Becoming a Security Guard in Canada
Have you considered what it takes to become a security guard in Canada? Becoming a security guard is a great career path for those who want to make a difference in keeping people and property safe from intruders intending on disrupting the peace. You are the person people look to in moments of need – a community presence with a career to be proud of!
Security guards are a necessity for many companies and organizations today. They are often in demand as cities continue to grow around the country. With the proper security guard training, you can achieve a comfortable career protecting others from harm.
What do you need to become a security guard in Canada?
All you need is the proper training and right attitude to succeed! In order to do this, you need to know what the requirements are for security guards in your province or territory. While they have the same basic educational requirements, there are a few key differences:
- 18 is the required age in all provinces except in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia where you must be 19 years of age.
- In New Brunswick you have to be employed by a security guard company before applying for a security licence.
- You must be fluent in English to apply in Alberta and British Columbia.
It should also be noted that you should have a clean Canadian criminal record in order to achieve your goal of becoming a security guard in Canada. If your job requires you to patrol a larger area using a vehicle, your driver’s record may also be scrutinized, so a clean driving record may also be beneficial in your employment as a security guard.
Security Guard Training and Licence
Security guards are often required to have taken some form of basic security training program in order to qualify for a licence. Every province and territory requires you to complete a 40-hour security training program including CPR and First Aid. After you have finished the 40 hours of security education you will receive a training completion number, which you will use to register for the provincial security guard test. After successfully completing the test, you will need to apply for a security licence with your province or territory. Once the security licence has been issued and mailed to you, you will be able to begin your career in security.
The provincial security guard test is $50 per exam. You are allowed up to three attempts and after the third attempt you will have to complete the training program again. The Canadian Academy of Guard Training can help you get licensed in: Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Security Guard Mentality
As a security guard you need to have the mentality to want to protect assets and people while upholding the law to the extent that your security licence gives you. Security guards must also be confident and alert in performing their duties. Often times, it is the security guard that is the first to a scene before first responders. Having the mental capacity, knowledge and ability to act in a stressful situation will be crucial for you.
You must also be able to communicate clearly and honestly with others in order to deal with potential problems that come with the job. The ability to take notes and document incidents is an important skill in order to relay details to law enforcement or to supervisors that may require further investigation. Clear communication can be a vital part in successfully dealing with difficult situations and incidents. The ability to mentally understand a situation and to de-escalate is a valuable skillset in certain situations. Consider taking a de-escalation and mental health awareness course to give you an edge. It is also imperative in ensuring the people you are protecting feel safe and comfortable in their environments.
Where Do Security Guards Work?
What makes a career as a security guard so appealing is that there are many opportunities for security guards! Security guards are necessary today for many different types of businesses – you can find security guard jobs with shopping malls, events, company offices, parking lots, warehouses, construction sites, airports, and more. With so many possible positions out there, being a security guard is a reliable career. All you need is the proper training and right attitude to succeed.
Security Guard Tasks
When you become a security guard you will be asked to perform some of the following tasks:
- Patrol an assigned area, looking for signs of suspicious activity or property damage.
- Watch an area though a surveillance system, monitoring for intruders.
- Record any out of the ordinary events that have taken place throughout a shift.
- Act as a physical and visible deterrence in different spaces to prevent theft, damages and disorderly conduct in their place of employment.
- Crowd control if you are employed at an event where you may be required to maintain a safe distance between venues and performers from the general audience.
Security guard jobs can also be located in many different settings, including:
- Assist with investigations if you are a witness to a particular incident.
- An electronic surveillance room where you would monitor footage of an area.
- An outdoor area that must be patrolled and surveyed by foot.
- Inside a vehicle, where you will patrol a larger area.
You must be prepared to perform your job day or night, rain or shine! Weather does not scare away potential intruders, so it should not scare a security guard either. This means being prepared with the right clothing for your job. Many employers will provide a uniform or identifier such as a safety vest to their security guards, but this may not include accessories and footwear. Investing in comfortable work boots and comfortable layers is essential for success as a security guard, but also for your own physical health and well-being. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others!
Security Can Be A Rewarding Career
Security guards are in high demand and can also be the first steps into a rewarding career that may lead into different industries and sectors. Some fields that require security and professionals in security include information, economic crime, terrorism, and fraud. Industrial sectors that employ security include banking or financial, commercial real estate, cultural properties, educational institutions, gaming security, government and industrial, health care institutions, information systems and investigations.
Becoming a security guard means you could start out earning from $35,000 to $50,000. If you continue on and keep upgrading your skills, professionally trained and certified security personnel may have salaries between $55,000 to $100,000.
At larger security firms you will find that advancement in your security guard career is possible. You may advance from security officer, to a lead security officer, site supervisor and account manager. If security management becomes your career path you may find advancement to becoming a branch manager or area vice president at a security company.
You’ll also find that many of these larger security firms provide competitive salaries and benefits – a great career choice for anyone interested in security.