Security Guard Requirements

Becoming a security guard can be a lucrative career option as it is one of the few well-paying jobs that do not require a college degree and yet offers opportunities to grow your career. This article provides an overview of security guard requirements and will give you a basic understanding of skills you will have to build during your security guard training.

Security Guard Training

A basic security guard course can last from 8 to 16 hours. Many states require you to attend a basic course before you start working as a security guard. Additional on job training may be part of security guard requirements and will be provided by your employer.

Firearms training and permit

In order to get an armed security guard job, you must first take a course which teaches you proper use and care of firearms along with training in legal and moral aspects of carrying a gun. After passing the test at the end of the course you will have to apply for a firearms permit. The safety instructions you learn during the training are very important for your personal safety and the safety of people around you.

Background Check

You will also undergo a criminal background check by FBI and DOJ before you can get registered as a security guard. Passing the background check is important for a security guard as the position is one of high trust and responsibility. A perspective employer would like to make sure that the person charged with the security of the assets and people can be trusted with the responsibility. It is also a legal requirement.


At all times during working hours, a security guard must carry valid photo identification and their guard registration (original or a copy). Please check with your employer what forms of ids are acceptable.


Previous experience as a security guard or in related fields like former police officer or army personal will be helpful. Experience in enforcing law and order, protecting property  and preserving peace will all help you become a better security guard and is valued The compensation a security guard can draw varies depends on the number of years of experience and the length of employment.

Oral and written communication skills

A security guard is often the first person a prospective client meets when entering an office premise. You want someone who understands this, treats people with respect and has good oral communication skills. Oral skills will also be tested in communicating in emergency situations with other security officers.

Written communication skills will play a role if you have to produce incident reports, activity logs or write reports for your supervisor). These are some skills that hiring companies include in their security guard requirements.


Physical fitness, alertness, dexterity will be required to perform day to day activities and during an emergency as well. You may have to climb ladders, ascend and descend stairways or even chase someone! You should not only be fit physically when getting the job but you will also have to maintain your fitness throughout your career as a security guard.

Apart from the above qualification, you must be the citizen of the country or possess the right to work visas to apply for a role. Many jobs require you to be a citizen. Additional job requirements may be added by the company hiring the security guard or the security guard hiring agency.

1 Comment

  • Stefan Bradley says:

    I had no idea that a basic security guard course can last up to 16 hours. My uncle is interested in becoming a security guard. Perhaps there is a service that can help him find a place where he can find work.

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