Both school-sponsored security guard training programs and those offered by colleges are short, taking a year or less. Certificate program courses cover emergency preparedness, criminal law, ethics and the responsibilities of a guard. For many school-sponsored units, no consistent lesson plan or training framework is used from one department to the next. Hands-on firearms training is sometimes included. There are no standard certifications for campus security guards; each training program offers its own certification. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Security Guard Certificate Program
A security guard certificate program introduces fundamentals of the criminal justice and law enforcement system. Crisis management, crime prevention, protection and professional conduct are among the primary topics considered.
Classes are a mix of academic study and direct practice with weapons and communications devices. These programs often have supporting courses in composition and civics. Course topics can include:
- Surveillance and observation
- Criminal law concepts
- Investigation procedures
- Security procedures
- Small weapons training
- Firearms training
Campus Security Guard Training
A campus security guard training program introduces candidates to fundamental concepts in crisis management, safety and supervision. Program content addresses state law and law enforcement, observation, investigation and community interaction. Though rare, firearms training may be included in this type of program.
Candidates with certification as police officers may be excused from a portion of training. Candidates must complete a core set of courses to graduate, but are allowed to take more. Some course topics include:
- Record keeping
- Campus patrol procedures
- Conflict resolution
- Emergency medical response
- Crime investigation techniques
- Ethics in law enforcement
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that security guard and gaming surveillance officer positions were expected to grow 4% from 2018 to 2028, which is as fast as the national average for all occupations. Applicants with prior law enforcement experience, as well as technological skills, should have the best employment opportunities. Security guards and gaming surveillance officers professionals earned a median salary of $28,490 in May 2018.
Continuing Education Information
No agency or organization provided a standardized certification for campus security guards as of December 2010. Each entity that sponsors a program also conferred their own proprietary certification. Some organizations required guards to re-certify every year by finishing a refresher course.
Though the length and specific coursework of campus security training programs vary, concepts in law enforcement and investigation are common. Direct experience with firearms may or may not be included.