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Welcome to Security Guard Training Headquarters! We have everything you need to make your life easier as you begin your career as a security guard officer. State specific training requirements, a step-by-step hiring process, potential employers and interviews to help you get hired are just some of the helpful things you'll find here.

Top 10 Cities Hiring Security Guards Now

Security positions are perfect for individuals looking for flexible working hours and attention to detail. Candidates range from new entry-level job seekers to former police officers and veterans, and the top cities for this type of employment are listed first.

Here’s a tip: when looking for jobs in the security field, look for areas with a high degree of military and government contracts.

top cities hiring security guardsCities Hiring Security Guards Now

The first may come as a bit of surprise: Washington D.C. These jobs are most prevalent for candidates with several years experience. The surrounding area is home to both traditional government buildings, defense-related agencies and subcontractors requiring security.

It may come as no surprise the second most prevalent job market for future security specialists is the Big Apple, New York. The city that never sleeps has a great deal of retail storefronts with particularly high end merchandise. Keep in mind, that like most jobs, many openings are not posted to the major job boards. New York has a layout with high building density, as well as public transport.

Where there is a high degree of crime or unrest, security guards tend to have a higher need. Take the nearby Camden, NJ for instance. Within 25 miles of Camden, one major search engine indicates 5,000+ posted security jobs. Compare this to Green Bay, WI, a city with a population of 104,000 — only 300 related jobs in this field.

A city with similar needs to Camden is Chester, PA outside of the Philadelphia metro area. The large international security firms have many entry-level postings.

While Los Angeles, CA is rough half as populated as NYC, it has the highest population density in the United States, with essentially uncontained opportunities in the city itself and its requisite sprawl. The security positions here are diverse, from retail to warehouse opportunities.

Continuing the theme, Chicago is the heart of security jobs within the greater Midwest. Its central proximity to other rust belt hubs gives opportunities for upwards advancement, with many Fortune 500 companies requiring the services of security guards. Contractors include government, agricultural and maritime.

No list would be complete without Texas. A combination of rapid population growth and staggering economic prowess in almost every sector has given rise to a requisite growth in security guard jobs. Locations to try include Dallas-Ft. Worth and San Antonio, but most metro areas have more openings than qualified applicants.

Of note, cities with former manufacturing pasts often have a high need for security to patrol their abandoned structures. Both Detroit, MI and Saginaw, MI fit these criteria. The last entry rounds out the list as the smallest city discussed, as Saginaw has a population of 50,000+.

Security Guard Training and Education

Security guards work in a variety of places and their primary job is to protect people, property, and enforce the law. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most security guards work in investigation and security services, hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, traveler accommodations, and local government. There are many ways a person can become a security guard and each state has their own certification requirements. Once a person makes the decision to become a security guard, they will have to choose a school to be trained, certified, and eventually licensed.

Certificate Programs

The more education a security guard has the more money they can potentially make, but most security firms require a person to at least have a certificate to show that they have had some training before being hired. Certificate programs teach the basics of security, legal responsibilities, crime scene investigation, and ethical conduct. In order to start in a certificate program, a person needs to have a high school diploma or equivalency and they need to either be 18 or 21 years old depending on the program. Many community colleges across the country offer certificate programs in criminal justice, homeland security, law enforcement, and public affairs, and they offer in-class and online instruction.

Associates and Bachelor Degree Programs

If a security guard is looking to increase their income and/or go into management, they will want to get an associates or bachelor’s degree. Community colleges offer associates degrees and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in similar subjects that one can a certificate in. Typically someone who is already licensed and working as a security guard will look to get a degree in order to advance in their company.


Getting a certificate and going through a degree program is all part of the training a prospective security guard has to go through. If someone doesn’t want to go to a traditional college but would like to go to a career college, they need to make sure the school offers a program that meets the requirements that are specific to the state that the school is in. Once a person makes the decision to become a security guard, they will be entering a profession that is growing and their prospects of employment are great.

