The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Becoming a security guard is a great option if you’re looking for a stable and well-paying career. If you’re seriously considering security work, there are a few things you should know before you submit your first job application.
You Need an Initial Certification
Security guard jobs almost always require a certification or a license. Check local schools in your area to see what kind of programs they offer, and compare them to the regulations for the area where you want to work. Getting multiple certificates and licenses can be a good way to increase your pay and open up your options for new places to work. If you’re lucky, you may even find an employer who is willing to keep you on while you continue to improve your criminal justice education and slowly move up the company ladder.
Weapons Aren’t Always Necessary
Although many security guard positions require you to carry a weapon, many of them simply call for property patrol and general monitoring. Obviously, more dangerous positions usually offer a higher pay rate; however, you might be surprised at the kind of work you can find without needing to be a combat expert. If you do find yourself carrying a weapon, make sure that you know how to use it. The last thing you want is to have to figure out how a taser works during an actual conflict. Consider getting certified in weapons use to ensure that you have had the proper safety training.
Staying in Shape Is a Major Benefit
One of the biggest problems with being a security guard is that the job is largely sedentary, even if you factor in regular patrols. However, if something does happen, you’ll need to be able to produce a short bout of athleticism on a moment’s notice. The best way to make sure that this happens is to go out of your way to stay fit while you’re working a security guard position, even if the job itself doesn’t naturally lend itself to maintaining a good physique. High end security guards make time to work out at the gym, practice with their weapon, and generally be ready for action. Then, they can spend their actual shift monitoring cameras and maintaining a vigilant presence on the premises.
In general, a good security guard continues to improve, learn, and grow even if he works the same job for a decade. Take new certifications, stay in shape, and look for ways to reduce the monotony of patrol to keep yourself from becoming complacent. If you perform well, you’ll almost always be able to find good and well-paid work.