Security services provide protection services that help prevent crime, ensure security, and enforce laws. Although on-the-job training can be offered, an increasing number of states have introduced formal training standards and require officials to obtain the license.
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Security services provide protection services that help prevent crime, ensure
security, and enforce laws. Although on-the-job training can be offered, an
increasing number of states have introduced formal training standards and
require officials to obtain the license.
In general, security officers must be at least 18 years old and have a clean
criminal record. Some security companies have minimal or no educational
requirements and offer job-tailored on-the-job training. However, most states
require security officials to attend formal training before obtaining a license.
Formal education can be complemented by state-funded on-the-job training
programs offered by employers, or by courses offered at community colleges
and local vocational training centers. During their training, security officers
develop skills in observation, first aid, investigation techniques, loss prevention
and crisis management. Additional training is also required for security officers
looking for employment in specialized areas such as airports, nuclear power
Basic course certificate
In this required course, students are introduced to emergency response, crime
scene prevention, the legal authority of security officers, prevention of losses
and the correct use of force. Other topics include the code of ethics, fire safety,
reporting and public relations. This course usually requires eight hours of
Armed certificate course
Armed security officers must complete this course, which allows security forces
to learn basic firearms and fire safety. Participants learn to use mechanical
safety mechanisms and become familiar with liability issues when carrying a
gun. This course also let students to the legal aspects of using weapons. The
officers are familiarized with the laws and responsibilities associated with the
use of a firearm. Participants must demonstrate their skills through a live fire
practice in a local area and pass a firearms safety exam.
Compulsory courses for the repetition of exam skills that were previously
learned, e.g., Arms firing, firearm maintenance, awareness-raising and liability
issues when armed. To finish the course, it is necessary to pass the written
safety exams and the real fire exercises.
Most employers are willing to provide some on-the-job training and do not need
previous work experience. Upon completion of state-mandated formal training
programs and licensing, security officers are prepared for entry-level positions
in the security industry. However, senior management positions at large
security companies often require more work experience. Leadership positions
in the security industry typically need at least two years of professional
experience as a security officer.
Most states now require that security officers be authorized. Licensing
requirements require applicants to undergo thorough background
examinations, at least 18 years old, and according to official state-approved
training programs. Armed officers must receive additional certification.
Applicants should consult with the Council for State Licenses for other
requirements that vary by state.
Volunteer certifications, which are not required for the job, are available to
security officers to improve their knowledge and marketing. ASIS International,
a professional society for security professionals, offers the most popular of
There are some ways to qualify for this distinction. Security officers may have a
bachelor's degree and at least seven years of work experience or nine years'
work experience of at least three years in a full-time position as the security
officer. Candidates for certification must demonstrate advanced knowledge of
the security profession by reviewing 200 questions.
ASIS International offers a variety of opportunities for security professionals to
track changes in the industry. Options include online courses, regional
workshops, and an annual national conference. The yearly ASIS International
Seminar offers over three days more than 150 individual sessions on a wide
range of topics.
Security people must develop excellent communication skills both verbally and
in writing. Public officials are often asked to communicate with the public and
other law enforcement agencies in a variety of situations and provide detailed
reports on observations and incidents. Those interested in leadership positions
in an industry should consider applying for an undergraduate degree in police
science or criminal justice.
To be a security guard varies by state, and some have more formal training and
licensing standards than others. Those seeking legal education can apply for
certification programs at community colleges or vocational training centers
whose courses are often influenced by the safety area in which one enters.