5 Tips For Getting Hired As A Security Guard

If you have always wanted to be a security guard, or if that is a job that you have recently started to consider for yourself, then you might be wondering what should be done in order to get the job. You might be curious as to what you should be doing to get the attention of the ones who will be interviewing you for the job. If so, then you will want to read through the below tips and follow them carefully.

Five Tips To Help You Get Hired As A Security Guard

  1. Dress neatly. When you are going to your interview make sure that you are wearing something that looks nice and professional. People appreciate that, and it just might get you the job.
  2. Be confident. Don’t let the interviewer see you shake. You are going to be guarding their place, after all, and you are going to need to prove to the one who is interviewing you that you have what it takes to do the job well.
  3. Be kind. Even though it is good to be confident, don’t be so confident that you are arrogant. Be kind to the one who is interviewing you and show them respect. They will love that, and they will see that you are a good person when you do that.
  4. Prepare what you are going to say ahead of time. Tell them about yourself and why you feel that you are qualified to be a good security guard. Let them know of any achievements that you have made without getting cocky about it.
  5. Be patient. Let the interviewer do the speaking and sit back and hope for the best. As long as you are giving the interview your best, that is all that you can really be doing, anyway.

Follow all of the above tips and you should be able to get the job that you were wanting. You are sure to land the job as a security guard if you are confident, kind and dressing nice. The interviewer will love that, and they will trust you to work for them.

2020 Tech for the Serious Security Professional

tech for serious security professionalSecurity guards are responsible for protecting property as well as people. It is crucial to have a keen eye, sharp attention to detail, quick response time, and high-quality gear.

For a general idea of what most security guards find useful on the job, see Security Guard Training Central’s rundown of essential security equipment gear.

Whether on-duty or off, security guards and officers need to stay up to date with the latest gear and tactical equipment to do their best on the job. There are many options to choose from in 2019, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is an excellent place to get an idea of what is available today.

Upgrade Your Flashlight

One of the most critical pieces of gear a security guard uses is a flashlight. More than just for illumination, the flashlight can be used in a pinch as a weapon if necessary.

Not just any household flashlight will do. Security guards need the benefits of ultra-bright light as well as durability and weight when used for defense.

Maglite flashlights are a go-to for public safety and security personnel. Maglite’s ML300LX has a beam distance of 406 meters with adjustable spotlight and floodlight options. Weighing in at over 1.5 pounds with 3 D-cell batteries and nearly 12 inches in length, the drop-resistant ML300XL is perfect for an emergency weapon in a bind.

Treat Your Feet Well

Most security personnel find themselves standing, walking, or running most of their working day.

Often, security guards work outdoors in all types of weather. Keeping the feet protected, comfortable, and dry in a well-fitted boot is extremely important.

Depending on what type of duty, the feet may need additional protection from outside sources, as well. Dangerous ground littered with shattered glass or a kick or stomp from someone who is out of control can escalate a situation from bad to worse.

Boots specifically designed for heavy-duty use are a must for any security and protection professional. Security-grade footwear like Danner’s ACADIA for men and women feature a GORE-TEX breathable waterproof lining to keep the feet comfortably dry from the inside and outside during inclement weather or other messy situations. The ACADIA also sports a fiberglass shank that gives added ankle and shin protection while maintaining a comfortable weight for all-day wear.

Features like these are specially designed for the security and safety of your feet. They can make a big difference to a serious professional. Law enforcement-grade boots like these can be on the expensive side. Still, you can be sure you are making an important investment in your future as a security guard when you’re ready to upgrade your boot.

Keep Top-Quality Pepper Spray at the Ready

While armed security guards have the license and training to carry firearms and other weapons, one of the most basic and reliable forms of defense available to every security guard is pepper spray.

If encountering an out-of-control situation, using pepper spray can disable a person quickly and effectively without having to escalate to physical engagement, putting both parties at higher and sometimes unnecessary risk of additional injury.

Pepper spray comes in various strengths and varieties, and a security guard needs to trust that this tool will get the job done quickly and effectively.

