How To Become A Security Guard In 2022: Our Guide
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Written by regionadmin

3rd September 2020

Crime rates are currently increasing throughout the UK and security guards are in high demand; businesses are desperate to protect their valuable stock and employees. Qualifying as a security guard equips you with a valuable skillset, it is a rewarding career, and being a security guard can open a plethora of job opportunities within the security industry, depending on the company and the situation.

You may have asked yourself the question “should I become a security guard?” Or what requirements do I need to become a security guard? In this article, we provide a detailed guide, answering all questions on how to become a security guard.

What Is the Role Of A Security Guard?

To become a security guard, it is first important to understand what the role of a security guard is. The main role of a security guard is to protect people, businesses, buildings, or valuables. Security guards are able to fulfill this role through their tasks and duties.

What Does A Security Guard Do?

Security guards will work in a number of different environments, from event security to warehouse guarding to building security. A security officer’s day will also consist of a variety of different tasks and duties. Below, we have listed the main duties of a security guard.


  • Security guards will patrol buildings and often monitor other areas to prevent or stop incidents, such as theft and violence.
  • Security guards will also answer alarms and confronting individuals who are a potential threat.
  • Security guards will also help to prevent the loss of valuables.
  • They will also communicate closely with law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical personnel.
  • They will document any activities or disturbances that have occurred at a site they are protecting.
  • They will ensure that alarm systems, doors and windows are secure and work correctly.
  • They may have to potentially interview witnesses or testify in court.
  • Security guards will also have to monitor CCTC footage.
  • Security guards who work in retail security will have to help customers.
  • They will also have to act as a visual deterrent to help prevent crime.
  • Security officers may have to stand in front of a building or store and monitor everybody who enters the building.
  • Security guards will have to report all incidents to their supervisors.

What Do I Need To Become A Security Guard?

There are many requirements needed to become a security officer. Below, we have listed the main requirements to become a security guard.

  • You need to be at least 18 years old.
  • You will have to pass an ID check.
  • You will have to undergo a criminal records check.
  • And you will have to be eligible to work in the country you are planning to work in.
  • You will also need to make sure that you are licensed to be a security guard.
  • If you are pursuing a job in construction security you will need to have a CSCS card, as it shows that you can operate safely.
how to become a security guard

Do I Need A License For A Security Guard Job?

If you are looking to work within the security guard industry, then you will require a security guard licence from the SIA. A security guarding licence will allow you to complete the activities associated with the role of a security guard, such as patrolling areas and protecting property.

What Is The Licence Needed To Become A Security Guard?

To become a security guard, you will need to have a security guarding licence. The main licence which you will need to become a security guard is an SIA Security Guard licence. This is a necessary requirement that is needed to become a security guard.

When you are applying for an SIA security guard licence there are two different types, one is a front-line licence while the other is a non-front licence. The main licence that a security guard would be applying for is a front-line licence. A front-line licence is a licence that you need if you are performing a licensable activity as part of your job, such as manned guarding. Read ourt article, “SIA Front Line And Non Front Line Licence” to find out more information about different security licences.

How Do I Get An SIA License?

Obtaining an SIA licence is vital for anyone who is looking to become a security guard. If you are employed by an agency or contractor that provides security services to clients, you will need your SIA licence. It’s a criminal offence to take on security work without this licence and you could face the consequences of six months in prison or a £5,000 fine, so ensuring you have the essential qualifications is extremely important.

In order to qualify for an SIA licence, you have to complete different training, including first-aid and you will have to pass different exams. Read our other article to find out what are the steps to renewing your SIA licence.

security guarding licence

Do You Have To Take Exams To Become A Security Guard?

To acquire a security guarding licence and to become a security guard, there are exams that you will need to complete. The questions often differ in these exams so it is not possible to cheat and find the answers, however, you can research potential questions and revise subjects that you will likely be tested on. Plus, there are a variety of videos across the media that cover different exam topics.

What Security Guard Training Requirements Will I Need?

To become a security guard, you will have to take specific training courses. And these training courses will depend on the security job you are planning to do. Some of these training courses are:

  • Security guard training
  • CCTV training
  • Door supervisor training
  • Close protection training
  • Vehicle Immobilising
  • Cash and valuables in transit

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Security Guard?

Another question you may ask when becoming a security guard could be “is there any security guard education requirements I will need when becoming a security guard?”; or do I need any security officer qualifications?  To become a security guard, you don’t need to have any specific academic or educational qualifications. Instead, you are only expected to have a good level of basic education. You may, however, need specific security qualifications which you will gain from taking your training courses.

For example, before you can apply for a front-line SIA licence you will have to train for an approved licence linked qualification. This is so the SIA can be sure that you have all the necessary skills and knowledge which are needed to hold this licence. Additionally, this is so that they can trust that you will be able to do your job safely.

qualifications to be a security guard

What Skills Should A Security Guard Have?

There is a variety of security guard skills candidates will need when becoming a security guard. Below is a list of some essential skills that a security guard needs to become successful.


Security guards need to be alert at all times and remain focused on their surroundings. They must try to pay attention to detail and try to avoid all distractions as they could overlook something that can cause a hazard or harm. Having quick reflexes is also essential; anyone can spot crime. The difference is that a guard must be able to quickly inspect the situation and figure out how to address it.

Due to the likelihood of working long, tiring shifts and finishing at late hours, your vigilance may be disrupted. You must question whether this will be too difficult for you to manage.


