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How To Become a Security Guard

Doris Benitez
Reading time: 3 min

There’s a lot more to being a security guard than simply sitting at a desk and checking people in and out of a building. Although this is a big part of the job, security guards are often the first people any visitors to a business will see so a friendly attitude and good communication skills are essential. With security being required at many events such as football matches, gigs and festivals, it can end up being a very sociable and enjoyable job for the right person with many great opportunities.

Interested? Here’s everything you need to know before taking the next step in to a fulfilling career as a security guard.

Job Basics

• Entry salary: £13,000 -£16,000 pa
• Experienced salary: £22,000+pa
• Supervisor salary: £26,000+pa
• Average hours: 40-48 (It is common to be expected to work weekends

What do Security Guards do?

• Patrol buildings and check security equipment such CCTV cameras regularly
• Door supervision, including checking in and greeting visitors
• Searching of luggage and visitors at airports, sporting events and festivals.
• Some jobs will including driving in the secure transportation of money and/or goods.

This is a basic overview and by no means an exhaustive list, the basic duties will vary depending on the type and base of the security job.

What Qualities do You Need?

As previously mentioned, communication skills are essential, both in terms of written and spoken language as many security agencies require workers to write short incident reports. Being physically fit and confident enough to challenge people and competently complete duties independently is also key as in most door supervision and driving jobs the security guard is left to their own devices.

In addition to this you will need to be able to use your initiative and make on the spot, quick and accurate decisions, however there will be a supervisor you can contact if something does go wrong. As with most jobs nowadays, a basic understanding of computers is required as you’ll be expected to be able to send emails, type up reports and monitor surveillance equipment. Only a basic competence is needed as any technical training will be provided by the employer.

How do You Become Qualified?

Although there are no specific entry requirements, a good level of education will undoubtedly be an advantage. Also employers will carry out background checks and although a criminal history will not rule you out of all security guard jobs, it is certainly be a disadvantage. A Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence can be acquired by doing a short course and will allow an individual to work on agency and contractor jobs, opening up many more opportunities in the security sector.

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