How To Become A Security Guard In 2023

You cannot overlook the office of the security guard in any situation. They are the first line of attack when mishaps happen.

Formerly, there was little or no regard for security guards. Now, the position of a security guard is about the most sensitive position in a corporate world or at our personal homes.

To function effectively as a security guard, it needs a truckload of expertise. See the salary information and the training processes involved in how to become a security guard in 2023.

A security guard is one who undertakes all measure to see that the life and property it protects doesn’t get tampered with.

Navigate through the table of contents below to see the topics discussed in this article.

Who is a Security Guard?

A security guard is one who keeps surveillance over properties and lives against any form of destruction, illegal activity, or any violent act.

They monitor every of the activity that goes on in an organisation or homes to curb criminal activities.

These set of persons are always at alert and keen on making crucial observations regarding their jobs.

What Does a Security Guard Do?

The duties of a security guard differ from one setting to another. Sometimes, their job roles remain constant. Meanwhile, some job roles of a security guard include the following.

  • Maintenance of safety and peace at public gatherings where there is a large gathering
  • They monitor the movement of allowed vehicles in and out of the premises
  • Carry out daily documentation of activities that happened during the day
  • Make proper sure that the alarm systems, doors, and all locks are in good working condition
  • Have close communication with law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and medical personnel where any of the events that may involve this personnel occurs
  • Carry out inspections on properties to protect it from a fire outbreak, or any criminal activities.

A security guard may, however, be required to record the arrival and departure time of visitors, and also issue them pass to gain access into the premises.

Read: How To Become A Project Manager

What Are The Skills Required To Become a Security Guard?

In your quest to become a security guard, some things are prevalent which your employer must look out for. They are the basic qualities you must possess. They are as follows.

#1 Uprightness

To qualify as a good security guard, you prove that you can always be trusted and maintain your stance at the peak of your job.

There is every tendency that you can put the organisation you are securing at irreversible risks if you are not trustworthy with your actions.

#2 Physical Fitness

This skill is as important to the employer as your job is important to you. You can do well in this kind of job if you are unfit.

It is believed that a good body condition improves the mental alertness.

Therefore, you must put up a professional appearance as your job deals with apprehending a criminal.

#3 Effective Communication Skills

As the job demands that you keep accurate records of the daily activities that are necessary, you can’t do that effectively if you can’t put some words together in writing to make something comprehensible out of it.

Also, your communication prowess is needed as it may need you to pass information to some set of professionals or as a witness in a law court.

#4 Attention To Detail

A security guard should to the best of his ability, pay attention to every detail. This will help you carry out your tasks in the most efficient and effective manner.

This helps keep the location secure.

#5 Vigilance

One who is not observant cannot do well in this job. To not miss anything, it is required of you to possess this basic skill.

Besides the aforementioned, see the other skills that you must possess:

  • A clean background criminal check
  • A fast and critical thinker
  • Possess a wonderful sense of judgment in dangerous situations
  • Possess a background knowledge of what public safety and security entails
  • Have to a large extent the rules and regulations governing the security field.

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Salary and Job Outlook of a Security Guard

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual earning for a security guard is $28,530 which is about $13.72 per hour.

It is, however, important to note that as you advance in experience, you may likely be promoted to a supervisory position which makes your salary fat.

The outlook for this job is also expected to grow by 4% through 2028 which is about as fast as average for all occupations.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Security Guard?

The basic cost for a certification program ranges between $700 to $2,000.

Although a higher cost of training gives room for quality training and better employment options, there are free courses that you get online.

Simply note that it does not recognise the programs and they will not prepare you for employment opportunities.

What Kind of Training do I Need to Become a Security Guard?

Basically, most employers send you out on training once they get you employed in their organisations.

To not wait till they employ you, there are two ways you can boost your chances of being considered for employment.

