Security guards watching cctv

From armed robbery and shoplifting to drunken brawls and crowd control, performing security is a necessary element in Australian businesses, requiring special and particular skillsets.

Think you might be a good fit?

Maybe you’re thinking of a career change or looking for some extra income outside of your regular job.

Security Guarding in Australia: is it for You?

The Australian security industry is experiencing rapid growth, so now is a great time to get qualified for the variety of roles that the industry currently demands. Once you’re a licensed security guard, you will be responsible for a range of tasks and can work in a number of settings. The options are endless in this rewarding field as you could be called upon to assist with emergency response, crime prevention, crowd control and more.

In this article we will explain how to embark on a future in the Australian security industry and the kind of training and certification needed for this challenging yet rewarding field. Read on if you’re interested in learning how to best prepare for a security guard role, the benefits you can expect and some tips to help you get started. As far as a career change goes, security is a great choice if you want to get involved asap. Once you’ve completed an appropriate course and gotten licensed, you’ll soon be on your way to a perfectly suited security role.

Security Industry in Australia

The ins and outs of the security industry differs from country to country. What might be standard practice in the US or Europe, could be completely different to what the duties of an Australian security guard are. Working in a security role in Australia and the qualifications you need can be considered a bit more stringent when compared to other countries. For example, the process of getting into the security industry in the US sees an applicant actually applying for a role and then receiving training on the job. They might need the equivalent of a high school diploma but are otherwise not restricted to apply. Australia, on the other hand, requires anyone applying for a security guard or crowd control role to complete both an approved security training course as well as obtain a security license via Victoria Police (or whichever state you reside in) before you’re fit to fulfil the requirements of the job.

Security Guard Skills and Responsibilities

The responsibilities involved with being a security guard will vary from role to role. In general, a job in security could see you being involved withinitial emergency response, managing critical incidents or assisting to deter and prevent crime at high risk or community facilities.

Despite there being a variety of security guard roles out there, the common denominator and most important duty when working in security, is the commitment to preserving the safety and security of everyone and everything within your area of responsibility. Beyond that, the skills and responsibilities required will depend on the specific expectations of the security guard job you go for. If you work in a pub, sporting club or nightclub, you will need to be comfortable working nights and managing a crowd that is affected by the consumption of alcohol. If you work in major shopping centres, it might be more about an appropriate response to incidents with shoppers during daytime hours. There are security guard roles in hospitals, airports, educational institutions and at major events, all of which would have different security needs. Once you have completed an approved security training course, and have successfully applied for a security license, you’ll be able to explore the many security guard jobs out there and find out which is the best fit for you.

Security Fitness Requirements

Some people might think that they need to have martial arts experience or be a big beefy athlete in order to become a security guard. This is an absolute myth. If you’re in relatively good shape and have good eyesight and hearing, you should have what it takes to complete security training. That said, being in good shape or having a strong base of physical fitness can certainly make your security role easier.

Physical fitness can be defined as a state of health and wellbeing with the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. This can be achieved through proper nutrition, regular physical exercise and enough sleep. Besides aspiring to be in good shape for a security guard role, this is something you should strive for in general. If you are confident with your level of fitness and feel you have the physical characteristics capable of undergoing basic defensive tactics training, then you should be ready to take the leap with a security operations course.

Benefits of Being a Security Guard

Deciding to pursue a career as a security guard in this day and age, is pretty much a no brainer. It’s a flexible and rewarding job with a number of advantages.

Here are a few benefits of going for a job as a security guard:

  • Job security. The security industry is projected to grow in Australia which means there will be no shortage of jobs in the future; so say hello to job security.
  • Flexibility. You can work in security full time or part time while working a day job or while juggling other responsibilities, such as study and family.
  • Variety. There are security guard roles for a number of settings. You could find yourself working in a nightclub or music festival or within a hospital or corporate setting. Security guards are needed in all kinds of locations and settings which means you will be exposed to all kinds of interesting people and places.
  • Improve your people skills. Customer service and being hospitable is a big part of being a security guard. Offering assistance and working with people from all walks of life keeps things interesting and improves your ability to work well with others.
  • Rewarding. One of the main functions of a security guard is to protect people. By maintaining the safety and security of any given environment, people are often grateful for you helping them feel comfortable and safe. What’s more rewarding than helping others?

