Security officers or guards are responsible for protecting people and property from theft, illegal activity and harm. To do this effectively, security officers must have physical strength, patience, strong powers of observation and the ability to make decisions quickly. Additionally, they must have a keen sense of curiosity and demonstrable nerve since, ultimately, it’s up to them to spot suspicious activity and deter or detain anyone with a criminal agenda.
To become a security guard, you’ll need to be aged 18 or above, able to pass identity and criminal record checks and hold a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. An SIA licence confirms that you are a “fit and proper” person capable of fulfilling a security role, and is usually awarded within 25 working days of applying.
If you have a criminal record, you’re not automatically disqualified from security guard work. The SIA is responsible for deciding whether an offence should prohibit someone from entering the industry. To make its decision, the SIA assesses:
You can use the SIA’s free criminal record indicator to get a good idea of whether you’ll pass the criminality criteria.
Throughout their career, security officers, guards and staff often find themselves in a wide range of roles.
Some of these security roles include:
Though these security roles are quite different, they each require some key transferable skills:
Additionally, holding a driver’s licence will make you a more desirable candidate and open you to more types of positions in different locations.
Career Path and Progression
With experience, security guards can advance to senior or chief security officer positions, and then to supervisory roles. With further qualifications, you could go into security management or training, or even set up your own security company.
Studies show that the private security industry in the UK is developing rapidly, with 16 percent growth forecast over the next 5 years. This means that the sector will continue to be a busy and dynamic, offering plenty of exciting roles and opportunities.
Churchill Security is a leading national provider of SIA licensed security guards and a member of the ACS Pacesetters – which represents the top 15 percent of ACS approved contractors. We are always on the lookout for SIA licensed, experienced and motivated security guards, controllers and supervisors. If you think you have what it takes, visit our jobs page to see the roles we’re currently hiring for.