequently, there are plenty of job opportunities in the law enforcement growth industry, especially in the areas of police, surveillance, and prisons. The beginning first step in a criminal justice career may be in how to become a security guard. Department of Labor statistics indicate that beginning in 2008, for the next 10 years there will be a projected 14% increase in security guard employment opportunities. Before a person begins the application process in becoming a security guard, they should understand some of the basic requirements and prerequisites.
Virtually all job opportunities today require a high school diploma, and security guard training is no different. So your first step is to get your high school diploma. Secondly, always maintain a clean criminal record. That means no drunken driving citations and certainly no drug convictions. In fact, virtually all security guard companies will require that you pass a background check and a drug test as part of the employment application process. Additionally, all security guards must be at least 18 years of age.
The prospective security guard should determine what their career path will be. Where do you want to ultimately end up in your law enforcement career? This may determine the type of formal training required. There are different pay scales and responsibilities involved with armed versus unarmed security guards. There is a tremendous more amount of responsibility, as well as accountability, when the security officer is carrying a deadly weapon. The wrongful or illegal use of lethal force could have disastrous consequences for any or all parties involved in any sort of deadly force encounter. However, if your ultimate career goal is police officer, bank guard, correctional officer, or federal law enforcement, then certainly weapon training is desired.
There are a wide variety of courses available to train you in how to become a security guard. Some of them may be online/virtual computer courses, and others may be at an accredited university or college. There are various course titles to search from, such as Security Management and Criminal Justice. The federal Department of Homeland Security can offer valuable resources to get you started in a career in law enforcement. Check with any local colleges and universities in your area for specifics on how to become a security guard. Even your local Yellow Pages will have listings for companies and security training schools in your area. In fact, some security guard companies may even pay for all or part of your security guard tuition provided you meet specific requirements.
A security guard training school is going to provide instruction on how to respond during specific types of emergencies. There are many different environments that a security guard may operate in. For example, they may be employed at banks, hotels, schools, restaurants, hospitals, retail stores and malls, bars, and even casinos! How does a security guard respond in each of those environments in the event of fire, earthquake, terrorism, or bomb threats? A trained security guard must keep cool and know what to do to keep people safe and/or eliminate any threats to life and property.
In researching on how to become a security guard, you may find that your state requires a license. Security guard license requirements vary from state to state, so ask your local job service about those requirements. As stated previously, the most basic security guard requirements are 18 years of age, and passing a criminal background check and drug test. Good luck on your new career in law enforcement and criminal justice!