Security Contractor Requirements

Security contractors, including security guards, bodyguards, and paramilitary security contractors, are tasked with protecting life and property. Read below to learn about the requirements of these careers. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Security Contractor Positions

Security guards protect places such as malls, schools, and offices, making regular patrols of the areas and controlling who has access. Bodyguards protect individuals, traveling with their employer and ensuring their safety. Paramilitary security contractors provide defense services for government installations, convoys, and equipment. The chart below shows the education requirements, job duties, and salary relevant to security contractors.

Education Required High school diploma or GED
License Required Registration of security guards required in most states but no licensing required
Typical On-The-Job Training 8-16 hours for security guards (additional for armed guards)
Job Outlook 6% (Security guards)*
Median Salary $28,490 (Security guards)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Are The Requirements To Become A Security Contractor?

Those who do contract security work run the risk of being exposed to dangerous situations. It is essential that individuals in all branches of security work be prepared for this. Security guards may be hired with no previous experience or qualifications, so the company hiring them should provide at least eight hours of pre-assignment training. Body guards will typically need to undertake a course in executive protection. Applicants for both of these roles may have an advantage in getting hired if they have prior police or military experience. Paramilitary security contractor positions often require previous military experience.

Are Security Contractors Law Enforcement?

No. Security contractors are not considered to be law enforcement officers. All forms of security contractors are paid to protect life and property. They do not enforce laws nor do they have power of arrest. Additionally, paramilitary security contractors are not considered to be members of the military.

What Sort Of Personal Traits Do A Security Contractor Need?

Security contractors can have a dangerous job. They need to have good judgment so they can respond appropriately to any security concern and prevent a situation from getting out of hand. Security contractors must also demonstrate exceptional observation skills. As it is their job to protect both life and property, security contractors must not let any threat escape their notice. When a situation does arise, security contractors must have good verbal and written communication skills. Verbal communication skills will help with defusing dangerous situations, and written communication skills will be essential when writing up post-incident reports. Finally, security contractors must be patient. Security work can involve long periods where nothing happens. This can be boring, but if a security contractor becomes bored and allows themselves to grow lax in their duties the results could be disastrous when a dangerous situation occurs.

What Sort Of Environment Do Security Contractors Work In?

One of the things that can make a career as a security contractor interesting is that you can work in many different locations. Security guards are often hired by businesses, including but not limited to malls, offices, nightclubs, and stadiums. Bodyguards go anywhere the individual who they are protecting goes. If you are protecting an individual who frequently travels and stays at luxury hotels, you will also be traveling the world and staying in those same luxury hotels. Paramilitary security contractors often defend bases and other government installations and may find themselves working in active war zones.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Those who are interested in a career as a security contractor, particularly those who are interested in becoming a security guard, may also be interested in a career as a police officer. Police officers have power of arrest and are responsible for enforcing laws, conducting investigations, and maintaining public order. Those interested in a career as a bodyguard may also be interested in a position as a correctional officer. Correctional officers guard inmates within prisons and jails and while they are being moved. Those interested in becoming paramilitary security contractors may be interested in enlisting in the military. In fact, paramilitary security contractor positions often require previous military experience.

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