Sabre Red is one of the most trusted brands of police-grade pepper spray available for a security professional. Its latest line of tactical pepper sprays and gels features additional accessories perfect for a security guard’s specific needs, like a rugged tactical clip or belt holster to ensure it’s at the ready when it’s needed.

Security is serious business. Keeping up to date with the latest gear and equipment and being prepared for any situation is vital for 2019’s cutting-edge security professionals, whether new to the beat or a seasoned security veteran.

Security Officers Vs Guards

Most would think that security guards and security officers are often the same person just under different titles. This is not accurate, because they work very different occupations. Both of share the same objective in their work, which is to keep something secure, or protect it. However, pay, responsibility, requirements, and level of experience can be quite different between the two.

Security guards, compared to officers, are rank the lowest of the chain. Usually, a security guard would work under the supervision of a security officer, and could enter the field with just minimal experience education. They may only have to pass basic fitness and intelligence tests. Thus making them earn less than a higher up officer. In addition, a security guard is usually positioned at one location to guard the small area, report any suspicious activity, and the less harmful task of offering information and advice to customers or visitors at public places like museums, retail stores, outdoor events, and more. Since these guys don’t typically have all the high tech and dangerous equipment, they are on the more friendly side of the spectrum. Some may not even have the clearance to arrest folks. While they are more friendly, that does not mean they can’t take you down.

Security officers are often the ones that shout orders to or manage a group of security guards, and usually watch over their operations. As they are trained more in depth. They will occasionally train recently employed security guards, since they will generally have more on the job experience. While they do enjoy a higher salary, they have many more responsibility and are required to have more education and industry experience than a guard. Some may even have to work longer hours. In addition, compared to a security guard, an officer is more mobile, and is not planted at one location. Some way ride on a Segway or other mode of transportation to travel farther distances. He or she may travel to many different places around the area to check on their team of guards and make sure everything is running smoothly.

All in all, a security officer and a security guard are both still very important jobs, and should be given to only the best trusted, licensed, and professional applicants. If you would like to learn more about these job descriptions search them up online or check out any security firm.

Benefits of security guards in schools

security guards in schoolsAccording to the latest statistics, the 2015 – 2016 school year was reported as having 1.4 million incidents of crimes. These crimes are not confined to a small percentage of schools within a certain area, but includes 79% of the schools in the U.S. When reviewing these numbers, there is at least one thing that is clear, and that is there are many essential benefits of hiring security guards to protect the children and the teachers.

That being said, here are 6 of the top benefits of security guards in school.

1. Monitor and Reduce Fighting and Bullying

As the children on school campuses become more and more aggressive in handling situations today, there is a huge need for interference by trained security guards. Particularly, when kids on these campuses are constantly in fear of being bullied by others inside of the classroom. With trained safety guards onsite to identify these situations before they escalate, these high rates in the school systems can be monitored and greatly reduced.

2. Immediate help in Emergency Situations

With so many children on school campuses today, anything can happen at any time. Slips, falls, and other accidents may cause a kid to need immediate assistance in order to minimize the risks and the severity of their medical condition. Because security guards are trained in taking care of a wide range of incidents that can occur on a school campus, they can also attend to these situations by providing immediate assistance on the scene of the accident. From administering CPR to a student or teacher that cannot breathe to providing first aid to a student that fell, these are emergencies that they can address onsite.

3. Proactive Measures in Protecting Each Child With First Account Observation

Security guards on campuses can assist in protecting the kids with first account observation. These professionals are needed on campuses to prevent problems with kids that are afraid to tell authorities that they are being bullied. By keeping a keen eye on each child, trained security guards are able to spot problems like overly aggressive kids, kids that are depressed, socially withdrawal and dealing with excessive anger.

