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10 Security guard skills (and how to improve them)


July 31, 2023



Security guard skills (and how to improve them)

Security guards are responsible for assuring safety and maintaining order in various environments and situations. They play a crucial role in safeguarding individuals, properties, and assets. 

To excel in their profession, security guards need a diverse skill set that encompasses not only physical capabilities but also mental acuity, security knowledge, and communication prowess. In this article, we’ll explore ten essential security guard skills and how to improve them.

What are security guard skills?

Security guard skills refer to the abilities and competencies that security professionals must have to effectively carry out their duties and responsibilities. These skills include physical abilities, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, observation, and teamwork.

Additionally, security guards may also need to have specific knowledge or training in areas such as first aid, CPR, or more specialized security procedures. The specific skills and training required for a security guard job will vary depending on the type of security job and the employer.

Having security guard skills is important and can help security guards be more effective in their jobs. This is most especially important in their line of work as the safety, security and even lives of people can be on the line.

Train and learn with SC Training (formerly EdApp) today to create the best security guard personnel!

1. Good communication skills

Good communication skills are one of the most-preferred skills that a security guard needs to have. This means being able to give clear instructions, de-escalate situations, and write clear and concise reports. Security guards must be able to communicate effectively to relay information, enforce laws, and coordinate with fellow security personnel.

Security guard skill - Good communication skills

Develop communication skills by interacting verbally and in writing with fellow colleagues or doing communication training activities. You can also take advantage of free communication training for employees such as SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Effective Communication and Excellent Customer Service Through Communication.

These courses are fully editable and customizable so it’s easy to add in information specific to your organization and security procedures. SC Training (formerly EdApp) comes with free tools to build your security guard training. It has a built-in user-friendly Course Creator tool that makes it easy to turn these courses into your own without coding or design experience.

2. Situational awareness

Situational awareness is one of the top skills of a security officer. It entails being acutely aware of the environment, recognizing potential threats, and taking preventative action against them. Being observant helps them identify potential threats and notice things that are out of place or suspicious.

Security guard skill - Situational awareness

To improve this skill, one must pay close attention to their surroundings and use all their senses when it comes to spotting odd behavior or suspicious activity. The context of a situation can also play a big role like when dealing with crowded areas or being wary in deserted ones.

3. Physical fitness

One of the security officer skills needed for the job is being physically fit. As a security guard, physical fitness is crucial to perform the physical demands of the job. Security officers frequently face physically taxing circumstances that need quick reactions and the capacity to tackle potential threats.

Security guard skills - Physical fitness

To improve physical fitness and stamina, consistent training regimens and exercise are required. To keep your security guards in top shape, create a training plan that mixes aerobic activities with strength and flexibility-building routines.

4. Security procedures knowledge

Skills for security guards include familiarity with different security procedures and protocols. This means knowing how to respond to different types of incidents, how to use security equipment, escalating/de-escalating situations, and doing incident reports.

Security guard skill - Security procedures knowledge

Knowledge of security procedures is essential for security guards who want to be effective in their role. It can help to increase safety, improve efficiency, reduce liability, and enhance professionalism.

To improve this knowledge, one can take security guard training online courses, read security manuals, or talk to other security guards. It’s important to soak up as much information, especially from those with more experience. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to protect people and property. Additionally, a comprehensive understanding of security extends to the proper management of equipment and personal items. For instance, reliable storage options, such as those available from SchoolLockers.com, can be an integral part of maintaining order and security.

5. Emergency response

When an emergency occurs on-site, security guards are usually the first to respond. If someone is hurt or in distress, they can help them right away if they know first aid. This could save a life or lessen the severity of an injury until expert medical care arrives.

Security guard skill - Emergency response

Learning first aid doesn’t have to be difficult. Aside from taking physical training, you can also take free first aid training courses online. SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s course library includes fundamental first aid courses such as The Basics of First Aid and OSHA First Aid Training and Standards

6. Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is an essential skill for security guards to have as it empowers them to effectively handle tense and potentially violent situations. Coupled with communication and mediation techniques, security guards should be able to de-escalate conflicts, prevent violence, and maintain a safe environment for everyone involved.

Security guard skill - Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution also minimizes the need for physical intervention, reducing the risk of harm to both the security guard and those whom they’re tasked with protecting. Ultimately, possessing conflict resolution skills enhances a security guard's ability to respond calmly and professionally.

Engaging in role-playing scenarios or simulations can help security guards practice their skills in a safe and controlled environment. Moreover, staying updated on the latest best practices and communication techniques related to conflict resolution is crucial.

7. Professionalism

Professionalism forms the foundation of credibility and trust. As figures of authority, security guards need to be able to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This means being punctual, respectful, polite, and dressing appropriately for the job. 

Security guard skill - Professionalism

By displaying a high level of professionalism, security guards inspire trust and confidence among clients, visitors, and the public. Such conduct also fosters a safe and secure environment, making them more approachable and competent.

8. Teamwork

Teamwork is a skill needed for security guards because it allows them to work together effectively to protect people and property. Security guards often work in teams, and they need to be able to communicate effectively, coordinate their efforts, and support each other. 

Security guard skill - Teamwork

Teamwork skills can be improved by conducting team building exercises and activities. Additionally, you can also roll out teamwork training courses. With SC Training (formerly EdApp), courses can be taken on any device. This means that security guards can take their training anytime and anywhere.

9. Decision-making

Security guards need to be able to make quick and informed decisions in high-pressure situations. This includes being able to weigh the risks and benefits of different courses of action and make the best decision for the situation.

Security guard skill - Decision-making

Alongside decision-making, security guards need to be able to use their judgment to assess situations and make decisions about how to respond. This means being able to think critically to make decisions that are in the best interests of everyone involved.

10. Integrity

Security guards need to be honest and trustworthy even when no one’s looking. They need to be reliable, keep their word, and uphold the law. As they’re responsible for protecting people and property, they need to reassure people that they can be trusted. 

Security guard skill - Integrity

Integrity is also important for building relationships with higher-ups, other security guards, and law enforcement officials. Those who exhibit integrity are more likely to have a good reputation which can help them be more effective in their role and earn the respect of colleagues.


Gabrielle Rivera

Gabrielle is an eLearning content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), a microlearning solution designed for today's digital habits. She creates content about cutting-edge learning technologies and resources to help companies deliver great training experiences. When not absorbed in writing, she spends her time playing video games and reading books.

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