Skills required of security guard jobs

Updated April 17, 2017

A security job is a job that requires many more skills than is apparent from watching a security guard man a desk. As a security guard, you will use your skills to prevent situations from occurring. If one does occur, you'll soon find yourself using an even broader array of physical and mental skills as you deal with trespassing and other irregularities.

Communication Skills

Security guards must be able to communicate with others in a clear and concise manner both verbally and in writing. You will use verbal skills in many situations. You will likely use a two-way radio to communicate with other guards and need to communicate in a professional manner. It is also necessary to be able to tell trespassers to leave the property without escalating the situation. Some security positions require that the phones be answered, which requires good phone skills. According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, security guards "also may interview witnesses or victims, prepare case reports, and testify in court."

Written skills will be used daily. At the end of the work shift, many security guards are required to log the activity during that shift. This information needs to be written clearly, as guards on the next shift will need to be able to read it in order to keep up to date. You'll also need to write reports concerning any incidents that have occurred on your shift. These reports will be seen by your supervisor and, as with any irregular situation, could be subpoenaed as court documents.

As with any job, you'll need to be able to communicate effectively with your supervisor and coworkers.

Observational Skills

You'll need to be able to spot any irregularities around the property, such as unlocked windows or unauthorised persons. You also may be required to catch out-of-the-ordinary events on closed-circuit TV cameras.

Physical Skills

Many security jobs require making rounds of a property on a continual basis or standing guard at a particular station. You'll need to be able to stand and/or walk for long periods of time. Should a trespasser need to be apprehended or physically removed from the property, you'll need to have the strength to do so.

The job may also require the carrying and potential use of a firearm, which will require excellent fine motor skills and eyesight.

Technical Skills

You'll most likely be using a two-way radio, and may be required to use a computer to enter your daily logs. Your position may also require the use of a photocopier. If firearms are carried, you'll have to prove your ability to use them effectively by passing a firearms training course prior to your employment.

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About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.