Planning a career in building security
By Editorial Staff
Building security is a career where many people find their fit.
Cities are filled with residential and office high rises, and all of them require professional staff to keep the facilities and the people who use them safe and sound. There’s a variety of jobs, from lobby concierge, to closed-circuit tv monitor, to ID and key card systems control.
If you plan to enter this world, you’re likely going to need some training. You can get some of it on the job, but it’s always good to get a certification that you can produce to give yourself some credentials in the job market. Many courses are available that will teach you things like learning to be a good witness or handling screening of visitors, residents, or employees.
Private firms will often hire people with high school degrees right away and give you the start you’re looking for. There are over a million security guards in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The projected ten-year growth in the industry (from 2016 to 2026) is 6 percent.
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The pay may start low, compared to other titles, but in time you can set your sights on higher goals. Wherever you start, you will find talk to people about their work. Ask questions. Find out how they got where they are. They might even learn of some openings down the road and pass the word along to you.
This is great work for responsible people who take great care with details. It helps if they have a bit of savvy about people, and can learn how to interview them properly. When you’re screening visitors, you begin to get a sixth sense that something might be wrong, or the story someone is telling you doesn’t add up.
You can learn to install video operations and key card systems. You may travel from site to site, and not be tied to one location. At a campus, you might patrol on foot or by car, making sure students stay safe. Keep a clean driving record, and you can make more in salary. You might become an inspector for fire prevention or elevator operation. There are people who handle dogs or deal with hazardous material.
You might want to keep fit with martial arts classes, and keep your wits sharp learning about detective techniques. Whatever your aptitudes and inclinations, there’s something in the field for you. Like the solitary life? There are plenty of night shifts.
Training and classes can open the door to higher levels of specialization. If you have a knack for technology, there are more and more sophisticated alarm systems coming online all the time. Learn their ins and outs and you could become quite sought after.
You can also gain a permit to carry a firearm on duty, which makes you more valuable in the market. With that, of course, comes greater responsibility than checking people in at a desk. You may not want the risk involved.
At the top of the game, you might go on to run a command center, or find yourself becoming an expert in alarm systems. Many guards go on to enter the police force or other emergency services.
You’ll always be in demand once you master the tools and techniques of the trade. It’s a rather secure position, so to speak. Do some exploring, and see if it’s for you.
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