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Security Guard Requirements - How to Become a Security Guard

Stephen Rampur
Becoming a security guard may be easy, but the job is really risky and requires you to be alert. Let's discuss more on security guard requirements and how to become one.
Security guard duties include keeping an eye on products, buildings, society, or premises and properties. The requirements for this job generally include a high school diploma, a criminal background check, a security license (security guard card), and physical fitness.
Requirements differ widely from state to state, and country to country. However, these are much more relaxed than the requirements for becoming a full-fledged law enforcement officer. If you think, you are joining ranks of ordinary guard or watchmen then you better think twice before getting in this job. Security guards are highly trained individuals.

Security Guard Duties

A security guard is responsible for keeping a watch on the premises or property which he has been given charge of. He may do this by keeping a direct watch or through hidden cameras.
He has to ensure that no malpractices or suspicious activity is carried out on the premises as well as prevent damage to the property. His job is to guard the property against thieves and robbers. If he can't control the situation himself, he has to inform the police and ask for assistance.

How to Become a Security Guard

Educational Requirements

In some USA states, no minimum educational qualification is required to join this profession, but a 2-year degree/certificate in a criminal justice program is recommended as it really helps in placement. Some states may require a high school diploma or qualification. However, some employers may hire security guards sans diploma or any such qualifications.


To be eligible for obtaining a security guard registration card from the state department, you need to successfully complete an eight-hour Pre-Assignment course. You may also have to take other related courses that include training on property rights, detention of suspects, and other criminal justice related information.
You would certainly benefit from any kind of education in criminal justice or security. The duration of training course may be of a few weeks' duration. Obtaining a permit may not be mandatory in some states, but it certainly adds some credibility to the security guards authority.
The United Government Security Officers of America (USGOA) is one of the labor union that represents security officers in the USA. Additional credentials are also available at ASIS International, a professional institution for security personnel.


If you need to become an armed guard (Class G License), a pistol license is required along with a completion of a particular firearms training assignment. This assignment normally consists of handling and safety of weapons.
Armed security guards usually work in a highly technical environment or restricted areas and government offices. The pay that armed guards get is generally higher than the unarmed ones (Class D License).
If the guard is selected to work in a high-risk technical area such as a government laboratory or a confidential premise, he may have to undergo training to learn various surveillance techniques, firearms usage, improve decision-making ability, etc., which are crucial factors in such highly sensitive areas.


The salary of a security guard may range from $20,290 - $49,650 per annum, depending upon his/her level of expertise, previous experience, employer, the type of security he/she provides and any additional training undertaken.
Remember that, for a fresher, getting a license is as important as gaining on-the-job experience for landing a suitable job. In addition to the government, these individuals are employed by casinos, museums, private offices, banks and financial institutions, companies, and many other places which are prone to cheating and robberies, and need security.
The most important among all security guard requirements is the ability to respond and take immediate and proper decisions at the time of crisis.
If you are thinking of joining the police force, getting some experience by working as a security guard may be a good stepping stone. A good security guard is always alert and coordinates with law enforcement agencies to stop any criminal activity.