Security guards are professionals trained in protecting people and buildings from intruders, thieves, vandals, etc. They are hired to monitor an area, document what they observe, deny entry to unauthorized persons, and protect a company as well as its employees and customers.
Security guards are often seen in front of retail shops, banks, hotels, shopping malls, schools, etc. In order to become a qualified security guard, one must undertake extensive training.
The training requirements may differ from state to state but common requirements include:
- Security guards must be familiar with specific laws in their country and must obey them at all times. This is important so that they know what they can and can’t do. For example, in some states, security guards are allowed to make arrests while in others they can’t.
- Security guard training includes the use of force and what is and isn’t allowed. Security guards are not allowed to use more physical force than necessary, just like police officers. Training also covers detaining offenders and evicting suspicious persons.
- Firearms training. Security guards must undertake extensive training in the use of weapons. Not all security guards are armed but those that do must pass the training and obtain a license for carrying and using arms at the place of their employment. Firearm permits are issued by the state and may not be mandatory for active-duty or former law enforcement officers.
The duration of security guard training depends on the state and its requirements. Courses are offered at community colleges or vocational schools and the duration may vary from 1-5 days. Firearms training can be done separately if necessary.
Security guards may also receive on-the-job training once they are hired. All security guards must pass a background check before they receive their license and start working. To apply to become a security guard, a high school diploma is required.