With the unemployment rate at about 15 percent, there is one industry that is enjoying full employment—security services. Security guards are in demand in just about every sector of the economy, with an even higher need expected as businesses start reopening.
Compliance Duties. Security guards have been tasked with ensuring customers follow social distancing and other safety rules. If a retail store requires that all customers wear masks and a customer does not follow the policy, a security guard is often responsible for reminding the patron of the store rules. If the customer refuses to comply, the guard will escort the customer out of the store.
Security guards also make sure that customers waiting in lines outside stores are a safe distance apart. They are often asked to take customer temperatures before the customers are allowed in the store.
Store owners are finding that hiring security guards to perform these functions takes the burden and stress off employees. Uniformed security guards are authority figures so customers are generally supportive and much more likely to comply with their requests. If a customer becomes belligerent, security guards are trained to respond politely but firmly. If a customer becomes physical, guards have the training and equipment to subdue an individual until police arrive.
Hiring Demand. Experts believe many of the security rules implemented during the current crisis are here to stay. That means a continued need for more security guards.
Security Guard Training. While security guard demand is high, there is a shortage of licensed guards. Individuals interested in becoming a security guard must first pass a criminal history background check by the California Department of Justice and the FBI. Applicants must take and pass an eight-hour training course. The program is available online for California residents through Access Control Security.
Once the background check and training are successfully completed, the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Services issues the applicant a guard card. The card allows the applicant to apply for employment with a security guard company. The guard then has six months to complete an additional 32 hours of training. Completion of eight hours of continuing training education is required each year.
Security guards provide a vital service to the public. The need has never been greater.