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How to Become a Security Guard: What to Know

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, security guard employment is going to increase 6 percent by 2026. Overall job opportunities should be excellent!

Becoming a security guard can be a thrilling, exciting and rewarding job. But before you apply, there are a few steps you should take to make sure you are eligible.

The basic requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years old.

  • Most places will do a background check and require a clean criminal history.

  • A high school education is preferred but not always required.

Get licensed

Many security jobs will require you to be certified, but getting your security guard license can really set you apart from the competition, especially for the jobs that don’t have the requirement.

The licensing varies from state to state, so your best bet would be to check with your state’s Department of Justice of Bureau of Security for specifics. They will be able to point you in the right direction. Some states will require you to take a class and an exam, while other states include training before you can actually become certified.

The best way to advance in your career as a security guard is to get your license and any supplemental certifications that you can find. This will show employers that you take your job seriously and strive to be the best guard that you can be.

The facts

On average, security guards make over $28,490 per year. Gaming surveillance security guards are typically on the higher end of the pay scale and earn around $32,680 per year.

If you consider yourself to be protective, are always around to lend a hand and you’re interested in a growing field, then becoming a security guard may be just the right fit for you. Have you worked as a security guard before? Tell us about it below!

Andrea Barger |
Andrea (she/her) is our head of PR at Snagajob, where she’s focused on telling the world how we help hourly workers and employers. Her first hourly job was as a lifeguard.