Exploring In-Demand Security Guard Careers

security guard career

As one of the largest private and public industries in the world, the need for qualified security guards shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to the latest job growth forecasts, the entire security industry is slated to experience continued growth over the next decade.

It’s no surprise so many aspiring security professionals are making the leap into this important career field. As with any job, opportunities and specializations vary based on your geographical location. While security guards living in a populated state or near a major metropolitan area may have access to greater job concentrations and variety, all regions in the United States offer more than just retail guard jobs.

If you’re just got your security guard license, or are an experienced guard interested in learning about potential career advancement moves, the following guide offers a unique insight into specific security guard career options.

#1 – Armored Car Guard

You’ve seen these guards outside of retail centers and banking institutions, but do you really know what this intense and rewarding security specialization entails?

The basic responsibilities of an armored car guard is to ensure large sums of cash are securely delivered to its intended recipient. This may mean transporting cash from one bank to another, or reloading ATMs with specified bills.

As an armored car guard, you’ll work as a part of a team. Typically, there’s a guard driver charged with the task of safely operating the armored vehicle to and from destinations, and a delivery guard. This security professional physically removes and delivers cash to the authorized recipient. If you’ve ever witnessed this transaction, then you understand the dangers.

The risks associated with being an armored car guard are greater than the average security guard. To start, the required tools of the job include a hefty truck and gun. Secondly, the inventory you’re transporting is innately dangerous. Criminals have spent countless hours configuring ways to separate cash from the armored guards. This automatically places guards at a heightened risk of potentially violent incidents.

While requirements for becoming an armored guard vary based on jurisdiction and employer, the average prerequisites include:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Drivers may be required to hold an active Commercial Driver’s License or CDL in their state of employment
  • Pass vigorous and deep-level background investigations
  • Pass state-accredited firearm training program
  • Earn a gun permit and/or Federal Reserve Access permit
  • Complete armored guard training as defined by your state licensing board

#2 – Cruise Ship Security Guard Career

Do you dream of the open sea? Does the idea of playing a direct role in the safety and security of thousands of vacationers sound like a rewarding experience? If so, then a cruise ship security guard career may be your perfect option.

The daily duties of a cruise ship security guard are strikingly similar to those of any other consumer-centric security job. However, the perks of this job are far from ordinary.

While cruise ship security guard jobs may not be ideal for those with families, as assignments can last months, if you’re unattached and vying for adventure, this career could be exactly what you’ve dreamed to experience. Along with an above-average salary, cruise ship guards get to travel the world and take advantage of the unique amenities living on a cruise ship offers.

As a cruise ship guard, you’ll be part of a larger-than-normal security enforcement team. Because cruise ships carry thousands of people, and operate as a floating city without a police department, security guards are given additional responsibilities and authority than typical. You must be capable of not only covering incredible distances throughout your daily patrol routes, but also provide a specific level of customer service and support to travelers.

Working as security personnel on a cruise ship is both rewarding and challenging. So, how do you get a job as a cruise ship security guard? The answer: patience and persistence.

These positions are highly coveted among travel-oriented security professionals. Here are several tips to help navigate the uncharted seas of cruise ship security guard jobs:

  • Security Officer vs. Guard – The majority of cruise ships use each term to define specific job positions and security team levels. For example, The Royal Caribbean requires security officers to hold a background in military involvement and an active diving certification, while security guards needed to only pass a physical aptitude test and basic English examination.
  • Outsourcing Companies – It’s not uncommon to find that larger and smaller cruise lines outsource security guard hiring. Check with cruise line human resources department for security personnel hiring protocol and to receive the names of hiring providers.
  • Advanced Security Certifications – If you’ve only earned state licensure and undergone minimum required training, consider boosting your competitiveness by earning an advanced security certification by a national certifying organization. Consider earning other cruise ship-specific certifications, such as becoming a certified diver.

#3 – Healthcare Security Guard Career

The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers of security guards, and for good reason. Along with safeguarding patients, medical facilities often store desirable pharmaceuticals. If you’re looking for a security guard career capable of making a difference in both direct and indirect ways, then this may be your ideal career option.

When it comes to securing employment in the healthcare field, you’ll obviously need to pass state-specific requirements and licensure, but this isn’t all. Because pay and benefits for these security professionals are often higher than average, competition is fierce.

Separate yourself from the crowd by earning a specialized certification. There are multiple organizations designed to train and certify healthcare guards, but none are as revered and desirable as those offered by the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety, or IAHSS.

The Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA) Certification is a specialized designation for both security officers and management-level healthcare administrators. While the primary CHPA Certification is designed for supervisory and managerial workers, its Healthcare Security Officer designation is the industry standard for healthcare-related security guards. This designation comes in three levels, Basic, Advanced and Supervisor. Each level requires unique experience and training.

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