Health and Safety Tips for Security Guards

Like workers in any industry, security guards are owed a duty of care when it comes to their health and safety. Private security companies who supply security guards must work together with clients or host organisations to ensure the work health and safety of security personnel in the workplace. This includes appropriate training and implementing all measures that can reasonably be taken to ensure worker health and safety.

With that in mind, here are a few tips you can try while on the job as a security guard. Following these should ensure your own health and safety while at work.

  1. Have a clear understanding of your workplace hazards and challenges. The more informed you are, the better. All guards should be given information regarding the nature of the workplace hazards, as well as the effects they can have when one gets into contact with them. If this information isn’t shared prior to the job, be sure to ask your manager or employer so you are well prepared for all the tasks at hand.
  2. Know the procedures. Be sure you’ve been briefed and trained on all the policies relevant to the job. If there are emergency procedures or anything specific to a new post, you want to know exactly what the expectations are for each given circumstance.
  3. Be realistic and know your limits. Everyone wants to do a job to the best of their ability but you need to know your limits as far as what you can and cannot do. For example, if there is a particularly dangerous situation on your hands, sometimes it’s more appropriate for you to pass on the task to relevant trained experts who can better handle the issue.
  4. Be prepared. As the saying goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Are you ready to deal with the worst-case scenario? Hopefully it will never come to that but it’s best to be prepared for anything so you’re confident about how to respond no matter what type of challenge arises.
  5. Come to work wearing protective and comfortable clothing. There’s nothing worse than being cold or restricted in movement so a uniform and footwear that is weather appropriate, fits properly and doesn’t restrict movement will make life much easier.

Female Security Officer Jobs

Although some may have a stereotype in mind when they think of security guards, it’s no longer the big burly boys club that it once used to be. On the contrary, there are many security roles that are not only open to female applicants but some that are actually more suited to women. These types of security jobs have a range of settings including retail stores, office buildings, airports, government agencies, events and more. Like the basic requirements of any security guard, a female going for a security role should be physically fit, honest, and have good observational and decision-making skills. As long as she has completed an approved security training course, such as the Certificate II of Security Operations from TAFE Gippsland, and obtained a security license, she is just as qualified for a security guard role as any male applicant.

Security Guard Training Australia

As discussed earlier, becoming a security guard differs in each country. If you’re interested in entering the security industry in Australia, you’ll have to obtain a security license. In order to apply for a security license, you will have to have successfully completed an accredited course such as the Certificate II in Security Operations. TAFE Gippsland offers this course at the Yallourn campus on a full-time basis. It only takes 18 days to complete the course, which means you’ll be qualified in no time. Once you’ve completed the course and applied for your security license, you’ll be ready to begin applying for work as a security guard in a variety of settings around Australia.

Security Business Ideas

Private security in Australia and worldwide continues to be a growth industry. This means there are opportunities aplenty as well as the potential for career progression. If you already work in security but are interested in starting your own business, there are lots of possibilities that you can explore. Depending on what aspect of security you’re most passionate about, you can go from there. Here are some examples of security businesses you could start.

  1. Become a security consultant. Help others with their security needs by advising from your own learned experience. Being a consultant can be very lucrative and why not use the knowledge you’ve gained while working in the industry.
  2. Start a private bodyguard business. Many people, celebrities and otherwise, are in the market for a personal bodyguard. Why not offer the services of yourself or your small security company.
  3. Start a residential security service. Many people seek out security for their homes and private property. Offering your services to residents of your local area could be a great way to start your own business.
  4. Start a special event security business. Many local events require security personnel. Why not take advantage of a need within your community and offer security specifically for these types of occasions.

Now that you’ve had a glance into the opportunities that await you as a security guard in Australia, are you ready to take the leap?

Once you’ve completed your Certificate II in Security Operations and qualify for a security license, you’ll be eligible for a range of exciting and challenging roles that could see you working in a variety of settings.  The benefits are plentiful and career progression options makes the choice even simpler. Why wait when you can complete an approved security training course in just 18 days at TAFE Gippsland. With the Certificate II in Security Operations and security license, you can even study further with the Certificate III in Security Operations.

It’s a quick and easy way to change careers or an opportunity for additional income outside of your regular job. No matter what industry you’ve come from, becoming a security guard in Australia is a flexible option that will fill you with a sense of pride and accomplishment while you protect the safety of others.