4. Combine forces to Teachers to Heighten Security in the Classroom

In many cases, the teacher is aware of trouble in the classroom that needs to be addressed. In some of these situations, however, they may need extra help to resolve issues that involve the safety of the kids in the classroom. For instance, the teacher may witness a case of bullying that needs to be handled head-on to prevent one kid from being harmed and tormented by the other. With a security guard involved and notified in advance, the necessary actions can be taken to aid the child that is frightened. By combining forces, the teacher and security guard can make it much easier and safer for these activities to be monitored immediately and reported to the kid’s parents and other authorities on the school campus.

5. Prevent Strangers from Gaining Unauthorized Access to the Campus

In addition to protecting bullies from traumatizing other kids on the campus, security guards can also help in preventing other problems that compromise student safety on the school’s campus. For instance, because anyone can walk off the street onto a school’s campus to cause mayhem any time of the day, the role of the security guard is to take care of the following duties and responsibilities.

  • Make sure everyone that walks on campus has a real need and authorization to be there before allowing them to enter in.
  • Follow formal procedures before allowing students from other schools to visit the campus.
  • Check all students who are assigned to the school for guns in their backpacks or on their person for guns, knives, and any other items that can be used as a weapon to harm other students and teachers.

6. Provide the Kids with a Better Sense of Security on Campus

To learn, children always need an environment that is conducive to learning. Since fighting and other risks of violence on school campuses are so prevalent today, it can easily become difficult for children to learn, especially when they have problems on their minds like fighting, bullying and other unsafe acts of concern. On the other hand, when they have security guards on campus that they see as their protection, they are usually able to concentrate, study and learn more when they feel safe. Therefore, aside from the additional level of protection that these security guards actually provide, this sense of safety is one of the primary benefits of hiring security guards on today ‘s school campuses. In fact, with security guards on campuses, kids, parents and the teachers are often more relaxed.

Robotic Security Guards On the Rise But Not Ready to Replace Human Personnel

A recent study by Oxford Economics predicts that as many as 20 million jobs will be taken over by robots by 2030, and that’s just in the manufacturing sector. Robots are showing up in an array of other skilled employment areas, such as delivering packages, fast-food functions, janitorial jobs and hundreds of service sector jobs. Transportation is another key area as several entities are racing to develop driverless cars and trucks.

robot human security guardAnother employment sector experiencing the rise of robots is security. It’s not just cameras and burglar alarms, but mobile robots that can patrol hallways, factory floors and outside grounds. A number of high-tech firms are moving aggressively to develop robots that work to patrol and secure public and private physical locations. One example is Knightscope, a firm headquartered in Mountain View, California. It builds what they call ADMs, Autonomous Data Machines. They are designed to monitor crimes in malls, parking lots an even traverse the streets of neighborhoods.

Cobalt Robotics of San Mateo, California, is a firm that boasts machines designed to “cover the gaps existing security tools leave behind.” Cobalt also manufactures robots that are controlled remotely by human operators. Both Knightscope and Cobalt Robotics make “smart, autonomous vehicle robots” which can move about and monitor an area for crimes and to provide an observable presence for safety. An examination of their robot products displayed on their respective websites looks like something out of science fiction film.

The question is, are robots on the cusp of replacing human security guards? Will the job of security guard soon be given over to the realm of smart machines? Industry observers say the answer is a resounding no. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for security guards are likely to remain in robust demand and the number of jobs in this sector will grow by at least 4% through 2028. As of 2018, there were 1,154,300 people employed as security guards in the United States.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics website states: “The overall opportunities for security guard should be excellent.”

There are several reasons why robots will not be replacing people as security guards in the near future. In general, there are still an array of functions a living person can do that robots are a long way from being able to provide. Consider these examples:

Emergency First Aide – Only a human being can perform the Heimlich maneuver, perform CPR or take other hands-on measures to stop bleeding or assist with injuries. Many security guards are trained in such EMT skills and can bring this invaluable function to their jobs.

Judgment — Robots cannot be programmed to make judgment calls in unique situations. They cannot apply reason and act independently in the face of a wide range of unpredictable scenarios. Improvements in AI may one day change that, but it’s still a long way off.

Hacking – Robots are not foolproof considering they can be hacked and rendered useless by criminals. Their data can be stolen or erased. In fact, a clever hacker could even enable a security robot to assist with a crime.

