Security Guard Certificate and Certification Program Information
Security guards, also known as security and protection officers, protect individuals and property from physical harm. Most states require that security guards obtain state licensure before seeking employment in the field. Although certification generally isn't a requirement to work as a security guard, it could provide employment or advancement opportunities. Certificates and certification courses could also serve as a foundation for enrolling in 2-year or 4-year degree programs.
Security Guard Certificate
Security guard certificate programs teach students security basics. Some courses last for mere hours. For instance, a basic certification course may only last 8-16 hours. Recertification courses are also available to security guards already employed in the field. After earning a certificate, graduates may qualify for state licensure.
Prior to enrolling in a certificate program, students are generally required to posses a high school diploma or its equivalent. Programs may also require that applicants be 21 prior to enrollment.
Students may learn to work as both armed and unarmed security officers. Courses can prepare students to work at a variety of locations, such as schools, malls, retail stores, government offices and subway stations. Program coursework is designed to educate students about safety regulations and how to handle thefts and fires. Other coursework that might be part of a certificate program includes:
- Security basics
- Crime scene conduct
- Legal responsibilities
- Public relations
- Access control
Employment Outlook & Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that between 2008 and 2018 employment growth for security guards and gaming surveillance officers was an estimated 14%, which is faster than average (www.bls.gov). Much of the projected growth was attributed to increased concerns regarding theft and vandalism, as well as an increase in the use of private security firms. The BLS reported that as of May 2010, the middle half of security guards earned between $19,540 and $31,030.
Security Guard Certification and Continuing Education Information
Most states require that security guards be licensed or certified before they can work in the field. To qualify for licensure, most states require that applicants be at least 18, pass a background check and receive classroom training. Certification courses often instruct students on testifying in court, writing reports, firearm training, legal use of deadly force and crime scene preservation.
Security guards can also become Certified Protection Officers (CPO), a designation offered by the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPP). Certificates and certification might also prepare students to obtain an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field.
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