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How To Become A Security Guard

Due to the personable nature of the role, security guards are in a profession of high demand and have the flexibility to work for a wide range of organisations in a variety of job roles. As a job with minimal qualification requirements and high reward it is becoming increasingly popular as a career choice for the many.

Possible Roles in Security

Working in security can allow you to work in range of job roles for different organisations, dependant on what it is that they require for security. This can include:

  • On-site security, patrolling a site, whether that be construction, retail business or otherwise. This may also include CCTV monitoring
  • Door supervising
  • Event security
  • Static security
  • Store detective
  • Airport security
  • Construction security

There is also variation in the time of day that you can work, as there are both day and night shifts available, which can be very different in terms of whether you prefer a more peaceful shift or one that is quite busy. As security is an ongoing service through all hours of the day, there are plenty of options regarding your flexibility when it comes to time. This can also be extremely useful not only if you are looking to work full-time, but if you are in search of a part-time job in a good career.

Benefits of Being a Security Guard

Aside from the flexibility of working as a security guard, you could also experience benefits while on the job. A major contributing factor to this would be the rewarding nature of the job; helping people feel safe and protecting them whether that be through your presence alone or actively dealing with a threat. Helping people on the job is always worthwhile.

On the other hand, not all benefits are altruistic, many involve development of your own skills as you spend more time on the job. You may find that your customer service skills greatly increase due to high exposure to members of the public. Not all interactions with the public as a security guard will be strictly security-based, as people may ask you for help or assistance. Additionally, you will notice an improvement in your observational skills and alertness, as that will be a skill that is constantly improved with experience. More specifically, you will receive training in safety and first-aid, as well as training for other emergency events. All the skills listed above can also be useful outside of work in an everyday environment, those employed in security find that those around them greatly appreciate their knowledge and skills in the field when.

Skills that Will be Useful in Security

You will benefit greatly from having the skills listed below:

  • a polite and friendly personality, approachable for the general public with good customer service instincts
  • reliable and trustworthy
  • the willingness and confidence to deal with threats and hostile individuals
  • sufficient physical fitness
  • basic computer skills
  • ability to work well both independently and with a team
  • having good judgement and instincts

How to Apply


To become a security guard, you must hold an SIA (Security Industry Authority) Licence, if you don’t then you will need to apply. The first qualifying factor is your age as you must be over 18 years old to become a licensed security guard. You will also undergo a background check which will include your criminal record and right to work in the UK. This, however, does not mean that you will be prohibited from getting an SIA licence if you do have a criminal record or don’t have the right to work in the UK; it will depend on your own individual situation and each application is treated separately. Furthermore, you will require a qualification from an appropriate training course. More information can be found on training courses on the SIA website.

If your licence needs renewing, you should be made aware that it does not do so automatically. For information on how to renew your licence read the article.

Finding the right security company

As a result of achieving your SIA licence, you can then apply to a contractor/agency that provide security services on contract; many guards often apply to multiple agencies. Applying can often be done online through a company website, over the phone, or at the agency’s main offices.

It is important to do your research and find companies that have the right accreditations especially being an SIA Approved Contractor. The more accreditations a company can provide, the more dedicated they are to improving company standards and providing a comfortable and safe working environment for both guards and clients. Having accreditations is also often in positive correlation with wages, as typically, the more certified an agency is, the greater the wages they can pay their staff.

Some companies may also allow for more flexibility than others, as they offer a range of roles allowing you to decide which one is right for you.

Becoming a Security Guard

After you have achieved an SIA licence and secured yourself a place at the right agency, you can finally be recognised as a security guard! You will need to bring suitable identification and proof of address as a standard requirement along with anything else the company might request.

Usually, when a company has jobs available you will receive training specific for that job so that you can arrive prepared and ready for your first shift with them. As you become more comfortable in your roles as a security guard and begin thinking about possible progression opportunities, you can begin working towards other security related qualifications in order to be eligible for higher, senior roles; this can also lead to roles in training and management if this is a career path that interests you.

If you would like information on current career opportunities you can apply for, please visit our Careers page.

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