Cost – Robots are still an elite, high-tech item with a hefty price tag. The cost comparison vis-a-vis paying for human security guards is not competitive.

Armed – Robots cannot carry or deploy defensive weapons. That means anything from firearms to electronic tasers, sprays or batons. Society and government regulation are a long way from allowing robots that work in public spaces to carry lethal or disabling forces of any kind that could inflict physical harm upon human beings. Human security guards can carry lethal and defensive force after completing rigorous training.

Teamwork – This is among the most important and valued characteristics of a company’s security guard contingent. Teamwork is essential for a cohesive effort and to provide a highly secure environment based on good communication and coordination of effort.

The most likely trend, for now, is that robotic security systems will be considered an adjutant to enhance the efforts of human security guard teams. Robots, after all, are tools used by people. Real security guards will not be threatened by robotic devices because these devices help them do their jobs and provide an added level of safety.

Requirement for Becoming a Security Guard in New York City

nyc security guard requirementsNew York City-It’s been said if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. You can also ‘make it’ in the security profession.

The security field can be a rewarding as well as exciting one; you get to deal with people and socially interact with them, you also have the opportunity to make your valuable contribution in protecting this nation’s homeland security. On September 11, 2001, the valuable contribution that security officers made to this city changed the image of them forever. Instead of being viewed in a negative, stereotypical light, as many security guards formerly were viewed, as not being “real cops”, for instance, people began to sit up and take these professionals seriously.

That attitude is still prevalent; you have an opportunity to learn more about this noble profession and how you can contribute your part to it.

Becoming a Security Guard in NYC

But how does one become a security guard in New York City? What are the requirements? You need to have extensive training in security, which means you will be required to attend a class learning the basics of the security system. You will learn such things as fire safety; what to do if there’s a fire and what not to do, in which you will then take a test which upon passing, qualify you to receive a fire protection certificate. You will also be required to take an 8-hour test in security, which is necessary, upon which, after passing a test, you will also receive a certificate noting that you indeed did take such a test.

You will, above all, need a security license, this is requires by law; following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, it is now mandatory that all security guards be licensed.

Even after you are hired, you will need further training, to which you will receive 16 hours of OJT, or On-The-Job-Training; this has to be completed 90 days upon hiring.

Since the security profession is indeed a noble one, you will be expected to conduct yourself in a professional and dignified manner at all times. You need to have good interactive skills, or to be people-friendly; this is definitely not a job for people who have personality issues.

There are many security companies in New York City; many of them start out on a minimum wage basis, but there are some who pay significantly more, based of course, on the level of the security guard’s experience and expertise.

The security field-A rewarding one indeed. Hopefully, you’ll feel the same way once you’ve entered it.

10 Safety Tips for Security Guard Work

Security guards are essential in keeping people, businesses, and their possessions safe. They work in a variety of dangerous settings, and safety is not only necessary for the people they protect, but for themselves as well. They are often responsible for apprehending criminals in robberies or violent crimes, and protecting citizens. Knowing how to protect themselves and the businesses they serve is critical to their jobs.

Though most security already possess in depth training, there are essential procedures most officers utilize to keep them from encountering potentially life threatening situations. These procedures may change depending on level of danger, recent crime rate, and area of the country. Officers may alter essentials, such as body equipment, depending on local crime rates, and level of danger to the businesses they serve.

Essential Body Gear and Security Guard Procedures

The following essentials are necessary on some level for most security guards, and are standard procedures for safety in performing jobs.

