What it takes to become an Armed Security Officer

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If you think that you are competent enough to protect individuals, an armed security officer can be a good option for you. Security guards ensure that public and private property, tourist spots, and people are perfectly guarded. The government hires security companies to protect various government buildings and monuments. Even the private companies hire security companies to protect their buildings and properties. Various residential complexes require security guards to protect their apartments. In fact, many celebrities also hire armed security officers to protect themselves from fanatic fans and well wishers. These days, with the advent of the concept of "human bombs", many people in politics have felt the need of personal security guards.

The work profile of armed security officer includes checking the people entering and leaving the premises they are guarding, walking around the premises to look for any suspicious activities, ensure that the celebrities and important personnel are not bothered and escorting them to a safe place, providing customer care services like showing them the way, periodically checking trains, buses and all for public safety, making sure that the buildings are not damaged and so on. Overall, their job is to prevent the crime and to maintain a general sense of peace and decorum in the city.

To become an armed security officer, you need to have Security Industry License (SIA) license. To obtain this, it is essential that you do not have any criminal records pending and you must be above 18 years of age. There is a dedicated course for security guard training which is of 2 years duration. Apart from that you have to clear 2 examinations. There is an option of completing the course full time or part time during the weekends. The course is divided into 2 modules. The 1st module makes the officers aware of their responsibilities. It basically teaches them what their role as an armed security officer is. The 2nd module teaches them how to handle conflicts and emergency situations and also how to interact with different people. There are a few certified courses in this field, which differs from country to country. If you are in UK, you require at least 1 of the following certified courses:

  • ASET Level 2 certificate for security guards
  • City & Guilds (C&G) Level 2 certificate for security guards
  • BTEC Level 2 award in security guards
An armed security officer requires a wide range of skills. They should know how to be polite and restrained while talking to people. Also they should not be harsh and merciless while dealing with threatening elements of the society. Communication skills must be at the top of the list. Security guards spend a lot of time talking to people. At times, they have to deal with hostile people who are too argumentative. You should have the skills of turning down an intruder and at the same time not be too offensive. Security guards work in shifts, which includes both day and night shifts. So, you must have flexible sleeping habits. You are required to work 7 days a week, 365 days an year. During emergencies or during festive seasons, you might have to work for dual shifts. That requires good stamina and physical strength.

Some of the skills required are:
  • You should be true to yourself and do your duty honestly.
  • You should be polite and helpful.
  • You should be observant and be under total control of things happening around you.
  • Do not shy away from responsibilities and be willing to help people around you.
  • Should have the ability of working under pressure.
  • Should be able to handle sensitive issues like controlling a public outrage or riots.
  • You need to be physically fit and healthy.
  • A good knowledge about computer and modern facilities like CCTV and surveillance cameras is essential.
There are many organizations that provide internships to budding officers. Security officers can undertake courses or job training from experienced security officer. They may get specialized training to work effectively in sensitive circumstances.

Prior experience within the armed forces or police service can be really helpful. Good experience can be gained by working as an event steward. With such previous experience, you can make your entry into security jobs much easier.

You can get promoted to a supervisory or manager job. You can either have your own security company or be affiliated with some other company. This is a highly responsible job and a slight slip in concentration can be very fatal.

Armed security officers make anywhere around $22,000 annually. Experienced ones draw around $32,000 annually. This is not as lucrative as some of the other jobs with a limited scope of promotion.

The need for security officers is growing day by day due to increase in anti-social activities. Competent individuals should opt for security jobs and try to excel in their skills and receive the necessary qualification.
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