There is a lot more involved in becoming a successful bouncer than many people realise. There are licensing requirements in many states and other legal issues that bouncers need to be aware of so they don't get arrested or sued. There is physical training that is recommended to help prevent serious injury. Bouncers need to be cool-headed and good at conflict resolution since the main job of a bouncer is to provide customer service and to deescalate conflicts as they arise. Becoming a bouncer for a long-term career takes preparation if you want to be successful and safe while doing it.
- Skill level:
Prepare physically. You need to be in top shape to be an effective bouncer and you may need to move quickly to a situation without getting winded. Jog daily, exercise and eat well to improve your cardiovascular condition.
Train in self-defence. While you need to be able to talk to aggressive people in a way that makes them leave peacefully, there will be times when that is not an option. Grappling arts such as wrestling and judo are more useful than striking arts because hitting a patron can get you arrested or sued. Train in restraining holds so you can wrap someone up safely and effectively in a conflict without getting hurt.
Study state laws. Every state has different statutes that can affect a bouncer's responsibilities, especially when it comes to escorting hostile parties from a private party. If your state requires licensing, you will learn some of these laws in your required classes, but even if a license is not required you need to have the knowledge.
Acquire your license in states that require it. You will need to take state-authorised security classes that normally last 40 hours total. You then need to pass a state exam and background check. There will be licensing fees to pay. If any of these requirements are not met, you will not be able to get a license and legally work.
Research any bars or clubs before you start working there to figure out what issues they frequently have. Preparation is important so you can safely handle the clientele of that particular establishment and work with the other members of your team.
Tips and warnings
- If you are hot tempered or eager to fight, do not become a bouncer because these personality traits will make you much more likely to be arrested or sued.
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