They are:

  • Security Guard Training Certificate
  • Associate’s Degree

Security Guard Training Certificate

There are several vocational institutions that offer security training certificate programs to acquaint you with the do’s and don’ts and prepare you for an employment opportunity.

These courses border on the fundamentals of security operations such as access control, public relations, legal responsibilities, and crime scene conduct.

They are self-paced and have very little prerequisites. However, these training courses do not include a special class for handling arms.

They might require you to take a particular firearm course to enable your registration.

Admission Requirements

Most training programs only require that you attain a certain age which is 18 and possess a high school diploma.

Also, you may have to undergo a physical test which you also must pass.


Some topics covered in a training certificate program include the following

  • Report writing and protocol
  • Legal obligations and powers
  • Situational awareness and investigation techniques
  • Knowledge of when a crowd is turning hostile

Associate’s Degree

While most organisations require that their intending security guards possess at least a high school diploma and offer on-the-job training, some higher organisations will prefer those who have college education at the associate’s level.

The programs that can both give you an insight on law enforcement together with the criminal procedure are political science and criminal justice.

At the time of this training, they will teach you methods of imprisonment, processes of handling evidence, and criminal procedure.

Admission Requirements

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • SAT/ACT test scores
  • Background check test


Some courses are:

  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to US Legal Systems
  • Criminal procedure
  • Composition
  • Public Administration

See this article: How to Become a Private Investigator in California

Are There Online Security Guard Programs That I Can Enroll For?

There are a variety of online programs regarding the profession of a security guard that you can complete at your own pace.

These programs employ the most recent technology and modules on instructing students on security operations.

Furthermore, online programs are a great option for distance learners who want to equip themselves with the basics of being a security guard.

However, there are no online firearm training programs for security guards.

They require your presence and your submission of a criminal background check and fingerprint identification.

How Long Does It Take To Become A security Guard?

Depending on the program you opt for, the time for completion of whichever training you choose takes from 2-4 years on the average.

Most certification courses take about 45-80 hours of total instruction and can be completed in as little as three weeks or as long as 6 months.

Interestingly, you can put up with these training courses while you are working.

How To Become A Security Guard

To become an exceptional security guard, you should follow the step-by-step guidelines to make a crystal clear distinction in your profession.

#1. Complete a Course

Depending on the state you may wish to work in, you ought to undergo a course or training.

This is the place where you will learn about safety awareness, self-defence techniques, staff professionalism, and crowd control.

#2. Prepare for Licensure

Many states in the US require that security guards get their licenses and as part of the licensing process, it requires classroom training.

This classroom training may take a bout 8-16 hours.

Also, participate in field training where topics that are vast will be addressed.

Some topics you are likely to encounter are report writing, evidence handling, use of force, etc.

#3. Obtain Licensure

Although the licensing requirements may differ, if you must own a firearm, you must obtain a firearm permit or license.

#4. Consider Certification

These certifications do not have anything to do with your licensing process.

They widen your chances of being employable. Therefore, there are voluntary certifications that abound for security guards.

The certifications include Certified Protection Professional and the Physical Security Professional.

#5. Maintain Skills

To be at your best in this profession, you must at all times, maintain topnotch patience to meet the demands of the job.

Having an improved observation skills helps you avert dangerous scenarios before they happen.

#6. Up Your Skills

The more qualifications and licenses you possess, the more your chances of being employable broadens.

Also, an advancement will qualify you for the higher salary options.

#7. Renew Your License

The requirements for renewing your license differ depending on the state you are working in.

While some regions may require that you pay a certain amount as renewal fee, others will require you to complete a particular training.

If you wait for a very long time after expiration of your license, you will have to re-apply for your license.


When you consider the requirement needed for the office of a security guard, you would agree that it is easy to meet. You need a bit of technical knowledge with a good understanding of security systems.

In this career path, you protect the people you love from any danger. Furthermore, you rid the society of harmful elements increasing peace and concord.

When you become a security guard, you’re in a noble profession that pays you very well.


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