How to Select a Security Guard School
Aspiring security guards may enroll in programs offered by community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. In addition to programs in security services, students may want to consider criminal justice or security management programs.
Students should consider the following:
- Many states require certificates of completion for entry-level employment as a security guard, a second course and certificate to work as an armed guard and a yearly refresher course.
- Some schools are geared entirely toward training security guards, while public community colleges offer a wider variety of courses beyond security.
- Students who wish to pursue further education may wish to seek out a school that offers an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice or security.
- Security roles are varied across different industries, and some specialization may be required.
- With additional education and training beyond a certificate program, students may progress to become security coordinators, industrial security guards, casino security, private investigators, insurance investigators or homeland security coordinators.
Security Guard Program Overviews
Security Guard Certificate
Individuals seeking immediate employment may earn a basic unarmed security guard certificate. Some programs are for credit, while others are non-credit and take less time to complete. The length of the program, number of courses and specific number of units will vary depending on state licensure requirements. A course in firearms will be required for those who pursue an armed-guard certificate. Coursework may be transferrable to an associate's degree in criminal justice. Coursework covers:
- Legal issues
- Emergency response
- Interaction with the public
Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice
Associate's degree programs in criminal justice are two-year courses of study suited to prospective security professionals and police officers. General education units in math, science and humanities are required. These programs are often transferrable to 4-year college or university programs in criminal justice. Curriculums include courses in:
- Constitutional law
- Criminal investigation
- American law enforcement system
Bachelor's Degree in Security Management
Baccalaureate-level programs in security management may also incorporate aspects of criminal justice, public safety or law enforcement programs into the curricula or degree titles. These programs prepare students to advance into careers in public administration, consulting, entrepreneurship and corporate security management. Programs may include an internship in which students gain practical experience. Course topics may include economics, professional writing, ethics and human resources management. Courses specific to security cover:
- Loss prevention strategies
- Public safety
- Security management technology
- Analysis of vulnerabilities in the security systems of public and private institutions
10 Schools With Security or Criminal Justice Programs
|Anna Maria College||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice||4-year, Public|
|Eastern Kentucky University||4-year, Public|
|Farmingdale State College||4-year, Public|
|Lewis University||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Northern Michigan University||4-year, Public|
|Skagit Valley College||4-year, Public|
|SUNY College of Technology at Canton||4-year, primarily associate's, Public|
|University of New Haven||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Danville Community College||2-year, Public|