What to know when starting your security career

Private security jobs are often the most sought after sectors in the security business. They can also be the more dangerous of all due to the high profile of some clients. Private security jobs cover a wide variety of things ranging from valuable objects to high profile people. Shifts can vary tremendously as well, pending the company or individual hiring a guard. The private security guard has to meet specific qualifications prior to obtaining a job. As such there are specific areas of knowledge you should have when starting your security career.



Pending the company or individual that a private security guard is employed by, education requirements may differ. No matter the sector, a high school diploma or equivalent is required to obtain or secure a position. Some companies may require a certificate or degree in law enforcement or criminal justice from an educational institution, college or vocational program. Further education may be required if the position requires a guard to be armed.


While there are many jobs that will offer on-the-job training, a private security guard is generally trained prior to securing work. Each company or individual varies in their training requirements. Training may include but is not limited to, how to use a surveillance system, use of a fire arm, reporting of incidents, how to deal with angry people you come in contact with, how to handle various situations and how to work with law enforcement. In addition to all general training, you will be trained by an employer to conform to their expectations.

State regulations vary b y state, so check the regulations for the state you want to work in, HERE.

Background Check

Prior to any training, a background check must be completed. The background checks are exhaustive processes and are extremely extensive. FBI fingerprinting and DNA testing may also be completed prior to obtaining a permit, license or certificate of any kind. Mental evaluations are also part of the background check process. No prior or pending felony convictions are acceptable.

Each state and employer will require different information about an applicant. They will also require and provide various areas of training. It is important to research the state requirements for which you want to work. In general, all applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Prior law enforcement experience is helpful.


Even if you do not meet some of the qualifications, do not be disheartened, simply keep trying to secure a security guard job or seek out the proper training to start your career.

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