Common prerequisite qualifications for becoming a security officer include having a high school diploma or its equivalent, undergoing on-the-job training, becoming registered with the state, and possibly having a driver's license. Individuals who plan on becoming armed security officers need to register with a specific government authority.
Some employers prefer to hire security officers who have an associate or bachelor's degree in either criminal justice or police science, while some employers hire security officers who do not possess a high school diploma or GED. The amount of on-the-job training an officer receives varies among companies. Such training usually includes efficient communication, methods of detaining criminals and preparing for emergencies. Usually, armed guards receive more intense training.
In order to register with the state, a security officer needs to complete training, undergo a background check and be at least 18 years old. Depending on the state, officers may have to complete regular training to keep their registration active. Registration requirements for armed security guards include fingerprint checks and criminal screening.
Security officers looking to advance in their careers often need current industry certification or a postsecondary degree. With the right management skills and qualifications, security officers can start their own businesses.