Posted in Career Insights
security guard education requirements

Interested in becoming a security guard or other asset protection specialist?

The education requirements for your career may differ depending on your location and potential employer.

At Stratford Career Institute, we offer a security course to help teach the basics and show you the education requirements for a security guard you may encounter during your search.

State Requirements for Security Guard Education

When researching the education requirements for a security guard, you should first look at your state’s rules. Some states don’t require a college education to work in security, while others may require a license. 

For example, in California, anyone who wants to work in security must pass a 40-hour training course.

According to the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services (CCR § 643), students must pass the following mandatory courses:

  • Powers to arrest,
  • Terrorism awareness,
  • Public relations,
  • Observation and documentation,
  • Communication, and
  • Legal liability.

While the state allows students to work as a security guard during their training, they must complete the courses no later than six months after their first day.

In contrast to these requirements, there are a few states that don’t have regulations for security guards.

Currently, the following states only have local requirements set by individual cities:

  • Colorado,
  • Idaho,
  • Indiana,
  • Kansas,
  • Kentucky,
  • Maine,
  • Michigan,
  • Mississippi,
  • Missouri,
  • Nebraska,
  • South Dakota, and
  • Wyoming.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need any training in these states. For example, the city of Denver has some of the most strict security guard requirements (Denver Excise and Licenses) in the country.

To receive licensure, Denver requires security personnel to complete at least 16 hours of basic training and an additional eight hours of continuing education every renewal. They must also have the experience necessary to apply for a weapons endorsement if armed.

Since every state and jurisdiction has unique requirements for security guards, it’s important to do your research. What may be required in one state may not be necessary in another.

Employer Requirements

While most states don’t have any education requirements for a security guard, some employers do.

Companies handling large amounts of confidential information or assets, such as hospitals and casinos, often have stricter requirements than other employers.

A college degree may be required for managerial security positions as well. In these cases, it may be best to seek a certificate or associate’s degree in criminal justice or a related area. 

Choosing Your Security Guard Schooling Path

Deciding on the right path for your career may seem tough at first, but it’s easier than you think.

First, consider the type of work you want to do. If you prefer to protect assets, consider a training program from a state-approved or national program.

This provides you with the training necessary for certification in certain jurisdictions. However, if you want to protect people or implement security systems, you may want to consider training and formal education.

Organizations like ASIS International and the International Foundation for Protection Officers offer a variety of courses and certifications to suit your career goals.

What to Look for in Security Guard Schooling Programs

Not all programs provide an equal amount of education. Thus, it’s essential to make sure that you choose the right program for you. Consequently, doing a program that doesn’t cover the essentials will make it harder for you to find a job you love. Here are some of the things a good security guard education program teaches.

Basic Security Techniques

A strong foundation in security concepts is a vital part of the education requirements for a security guard. The curriculum should encompass topics such as risk assessment, identifying threats, security protocol, and preventing crimes. In addition, security guards have sufficient training to conduct effective patrols, identify suspicious activity, and compensate for any security vulnerabilities.

Emergency Response

Preparing security guards for crisis response is essential. 

In short, any program should provide thorough training on emergency response to:

  • Fires,
  • Floods,
  • Explosions,
  • Earthquakes,
  • Tornadoes,
  • Power outages,
  • Active shooters,
  • Bomb threats,
  • Crimes in progress, and
  • Suspicious packages.

Additionally, guards should know standard evacuation procedures and first aid should the need arise. Ultimately, a security guard is responsible for the safety of anything or anyone in their security plan.

Report Writing

One of the most in-demand skills of security guards is excellent written skills. In fact, proper documentation is crucial in the security field. Guards should be taught how to write detailed reports and provide accurate documentation. In certain situations, this documentation may be used in legal proceedings, so it’s important that the reports are clear. 

Technical Skills

Familiarity with security equipment and technology is vital in today’s security landscape. 

For example, many companies have highly technical education requirements for a security guard, including experience operating:

  • Two-way radios,
  • Audio equipment,
  • CCTV and video feeds,
  • Intrusion detection systems,
  • Biometric security systems,
  • Incident reporting applications,
  • GPS tracking and geofencing,
  • Metal detectors, and
  • Surveillance drones.

As technology continues to evolve, it’s essential for security guards to receive ongoing training. While a training program can’t necessarily train you for future advancements, it can prepare you to use the current tools of the trade. So while looking for the right program, make sure to find a course that teaches how to use these systems.

Verbal Communication

Effective communication is necessary for security professionals for several reasons. First, security guards may find themselves in difficult situations when interacting with the public. They need to know how to greet people, provide them assistance, and show professionalism. 

Additionally, they must know how to de-escalate conflict and diffuse bad situations. Security guards are also responsible for safety in emergency situations. 

Finally, security guards don’t usually operate alone. Instead, they are often part of a larger team.

According to ZipRecruiter, the top requested skill in security guard job postings is customer service, with communication overall close behind in third. Obviously, this is one of the most important aspects of the job, so be sure to find a program that emphasizes it.

Legal Responsibilities

A comprehensive security guard training program should cover legal topics to ensure guards understand their rights and responsibilities.

Since security guards aren’t police officers, they follow a certain set of rules regarding liability and authority. This is especially true in scenarios where they deal with trespassing or crimes in progress. Always look for a program that goes into detail regarding the legal responsibilities of being a security guard.

Learn More with Our Course in Security and Police Sciences

If you’re ready to begin your journey toward a career in security, consider applying for Stratford Career Institute’s course.

Our security and police sciences program covers a wide range of introductory topics in security, including:

  • Private investigation,
  • Loss prevention,
  • Alarm systems,
  • Domestic terrorism,
  • Biometrics, 
  • Protection skills, and
  • Report writing.

Enroll now or contact us for more information about the course.

Stratford Career Institute’s program is specifically designed to serve as an introduction or enhancement of the theoretical knowledge required for the vocational application of this subject. It is intended to help individuals in the furtherance of their vocational training, and is not intended as a substitute for provincial licensing or certification requirements, which may include an apprenticeship or additional training.


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Become a Security Guard

Become a Security Guard

Explore Stratford Career Institute’s security and police sciences program to see if it is right for you. With our course, you will jumpstart your journey to becoming a security guard.