Basic Requirements To Become A Security Guard

So you want to know about the requirements to become a security guard and are passionate about it? Being a security guard is not a mere “job”. It’s a lifestyle that changes your daily routine and makes you an entirely different (read: better) person.

Below we are going to discuss some requirements to become a security guard. You’ll get answers to all your questions so that you can just move ahead and start your career without any doubt. 

Ready to dive in?

What Are The Requirements To Become A Security Guard?

If we talk about requirements, there is no set rule. Your employer might decide to choose a security guard based on fundamental needs. 

But some employers set a high standard, and they mention A to Z requirements during the recruiting process. 

Ideally, you should be ready for any of the two employers. Let’s look into the prerequisites that are mandatory for becoming a security guard: 

  • You should be 18+ 
  • High school diploma or GED 
  • Should pass criminal and identity record checks 
  • You should have completed a licensed and approved security guard training that is applicable in your State
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to think critically and act quickly 

Some employers demand two or four-year college degrees, especially if you have to work in complex buildings and important places. 

If you want to work in the capacity of physical security then you might need a four-year degree in criminal justice or alike. 

Steps For Becoming A Security Guard

Once you know that you have all the prerequisites, you should know the next step: how to apply and be a security guard. 

Steps that will lead you towards your career as a security guard are: 

  • Research the position you’re interested in and see if you have the licensed training required. If not, then you can ask them if there is a possibility to provide on-site training.
  • Apply for the position right according to your credentials. 
  • Go through an interview conducted by the relevant authorities 
  • Pass a background check 
  • Be hired and start your on-site training 
  • Be a quick learner, apply all your learned techniques, and do your job passionately. 

How To Become A Security Guard In California? 

The California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services registers the state’s security guards and proprietary private security officers.

Proprietary private security officers (PPSO) provide security services directly to their employer and are not contracted by another entity; they are typically unarmed professionals who interact with the public while on the job. 

On the other hand, security guards are authorized to work for companies that provide security services.

The person who wants to apply should fill out a form given by the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services and get licensed training that applies to the State of California. 

Security Guards Training And Certification Requirements 

To become a security guard, you must get licensed training for your state. You usually don’t need to have a college degree, unless you have opted for a crucial physical security job role. 

The training required is subjective. It depends upon what type of role you have opted for. For example, if you have opted for armed security, you need special training to handle and use weapons. Also, if you have opted for patrolling, you should have proper training and how to work with your team. 

If you want to be an unarmed security guard, you should have basic training and skills to help you start your career. 

Let’s look into specific job roles as an unarmed security guard and the mandatory training/certification needed for it: 

Unarmed security guard training and certification 

To be an unarmed security guard, you must complete training for a particular number of hours. The number of hours depends upon your State. 

For example, in California, you have to complete 40 hours of training. You can do it in 3 sets. This training can also be done online. Also, if you have completed the first 8 hours, you are good to apply as a guard. 

After training, you must complete application forms and submit a BSIS fee. The last step would be a background check. 

Few Security Guard Certifications in 2023 That You Should Go For 

Here’s a list for you of a few certifications that you can do to sharpen your skills and start your career as a professional security guard. You can also opt for these courses to upgrade your job position. 

Skills Required To Be A Security Guard

Following soft skills is mandatory to be a security guard, no matter where you will be deployed. 


Communication skills are on the top for a purpose. Security guards not only have to stand and watch out but they also have to interact with every type of person—your employees, clientele, suspects, etc. So they need to have the best communication skills. They should know what to talk about and in which way. This not only looks professional but also helps to keep away suspects and have a great impression of your business on other people. 


What if you hire a security guard but they tend to be lazy and sleepy? It will not only badly impact your business but also waste money and time. So, ensure the security guard you’re hiring is always alert while on duty. 

Security guards are trained to be alert and conscious. This is important whether they work within or outside the building. 

Critical thinking 

Security guards should think out-of-the-box. They shouldn’t just hear and see obvious things. They must think about possibilities. They should have a critical mind that asks questions and is curious to find answers. 

This skill is really important to keep away criminals and solve various security concerns efficiently. 


When there is more than one guard, each has to interact with their teammate to secure your site. This can’t be done if the security guard doesn’t know how to interact with their fellows. 

So teamwork is also an important skill that helps safeguard large areas without difficulty. 


What to do if your security guard doesn’t know how to reach and tackle security scenarios? It would be difficult and unbearable. So, make sure the one you’re hiring knows what to do in various situations to normalize everything within no time. 

Read more of the skills needed to be a security guard here.

Security Guard Education Requirements

In most cases, you should have a high school diploma and that’s it. But if you wish to go for complex workplaces, then you need to have two or four-year college degrees.  It depends upon your employer as well. 

If you wish to do a crucial physical security job, then you might need a four-year degree in criminal justice or a degree equivalent. 

What Disqualifies You From Being A Security Guard

Vital Ethics, a company that provides online basic and advanced life support continuing education programs in the USA, States a few things that can keep you away from being a security guard: 

“If you have a conviction for violent crimes such as assault, rape and murder or if you have been convicted of fraud or arson, you won’t get your license or be hired anywhere as a security guard. Basically, any felony can keep you from getting your license or becoming employed, especially if you’re going to be an armed security guard.”

Final Thoughts: How To Become A Security Guard With No Experience 

Have zero experience and wondering if someone will recruit you? Well, if you have got proper training and prove yourself in the interview as well then you can get your career started in no time. 

Search for jobs that require no experience at all. You can start with very basic security job roles to get on-site training and learn. Once you get started and do your job with enthusiasm, then there is no stop in this career. You keep track of the requirements to become a security guard, but that should not hold you down from trying your luck.

You can fly high by getting more training and being a law enforcement agent. Or you can be a trainer who will train many beginner security guards. So, the options are endless. You just need to put yourself out there. Good luck with that! 


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