A quality security guard should always be reliable. A company must be comfortable in letting you guard a business’ premises. First impressions mean a lot, you must show that you can be trusted, prove that you are capable of deterring crime and most importantly, turn up on time. It is no good if you are late to your shift.

Physical Fitness

Ideally, guards need to be in a healthy weight range and exercise regularly. An unfit officer may not be able to offer full protection for people. Moreover, being in good shape will also lead to increased mental alertness.

Not only do they need to be physically fit, but they need to look reputable. Clean and tidy uniforms that are always tucked in will indicate that they are well put together. It looks good in the eyes of your client and will show you are a quality candidate.

Good Communication

A quality security guard has to be able to communicate effectively with good written and verbal communication. Written communication skills allow them to carefully and accurately note each important incident that happens.

Being Able To Stay Calm Under Pressure

Security officers will have to deal with high-pressure situations. So, it is important that security guards are able to stay calm under pressure.

Good Knowledge About Public Safety

As security guards may have to work in dangerous situations it is important that they have good knowledge about public safety and security. This knowledge can help security guards be prepared for their daily tasks.

Good Customer Service Skills

It is important for security guards to have good customer service skills, especially guards who work in retail security. As they will often have to help and deal with customer inquiries.

Do You Need Previous Security Work?

Although it is good to have some experience in other jobs which are related to security, it is not a necessary requirement to have past security guard work experience or past security experience.

What Are The Enhanced Background Checks I Will Have To Pass?

The SIA does background checks for security guards. So to become a security guard you will have to have to pass enhanced background checks. The main enhanced background checks which you will have to pass are:

  • A background checks about your working history.
  • A background checks about your criminal record to see if you have any criminal convictions.
  • And background checks about your personal history.
how to become a security officer

How To Get A Job As A Security Guard?

To get a job as a security guard, you will need to be licenced, and pass the main requirements of becoming a security guard, e.g., of being at least 18 years old. Read our other article “Security Guard Job Description 2022” to find out more information about applying for a security guard job. Or to find out more information about security guard jobs such as what the best paying security guard jobs are, read our other article “How Much Do Security Guards Make?

What Should A Security Guard Put On A Resume?

Your resume or CV should be split into clear and easy-to-understand sections as detailed below.

Contact details

It is important to include all your basic contacts such as your full name, contact number, and email address so that you can be contacted regarding the role.


Your profile should be a summary of your experience, qualifications, and skills that can be quickly read over. Recruiters will appreciate this as they may be reading hundreds of applications and find it difficult to pick out the key information.

Work Experience

Add in any relevant work experience at the top of this list, starting with your most recent job. If this is your first job in security, add in other occupations that you have previously worked in and the experience that you gained from them. Other important experiences can include military experience, experience working as a bouncer, or any customer service role.


Here you should list any certificates or qualifications that you have, again starting with the most relevant. Your SIA licence can also go in this section.


Recruiters for security firms are looking for particular skills in potential new employees. Check the job description carefully for what they are looking for, and be sure to include them in this section. Emphases the skills that you have a shows how you display them. Important skills should include communication, attention to detail, honesty and integrity, and multi-tasking.


While this section is optional, you can share your hobbies with the recruiters to give them more detail about yourself. Interests that link more with the security field are better, such as staying active.

How Do I Write An Application Letter As A Security Guard?

When writing a cover or application letter for a security guard job, it is important to make clear why the business looking at your application would benefit from adding you to their team. Add a brief summary of your skills and qualities, as well as state your relevant experiences. Try and link this into the requirements stated in the job description to show that you are right for the role.

The top of your letter should be addressed to the head of the firm or head of recruitment, and there should also be a section included that praises the organisation you are applying to and why you want to work for them. Finally, end your letter with a call to action, reaffirming why you are the right choice for the role and giving all your relevant contact details.

what does it take to be a security guard

What Can A Job As A Security Guard Lead To?

Some security guards will go on to become police or law enforcement officers and study while working full-time to earn an online associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Others may use their security experience to become a supervisor or chief security officer. With further qualifications, you could go into security management or set up your own company.

Who’s Hiring For Security Guards?

The majority of security guards are hired by private firms to protect their businesses or by security agencies. Security agencies can then be hired by businesses to cover one-off events, permanent premises, or protect individuals. Most jobs for these agencies are advertised online.

How Do I Get A Security Job Near Me?

Once you have finished your training and received your licence, it is time to start applying for your job. Visiting websites, sending emails, and contacting the company’s recruitment service are brilliant ways to surface available job vacancies that are close to your location.

You will need a CV, a proof of address, two forms of identification, and two references. Plus, you need to have knowledge on what will be required and the skills that the employer is looking for. Demonstrate this understanding in your application. Hopefully, you will be given the chance to attend an interview after applying. Read our article, “Top 5 Popular Security Guard Interview Questions”, to find out what are the best ways to answer security guard interview questions.

Researching the company beforehand and knowing why you want to work for this particular company is imperative; this question is commonly asked and it’s an opportunity to indicate that you are interested in working for them.

Revise your CV as well, because your interviewer will no doubt use it as a conversation starter and base their questions around it. If you were unfortunate enough to get rejected within the application process, review your CV and look for improvements. Perhaps you didn’t maximise your experience or skillsets. If you made it as far as an interview, consider how you can improve your performance for the future.

Get In Touch, We’re Recruiting!

Region Security Guarding is always looking to recruit experienced and SIA licensed security guards to cover job opportunities. The guards we employ must have a checkable 5-year work history with criminality check and references. Do not hesitate to fill out our application form. Click here to see our current job vacancies.

become a security guard

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