Many police officers and other law enforcement officials find working security guard assignments to be an excellent part-time or second job.
The primary role of a security guard is to deter criminal activity from ever taking place. In this respect, security positions may never involve danger; however potential for danger is always present. Depending on their location and assignment, guards may either patrol an area by foot or in a car as well as on bike and by mounted patrol.
Other guards monitor activity by closed-circuit television.
Security personnel may be either armed or unarmed, depending upon the situation and assignment. Persons working security detail on armored cars are not only required to carry weapons, but also typically wear bullet proof vests due to the danger involved.
Work shifts for guards greatly vary; however there are generally more job opportunities available for those willing to work the least desirable shifts such as night shifts, weekend and holiday work.
Security personnel may work either in uniform or undercover. Many facilities, such as department stores and shopping centers, find it helpful to maintain at least one undercover security guard on staff to assist in the detection of shoplifters.
Employment Prospects for Security Guards
Security positions can be found in a broad range of environments including banks, armored vehicles, nuclear plants, weapons installments, casinos, shopping malls, bars and clubs, sporting and entertainment events, educational facilities, hospitals, airports, construction sites, hotels, and apartment complexes as well as security agencies.
Job opportunities in airports and casinos are expected to be particularly plentiful.
A trend in outsourcing security jobs to security agencies has also been on the rise. Employers often prefer this method because it allows them to save on the cost of training as well as be released from liability factors.
Job Search for Security Guards
Positions in security can be found through a wide variety of means. Some employers choose to advertise directly for security staff in the classifieds; while others outsource their jobs to security agencies. High profile employers who maintain rigorous standards and requirements typically use the services of recruitment firms.
Cover Letters for Security Guards
The cover letter is a good opportunity for job seekers to expound upon their achievements in prior positions, such as a reduction in crime during their employ.
Resumes for Security Guards
Good references are of the utmost importance when applying for work in the security industry. The resume should make a special point of mentioning any applicable certifications such as first aid, report writing or crisis intervention.
Any weapons permits should also be listed. As employers are typically very interested in prior work experience and good references; a chronological or combination resume works well for job seekers looking for work in the security industry.
Training & Qualifications for Security Guards
In almost all states, security guards are required to be licensed. The process of licensing involves some classroom training and education and successfully passing a background check. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and able to successfully pass a drug screen.
Drug screens are given on a random basis in most security related employment fields. In addition to licensing requirements, depending on the assignment, security personnel may also need to pass a security clearance.
Further requirements are necessary for guards who are to be armed. Guards who are able to receive certification and a permit to carry a weapon are usually eligible for better paying assignments and eligible for advancement opportunities.
New employees can also expect that after obtaining a position, they may receive on the job training relating to securing the type of industry where they are employed. The time frame for this training can vary from a few days to several months; depending on the industry and location.