  1. Be aware of the type of body gear being used. Protective clothing should reflect the risk involved to the specific area. The higher the risk, the more steps should be taken to add protective gear, such as vests, and weapons.
  2. Be familiar with the grounds and business layout. Be aware of emergency exits, as well as hiding places. Monitor the grounds and know all security routes.
  3. Depending on type of business, security may encounter armed robberies. Guards in these settings are normally armed, with bullet proof vests.
  4. Other situations require stab vests. These protect against torso attacks, and provide friction against knifes and blades.
  5. An additional level of protection is spike protection. This can be used with stab vests, and protects against ice picks, needles, and other sharp, pointed instruments.
  6. Another essential is anti-slash gloves, which protect against injury from knives, blades, and ice picks.
  7. Aside from body armor, pay attention to surroundings, and be alert for potential crime and danger at all times.
  8. Don’t take anything for granted. Check gear on a regular basis. Make sure gear is not damaged and is ready for any situation.
  9. Teamwork in security situations is essential. Keep in contact with other security personnel, and combine efforts. Assist with other security routes. The more knowledge of routes, layout, and potential security holes the better guards can protect themselves, clients, and properties.
  10. Stay in shape and be ready to chase criminals, or face other potentially hazardous situations that demands physical stamina.

How Much Do School Security Guards Make?

For the most part, a security guard position requires the guard to patrol an area, guard something, or monitor an area to prevent theft or the infraction of rules. The guard may operate a metal detector or x-ray machine. A guard must also prevent and de-escalate violent situations.

How much a security guard position pays partially depends on whether the job requires the person to be armed or unarmed. Other factors include the person’s experience, as well as the area of the country and the industry the job is in.

The Average Pay

security guard says that the mean hourly wage in May of 2018 for all types of United States security guard positions was $15.41 per hour. The median wage was $13.70 per hour.

Security Guard Pay by Armed or Unarmed

No guard job will pay anywhere near the worth of a person’s life. Like police work, security guard work is the kind of job that is just in a guard’s DNA. puts the average pay for armed guards between $10 and $21 per hour. The same site puts the average for an unarmed guard at $10.81 per hour.

Unarmed guards are used at schools with grades pre-K through 12th grade, where nearly 75 percent of school shootings occur. Shooters know they have a much better chance of leaving the crime scene alive if they are the only armed person.

If you want to be an armed guard in schools where much less violence will be likely, your services will be needed at the places of higher learning.

Security Guard Pay by Experience Level

According to, a newbie security guard can expect to earn a respectable $12.86 per hour, on average. After one to four years, security guards make an average of $13.47 per hour. Five to nine years will get a guard just a few more pennies, at $13.72. Ten to 19 years of service will bring a jump in pay to $15.79 per hour. Twenty years will see the pay level out again, paying an average of $15.82 per hour on up to $16.

Security Guard Pay by Location

Take the national averages and calculate the decrease or increase in pay for your region by the following percentages:

Houston, TX (- 15 percent)
Atlanta, GA (+ 5 percent)
Los Angeles, CA (+ 6 percent)
Chicago, IL (+ 7 percent)
Las Vegas, NV (+ 10 percent)
Washington, DC (+ 32 percent)
New York, NY (+ 45 percent)

Security Guard Pay by Industry puts the hourly mean wage for a security guard working at an elementary or secondary school at $17.16 per hour. This is on the low end of the spectrum, only paying more than investigation/security services and traveler accommodation establishments pay ($14.66 and $15.45 respectively). Natural gas distribution and remediation and other waste management services pay considerably more money per hour ($29.67 and $27.01 respectively), as do several other industries.

Job Security for Security Guards

The part of the job that is uncomfortable is the dangerous part. In some security guard positions, the guard is required to spend a lot of time working alone. Violent situations often stem from escalation of a situation, and guards insert themselves into these situations to de-escalate them. Sometimes overpowering and arresting a person becomes necessary.

Some situations turn violent. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 250 shooting incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2017.

There was just one shooting incident in 2000 and 30 incidents in 2017, indicating a clear trend of an increasing number of shooting incidents. That means that as time marches on, there is a much higher likelihood that a security guard will have to respond to an emergency situation.

Over 20 percent of the aforementioned 250 shooting incidents occurred at schools, and 14.8 percent of them occur in the pre-k to 12th grade schools. Because of the escalating number of shootings in schools, security guard positions in schools will be more and more in demand as time goes on.