What qualifications do you generally need to be a security guard?
In order to become a security guard, you first need a high school diploma. A college degree isn't required to start working in this job, but some post-secondary training can be helpful when applying for jobs. Most security guards will receive on-the-job training for up to eight months. Many states recommend that security guards receive about 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8 to 16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. Security guard training curriculum may include protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training requirements related to the security guard’s assignment.
Additionally, some states have regulations around the age of security guards. While many need to be at least 18 years old, some states require security guards to be 21 years old before they can work in the field.
Depending on where you work as a security guard, you may also be required to pass a criminal background check and drug screening.
How long does it take to become a security guard?
Depending on your work experience, it can take as little as a few months to become a security guard. Through Penn Foster's online Security Guard Career Diploma, you can learn the fundamental knowledge that can help you become successful in the role in as little as one to five months.
What is the average salary of a security guard?
According to national averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for entry-level security guards was $31,470 per year in 2021.* Salary can vary based on education, work experience, where you work, and even the state you live in. Security guards who work at casinos may earn more than other security guard roles.
What is the career outlook of a security guard?
About 155,900 openings for security guards* are projected each year, on average, over the next ten years. The demand for security guards is expected to grow as more businesses, large and small, require guards to protect people and property. Places you can work as a security guard include stores, office buildings, schools, libraries, and arenas. Additionally, after becoming an entry-level security guard, you can pursue different career paths in the field in public and private security roles.