Despite some common misconceptions, a career as a security guard can be very fulfilling. Trained guards can have the opportunity to work all across the world, and experience life within a wide range of important industries.
The opportunities for career development are also vast within the security service field, with many senior managers of large security companies having worked their way up from frontline security guarding roles.
But before you start your journey into the world of security guarding, there are a few things you need to do.
Ask yourself: Am I cut out for this?
The stereotype of a security guard is a lazy, brutish chap who sits around all day glancing at the CCTV monitors between naps. That may have been true once upon a time, but it certainly isn’t the case now. A security guard can find themselves in many challenging and difficult situations. Also, the hours can be long and the shifts antisocial. So you do need to consider the impact of a security guarding role on your life and decide whether or not it is right for you.
Not that long ago, anyone could apply to work in the front line security industry without the need to prove their suitability for the role. Nowadays, however, all front line security industry workers must have a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA is a government backed organisation that regulates the security industry and issues licences for guarding, CCTV monitoring, close protection, door supervision and other front line roles. To obtain a security guarding licence from the SIA, you must first pass a CRB check, then pass a training course that covers various aspects of security guarding duties. You can use our Service Finder Tool to find approved SIA training providers in your area.
If going through the SIA training and suitability procedures wasn’t enough, many security companies now have their own vetting process which you must pass before being offered your chosen role. Most of these vetting processes involve checking things like work eligibility, address history, work history and financial records. These checks may seem a little excessive, but considering the kinds of working environments you may find yourself in, they are necessary. So make sure you have all your records and relevant paperwork available and up to date before contacting potential employers and applying for security guarding jobs.
Consider getting other skills and training
The list of industries that require security guards is long and varied. This means that many guards are required to have skills and qualification over and above a licence from the SIA. The skills and qualifications most in demand from potential employers are first aid qualifications, health and safety qualifications and driving skills (full UK driving licence with minimal penalty points). So to give yourself the best chance of landing one of the best and highest paid roles within the security guarding sector, it may be worth obtaining more skills before applying.