New Year, New Career: Security Guard Training

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It’s the beginning of a new year. For some this marks an exciting time for reflection, growth and change—especially when it comes to work. You, for example, might find yourself wondering if the career you’ve chosen for yourself is the right one. You might also be on the cusp of choosing a career, and picking one might seem like a daunting task.

Since you’re here, we have to ask: have you ever considered becoming a security guard?

The world is constantly changing these days. One of those changes means that more industries are finding themselves in need of the kinds of services a security guard can provide. The security guard landscape is also changing. Soon, you won’t see security guards simply sitting behind the scenes, watching video surveillance. Big organizations including, government, hotels, retail, schools, residential associations and more are starting to understand the value of hiring security guards to keep their equipment, buildings and people well protected.

As you can see, security is a rapidly growing industry with plenty of room for new security guards to find long-term contracts. If you’re looking for a career change, becoming a security guard could be exactly what you’re looking for.

But . . . before you take the plunge, there are a few things you need to consider. Do you have the right characteristics to excel as a security guard? And what kind of training do you need?

Don’t worry. We’ve got all the answers to these questions and more, right here in this post.

Security Guard Characteristics

If a career as a security guard is something you’re interested in pursing, that’s great! You’re already on the right track. If you’re still sitting on the fence, perhaps you simply need to do a bit more research.

There’s a pretty easy way to uncover whether or not a security guard is the best career choice for you. All you need to do is take a look at the top qualities or characteristics of a good security guard. If the qualities or characteristics seem like a good fit, you know you’re on the right track. If not, then at least you’ll know that moving forward with security guard training probably isn’t a good idea.

So, go ahead. Take a look at the following list for some of the top characteristics of a good security guard:


This characteristic is a big one. While in your day-to-day life you should try to be as honest as possible, a security guard must remain so at all times. A security guard’s primary job is to keep an eye on people, places and even things. If something happens while a security guard is on duty, it is important that they relay the information to those who require it, honestly. Otherwise the wrong person could get accused of a crime they did not commit (for example).

Quick Thinker

It is also extremely important that a security guard knows how to think on their feet. An event can happen in the blink of an eye. If a security guard cannot react appropriately or quickly, then the situation can escalate. It is a security guard’s job to prevent people from getting hurt, or property from getting damaged. This is possible if you’re a quick thinker.

Enjoy Exercise

While there are moments of extreme down time, there will also be times where a security guard might need strength or speed. For example, you might have to run after a suspect! This is why physical fitness is so important for a security guard. If you don’t enjoy exercise, you might want to look for a career elsewhere.


Security guards need to relay information to others day in and day out. The right people need to know if there’s been an incident, if anything looks suspicious or if everything is running smoothly. Communicating this information correctly and effectively is a very important part of a security guard’s job. Creating confusion by relaying information poorly can cause problems where there are none.

Sense of Calm

Do you remain calm under pressure? If so, becoming a security guard is a great career choice for you. While on the job, security guards not only need to have the strength to handle anything that comes their way, they also need to help others remain calm. Acting irrationally, getting violent or showing fear will not help the situation.

Can Lead and Be Led

Many security guard jobs require people to work together to get the job done. For example, security guards working at a massive production plant need to make sure that all areas are secure and safe. It is not possible to cover all areas on their own.

If you enjoy leading people, chances are you would make a great security guard. There are many opportunities for growth, which include the possibility to lead your own team. That being said, as a leader you also have to be open to situations where others need to take control. So, you need to know how to lead and be led.

Be Professional

Security guards need to appear in public places. Even if they sit behind a desk, they often act as a first point of contact for the company they work under. Showing up to a job with wrinkled and stained clothing certainly won’t reflect well on the company. Wear your uniform with pride and take care of your appearance.

Stay Alert

Remaining alert at all times is key when working as a security guard. If you get easily distracted during quiet periods when nothing much is happening, than this job likely isn’t for you. Real life isn’t like the movies, which means that many shifts will be uneventful. It doesn’t mean that you can relax and start watching YouTube videos on your phone, or take a nap. A security guard must have the ability to keep watching, even when there’s nothing going on.

Security Guards: Primary Duties

While the number of security guard jobs is expanding, security guard duties remain the same. These duties include,


The number one role of a security guard is to provide surveillance to an organization or company. Surveillance is the art of watching others without notice. The purpose of surveillance is to catch people doing things that aren’t legal. For example, a security guard working for a retail store is looking for shoplifters. A security guard at an office building might look for theft or vandalism.

Security guards conduct surveillance in a variety of ways. Many use surveillance equipment to record daily operations. Tailing suspects is another method of surveillance that security guards use.


Keeping people, property and other items of value safe and secure is the primary job for any security guard.

For example, some schools use security guards to ensure the safety of their students and staff. Many schools across North America have hired security guards to keep an eye on things during the day. Setting up metal detectors and other types of searches have also helped security guards to keep schools safe and secure.

Another example includes office buildings. Many now require passes to enter the building or even use the elevator. A security guard will look out for visitors or strangers to find out why they’ve entered the building.

Writing Reports

A security guard must write reports to document incidents or events as they occur. Keeping these reports up to date and accurate is just as important as other duties. The reason for this is because those reports often get used in court, to fire an employee or to prevent someone from entering the premises. It provides the proof a company needs to take action.

Training Courses for Security Guards

If you’ve made it through the list of security guard characteristics and feel that it’s the right job for you, congratulations! Let’s move onto what you can do to make this dream a reality.

In order to get hired as a security guard in Ontario or Canada, you must obtain a legal license. Here at the Smith Investigation Agency for example, we offer the security guard training course

Similar to other skilled professions, security guard training courses take time and effort to complete successfully. You will need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of training in a variety of relevant topics. Some of these topics include,

  • Surveillance
  • Security
  • Writing Reports
  • Working within the Law

After you successfully complete the in-class portion of security guard training, you are ready to get your license! Your instructor will recommend for you to take the security guard exam. Once passed, you will receive a valid security guard license and can start working (in Ontario). In many cases, companies that offer the security guard training course will hire their own students or provide recommendations to help kick-start their careers.

Security Guard Today, Private Investigator Tomorrow

Starting a career as a security guard today will only help to expand your career options in the future. Many people become security guards to gain experience before applying to a police college. Others decide to move into the world of private investigation.

Once you’ve taken the security guard training course and your security guard license, you can take the private investigation course. This will help to reinforce your security guard training, as well as give you additional skills to help you in your security guard work. You can also switch over to the world of private investigation if that’s something you want to pursue.

Taking the security guard training course will open many doors for you and your career. The work is tough, but ultimately rewarding in so many ways. So, what are you waiting for? The time is now! Become a security guard today.

For more information on The Smith Investigation Agency’s award winning training programs, contact us: or (647) 479-8474.

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