How to Become a Security Guard or Gaming Surveillance Officer
Most states require that guards be registered with the state in which they work.
Most security guard and gaming surveillance officer jobs require a high school diploma. Gaming surveillance officers sometimes need experience with security and video surveillance. Most states require security guards to be registered with the state, especially if they carry a firearm.
Security guards generally need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not have any education requirements. Gaming surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent and may need experience with video surveillance technology depending upon assignment.
Although most employers provide instruction for newly hired security guards, the amount of training they receive varies. Most security guards, however, learn their job in a few weeks. During this time, the employer-provided training typically covers emergency procedures, detention of suspected criminals, and proper communication.
Many states recommend that security guards receive approximately 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8–16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. This may include training in protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training related to the security guard’s assignment.
Training is more rigorous for armed guards because they require weapons training. Armed guards may be tested periodically in the use of firearms.
Gaming surveillance officers and investigators receive training in topics such as the rules of casino games, gaming regulations, identifying cheating techniques, and the proper use of video and radio equipment.
Drug testing may be required both as a condition of employment and randomly during employment.
Work experience in a related occupation
Gaming surveillance officers and investigators may need previous work experience in surveillance or in casinos. Experience with video monitoring technology is particularly helpful, and some workers gain this experience by working as a security guard.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most states require that security guards be registered with the state in which they work. Although registration requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Pass a background check
- Complete training
Guards who carry weapons usually must be registered by the appropriate government authority. Armed guard positions have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards. Rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, are required for armed guards in most states.
Some jobs may also require a driver's license.
Communication skills. Security guards and officers must communicate effectively with others, even in stressful situations.
Good judgment. Security guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises.
Observation skills. Security guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary.
Patience. Security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions.