Security Guard Certification and Career Facts

Read on to find out more about the typical duties of a security guard and how you can earn the certification to become one. See what kind of training is generally required. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A security guard protects property from vandalism, theft and other damage by patrolling and inspecting areas within the property on a regular basis. Training for this career may be provided by your employer, though you can also pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant area. You may also want to obtain certification in order to further your career. Professional organizations like the American Society for Industrial Security offer certification programs that outline professional standards across the board.

In most states, security guards are required to be trained and registered or licensed. Your training will vary based on licensing requirements. Licensing by the state is different from certification from a professional organization.

Responsibilities Monitoring and protecting the area assigned to you
Certification Available through the American Society for Industrial Security
Courses First-aid, fire prevention, observation techniques, crowd control, traffic direction, investigative techniques, ethics and psychology

What Are the Duties of a Security Guard?

As a security guard, you may respond to calls where you will assess the situation and contact emergency personnel if necessary. Depending on your background, training and responsibilities, you may be armed or unarmed. You may work for residential areas, public facilities like museums or hospitals, or for businesses. Major duties include:

  • Patrolling property on foot or in a patrol car
  • Monitoring surveillance equipment
  • Explaining security policies to company employees
  • Completing incident and observation reports
  • Checking in and/or escorting visitors and outside contractors
  • Responding to alarms
  • Directing fire drill or emergency evacuations

How Can I Get Certified?

The American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) offers professional certification for security guards that have met academic and/or experience requirements. To be a Physical Security Professional (PSP), you need a bachelor's degree and four years of experience, or you need to have six years of experience if you have an associate's degree or high school diploma/GED. Your certification exam will include questions on assessing security threats, conducting security surveys, the best use of security techniques and technologies, and implementing security measures. Upon earning your PSP, you can obtain further certification based on increasing levels of experience and management.

What Kinds of Things Will I Learn?

Your coursework for the certificate will include instruction in first-aid, fire prevention, observation techniques, crowd control and traffic direction. You may also learn to use batons and Tasers as well as firearms.

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