Security guards will help ensure the safety of employees, residents, and property. Workers will monitor and patrol a variety of different settings, including public museums, hospitals, banks, entertainment venues, transportation facilities, and shopping malls. States will usually regulate the amount of training that is required. While there are no specific OSHA regulations for security guards, employers do need to provide employees with certain basics. Security guards can be susceptible to injury so the OSHA regulations for security guards and other employees focus on keeping workers safe.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that most security guard employers will provide any newly hired guards with job training. However, most states do require security guards to be licensed so formal training programs have become the new standard method of training. Each state has different requirements for the amount of training that is required. Professionals that are working in different states may have to go through many different training programs. The training programs will usually need to be completed during the first 100 days on the job but this requirement can vary by state. Some of the topics included in the training are basic security techniques, report writing, patrolling tactics, firearm use, emergency procedures, and investigations. Workers that want to specialize in particular types of security, such as airport, armed escort, or private, may also need to have some additional courses to learn the skills that are necessary for those specialty professions.
Since you may be required to be licensed in your state, security guards will need to have some continued education for license renewals. Some states offer pre-structured classes for the renewal process, while other states can allow a security guard to choose which classes they want to take from an approved list of coursework. These classes are mostly refresher courses and focus on unarmed or armed security guard training.
In order to be a security guard, you need to be at last 18 years old. Education requirements can vary but some employers accept workers that have the equivalent of a high school diploma. You must also pass a criminal background check and have fingerprint records on file. Some states may also require security guards to pass a physical prior to employment. Those that have an associates degree or higher education and also know a second language can have an advantage when applying for positions. If you have military or previous law environment experience, this can also be helpful but they are not necessarily required.
Many states also require the licensing to be done within the first few months of your employment. There may be written tests that will cover topics such as crime prevention, evidence handling, or emergency procedures. Security guards need to be able to communicate effectively, be able to think quickly, exercise good judgment, and have knowledge of public safety and security.