Being a security guard requires a mix of general job skills and specific skills related to the job itself. Because each position is different, the exact skill set required may vary. However, there are certain foundational characteristics that any job employer will seek in all candidates, along with the specific skill set for the specific duties of the job. This article will explore both.
Before identifying any skills, you will have to meet security industry standards to even be considered for a position in the security industry. This includes being of a certain age and having passed an exam. Each state, however, has different certifications and requirements. For example, California requires 40 hours of security training, among other requirements, while New York requires an 8-hour pre-assignment class in addition to other measures. Often times security guard companies will offer help with these courses or offer the courses themselves. Check your state's requirements and fulfill them first in order to be ready for an employer to hire you with no obstacles.
Once you have passed all the tests and are certified as a security guard, you are ready to go. Now, there are many personal skills and character traits employers will look for in security guards. According to U.S. News,
Someone aspiring to a career as a security officer should demonstrate a commitment to values such as integrity, vigilance and helpfulness; a willingness for professional development; a focus on customer service; a desire to work as a team and an ability to utilize technology. In addition to having good moral character, employers will look for someone who is punctual, well mannered, and flexible as these all come in handy in any job.
The specific job-related skills employers are looking for vary by company and job type. Each assignment or position is different depending on the industry it is in. Therefore, it is a good idea to check the job responsibilities on the job listing and do some research on the company to know what the employer specifically needs or is looking for in their candidates.
There are some general job-related skills that every applicant will need. One, for example, is physical fitness. You may have to respond to an emergency or be the first to the scene. In this instance, you will need to be physically prepared. Another common requirement is CPR and first aid training and certification. As a potential first responder, you will need to know how to apply these life-saving skills. These are just a couple of basic security guard skills you will need for the majority of these jobs.
As a security guard, you will also need to know the law. According to Snag A Job,
Security guards are hired by businesses, casinos, hospitals, stores, banks, nuclear power plants and other organizations to help deter illegal activities. You might be watching a bank of TV monitors all night, looking for suspicious activity, or stationed at a building's main entrance, checking IDs and greeting people who walk in. As a security guard you'll need to know the law, know your employer's rules and be able to enforce both. Knowing the law will make you a much more employable candidate for opportunities.
In addition, knowing technology and being comfortable with it is an important skill employers will look for. It is unavoidable that the majority of companies may have some sort of technological aspect to their security. You may be responsible for using or managing it. Being comfortable with technology makes it easier to learn new ones specific to the security industry. In addition, there is the possibility you could land a position where you monitor from a center with complex monitoring and communication systems. This is true in transportation, for example, where every aspect of places like airports are watched 24/7 by cameras and other devices. Having comfort with this will be an asset employers will look for.
Employees in the security guard industry look for many things. They look for basic, transferable character traits that are foundations of any good employee. They look for candidates who have the proper certifications and training. And finally, they look for candidates who are well versed in security-related skills. As a candidate, if you possess all of these abilities, you will have an edge in being able to secure employment as a security guard.
Here you can find more information about the types of industries that are constantly looking for highly skilled and qualified security professionals.