How to Be Security Guard - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The increased demand for security guards in recent years has had a ripple effect on the industry. This has led to a number of benefits such as improved wages, better job security, and increased professional development opportunities. Wages for security guards have seen an increase as companies have been willing to pay more for experienced and skilled workers.

Job security has also been improved as more companies realize the importance of having a strong security presence. Professional development opportunities have also become more common, allowing security guards to upgrade their skills and stay current on the latest safety protocols. All these factors have helped create a more competitive job market for security guards, which can only benefit the industry in the long run.

Steps How to Become

  1. Determine your eligibility to become a security guard. In the United States, this generally requires you to be at least 18 or 21 years of age, depending on the state. You will also need to have a clean criminal record.
  2. Get trained and certified. Most states require security guards to complete some type of training and obtain a certification before working. The specific requirements vary by state, so check with your state’s licensing board to find out what is required in your area.
  3. Apply for a job. Once you have the necessary certification, you can start applying for security guard positions. Make sure to highlight your training and certification on your resume or application.
  4. Prepare for your interview. Security guard work is often stressful, so employers usually look for candidates who are level-headed, reliable, and have good decision-making skills. Practice common interview questions and think about how you can demonstrate these qualities during the interview.
  5. Complete the hiring process. Once you have been offered the job, you may be required to take a drug test, background check, and/or psychological evaluation. Make sure to follow all of the employer’s requirements and submit all of the necessary forms and paperwork in a timely manner.
  6. Get on-the-job training. Once you have been hired, you will likely receive additional training from your employer. This may include safety protocols, equipment use, and other job-specific skills. Make sure to pay attention and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

Maintaining a competitive edge as a security guard requires staying informed about the latest trends and technologies in the security industry. By keeping up-to-date on developments in the field, security guards can ensure that they are well-versed in the most relevant safety measures and procedures. This includes staying informed on the latest technology, such as facial recognition software, advanced access control systems, and automated surveillance systems.

it’s important to stay up to date on current laws and regulations related to security, as well as best practices for guarding large events or facilities. Finally, regularly attending professional trainings or events can help security guards stay ahead of the curve, increase their competence and knowledge base, and stay informed of the latest safety protocols.

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Job Description

  1. Monitor and authorize entrance and departure of employees, visitors, and other persons to guard against theft and maintain security of premises.
  2. Write reports of daily activities and irregularities such as equipment or property damage, theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.
  3. Circulate among visitors, patrons, or employees to preserve order and protect property.
  4. Answer alarms and investigate disturbances.
  5. Monitor and control access at building entrances and vehicle gates.
  6. Monitor CCTV surveillance systems.
  7. Patrol industrial and commercial premises to prevent and detect signs of intrusion and ensure security of doors, windows, and gates.
  8. Warn persons of rule infractions or violations, and apprehend or evict violators from premises, using force when necessary.
  9. Investigate and prepare reports on accidents, incidents, and suspicious activities.
  10. Respond to emergency situations.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Excellent communication skills
  2. Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  3. Proficiency with security equipment, such as cameras and alarm systems
  4. Ability to assess and evaluate security risks
  5. Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations
  6. Ability to detect suspicious behavior and take appropriate action
  7. Strong interpersonal skills
  8. Ability to patrol premises and enforce security measures
  9. Knowledge of first aid procedures
  10. Good physical fitness and stamina

Having a strong sense of situational awareness is the most important skill for a security guard to have. This skill is essential for being able to identify potential risks and to take the appropriate action in any given situation. Situational awareness helps security guards to be aware of their surroundings, to recognize potential threats, and to be prepared for any eventuality.

Knowledge of the law and of security procedures are also important skills for security guards to possess, as they provide the necessary framework for responding to any situation. Finally, good communication skills are essential for security guards, as they often need to communicate with law enforcement personnel and other stakeholders. When all of these skills are combined, they allow security guards to effectively protect people and property, providing a safe and secure environment.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in security guard roles?
  • What strategies do you use to stay alert during long shifts?
  • How do you handle situations when you are alone on duty?
  • How would you respond to a suspicious individual on the premises?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to stay calm under pressure?
  • What safety protocols do you have in place for emergencies?
  • What approach do you take when communicating with customers or visitors?
  • Are you comfortable using surveillance equipment, such as CCTV cameras?
  • What steps do you take to ensure the safety of the premises?
  • How do you document and report security incidents?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Surveillance Equipment. Equipment such as cameras, alarms and motion sensors used to monitor a property or area. (eg: Security cameras installed in the lobby)
  2. Batons. A baton is a stick or rod carried by security guards for self-defense and crowd control. (eg: Security guard carrying a baton while patrolling a park)
  3. Pepper Spray. A form of aerosol spray containing irritant chemicals used to deter an attacker or aggressor. (eg: Security guard using pepper spray to stop an intruder)
  4. Radio Communication Device. A device used to communicate with other security personnel or law enforcement officers. (eg: Security guard using a walkie-talkie to report suspicious activity)
  5. Flashlight. A hand-held light source used for illumination in dark areas. (eg: Security guard using a flashlight to search an alleyway at night)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. International Security Management Association
  2. American Society for Industrial Security
  3. International Association of Professional Security Consultants
  4. Security Industry Association
  5. American Society of Professional Investigators
  6. International Association of Professional Private Investigators
  7. National Association of Security Professionals
  8. National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association
  9. International Foundation for Protection Officers
  10. National Fire Protection Association

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Common Important Terms

  1. Access Control. The practice of restricting entry to a property, building, or other area, either by physical barriers such as gates or locks, or through technological means such as authentication systems.
  2. Security System. A set of components used to protect a property or area from unauthorized access. Security systems may include alarm systems, CCTV cameras, and security guards.
  3. Surveillance. The monitoring and recording of activities or behavior for the purpose of detecting and deterring crime or other undesirable behavior.
  4. Emergency Response. The process of responding to an emergency situation such as a fire, medical incident, or other urgent situation. Security guards are often expected to have a role in emergency response.
  5. Risk Assessment. The process of evaluating potential risks and threats to identify and prioritize areas that require action. Security guards may be involved in risk assessments of their environment.
  6. Patrol. The act of regularly inspecting an area for the purpose of monitoring for suspicious activity, criminal activity, or other hazardous situations. Security guards may be assigned to patrol areas on foot or in vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average salary for a Security Guard?

The average salary for a Security Guard is approximately $29,000 per year.

What qualifications are required to become a Security Guard?

Generally, Security Guards must have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a security guard training program, and obtain a security guard license.

How many hours do Security Guards typically work?

Security Guards usually work 8-hour shifts, but some may work longer shifts depending on the needs of their employer.

What physical abilities are required of a Security Guard?

Security Guards must be able to stand and walk for long periods of time, lift and carry objects weighing up to 50 pounds, and respond quickly to emergencies.

What skills are important for a Security Guard to possess?

Security Guards must possess excellent observation and communication skills, be able to analyze and interpret data quickly, and maintain a professional demeanor at all times.

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