Paul Goetzinger MPA
I worked as a security guard for a time. It really depends on the level you wish to pursue as a security officer. Some private sector companies only require a high school diploma. Higher level government jobs and private sector administration will need an associates degree, or even a bachelors or masters in order to become a upper level supervisor. You will need to determine what area or sector you would like to pursue, either private security or public security, there are opportunities in both. There public colleges and universities, all who have security or public safety departments. The security officers on these campuses do regular patrol duties, issues citations for infractions, write reports and protect the students faculty and property on the campuses. I would recommend going on the internet, get a list of all the public colleges and universities, and then going online and clicking on their human resources pages to determine what security officer positions are available and the requirements for applying the jobs. There are both part time and full time options for you. I can add that from my experience that the jobs at the public and state levels seem to pay more than the private security agencies. Public K-12 schools in many states also have security departments, so I would check out the public school districts in the state as well.
The community college, where I worked for five years, actually offered what was called a "Security Officer Academy," which was taught by regional law enforcement and government security officers. It was similar to a police academy and offered certification upon passage of a comprehensive exam at the end of the session. I would search through your region to see if any colleges or law enforcement agencies offer this. Certification could help you move up the professional ladder more quickly.
Private security is your other options. There are a variety of areas you can pursue in the private sector, and here are a few options for you to review. The college or university option is also seen for security opportunities. Private colleges and universities also have private security and public safety departments on their campuses. Like the public option, I would go online and get the list of the private colleges and universities and log into their human resources websites to see what opportunities are available on their campuses, and their educational requirements. The local private industries also have security departments, so I would also check out their websites to see if they have any opportunities. Some companies contract out with private security companies like Securitas, who patrol local malls, factories, and private properties. This might be another option to check out. I hope this has assisted you in your career pursuits, and generated some ideas for you to consider.
Paul recommends the following next steps:
-High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
-Must be at least 18 years old
-Ability to pass a background check
-Valid security guard license in the state of employment
-Previous security-related work experience preferred
-Ability to stay levelheaded and respond quickly in stressful situations
-Proficient written and oral communication skills
-Comfortable kneeling, carrying, bending, walking, and standing for extended periods of time
-Ability to perform continuous physical exertion as needed
-Working knowledge of basic security techniques