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Security Guard Schools and Colleges with Program Summaries

Security guards work to protect people and property. Training programs for security guards may emphasize different areas of security, so students should seek out a program that matches their interests and goals. A short credit or non-credit certificate program may be enough for immediate employment.

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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.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Career requirements
  • Program options
  • Continuing education options

Career Requirements

Many states require certificates of completion for entry-level employment as a security guard. A second course and certificate may be required to work as an armed guard. A yearly refresher course may also be a requirement; laws vary depending upon the state.

Program Options

Certificate programs are available at many institutions, both public and private. 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.

Continuing Education Options

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
  • Communications
  • 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
  • Psychology
  • 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
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