How to Become a Security Guard

To become a security guard, someone must do a number of things. However, being a security guard can be a very rewarding career with chances for promotion depending on your ambitions and competence. This article will outline some good ways to prepare for being a security guard, as well as the education and licenses you'll need.

First and foremost, a security guard is not a bodyguard. While some may occasionally carry firearms, it is unlikely that a security guard will be asked to lay down their life for your employer. Far more commonly, you are asked to observe any illegal activity and report your observations to the authorities.


While there is no formal education specifically geared toward becoming a security guard, there are nonetheless dozens of programs that will teach you techniques and skills invaluable in that field.

The best program to enroll in would be for law enforcement. The classes will teach you how to be vigilant, how to stay calm in situations of stress and panic and most importantly, how to observe and report what you see. These classes will also focus on mental and physical conditioning that will allow you to assess the circumstances and take control of a dangerous person if the situation demands it.


A permit to carry a dangerous weapon such as a baton or firearm is often required for security guard work, and can be obtained through your state certification board. Alternatively, some security companies will provide you with the paperwork themselves, to streamline the process.

A hunting license which enables you to carry and/or conceal a deadly weapon is not considered a valid license for a security company, and will not be taken as valid.

Similarly, a security company will issue you your equipment to maintain necessary standards.
Owning your own firearm or restraint equipment beforehand will not affect your chances of becoming a security guard, nor will you be allowed to use them on the job.

The work itself

A security guard’s job is primarily to provide a feeling of safety for their employer’s clients. Whether by patrolling at night or standing guard during the day, a security guard gives peace of mind by their very presence. They often monitor security cameras and entrances or exits, checking bags and scanning visitors for dangerous or contraband items.

If any illegal activity were to occur during a security guard’s shift, their primary objective as stated above would be to observe the activity and report it to the authorities as soon as possible. If someone is attempting to burglarize, vandalize or otherwise cause damage to the guarded institution a security guard is authorized to stop them, but using non-violent means if at all possible.

The work of a security guard is vital to the safety and defense of many businesses across the country. With a little preparation, discipline and research you, too, can become a security guard and help keep someone’s business safe.