Getting a career in the security industry is easier than you think.

This in-depth guide will explain the ins and outs of working in the security industry and how you can start on your journey to become a security professional today. If you're looking for a job as a security guard in Canada, make sure you read through this to see what you need to do, and how to do it.

The Canadian Academy of Guard training’s industry leading online courses will prepare you for an exciting, challenging and rewarding career as a security professional in Canada.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know to enter into the sector today. From required personality traits to salary expectations and scope of work – after reading this comprehensive article you will be ready to become a Canadian security guard today.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

The path to becoming a security guard in Canada is easier than you may think. To first determine if a career in security is right for you, let's discuss personality traits that often lead to success in the industry. Security professionals are the first line of defence for the public's safety in private institutions and businesses across the country, to be successful in the role you will need to be comfortable in often stressful situations.
Desirable traits for security professionals include, but are not limited to:

  • Dedication - As a security professional you are the first line of defence protecting the public from any threats that may arise. To properly succeed in this role you will need to be dedicated to providing the best protective services at all time.
  • Empathy - Showing members of the public empathy while in a security role is vital to your overall success. As a security professional you will often encounter individuals in difficult circumstances - showing these individuals empathy in tough situations will lead to a more successful security career. 
  • Passion - The security industry can often involve difficult, laborious or even boring days. However, there will also be days filled with excitement, and amazing opportunities. To succeed in this role, you will need to be passionate about the services you provide and the opportunities you are given.
  • Courage - Courage is one of the most important traits of any security professional. As the first line of defence for the public or the areas you are asked to protect, you may encounter potentially dangerous or difficult to approach situations. Being courageous, but also smart about how to handle these situations will lead to a more successful security career.
  • Patience- Although a career in security can provide amazing opportunities with exciting, challenging and rewarding days - it can also be an industry with days that are monotonous and slow-moving. Having patience will allow you to deal with these slow days from a more professional standpoint.
  • Reliability - Companies rely on security professionals to protect important assets. Being entrusted with this level of responsibility means successful security professionals must be easily relied upon to be punctual and reliable to carry out their required duties.
security guard in black jacket speaks on a radio

Ready to Start Your Career in the Security Sector?

Start your online training today!

Steps to Becoming a Security Professional

1

Legal Working Age

The first necessary step to becoming a working security professional in Canada is being a legal age to fill the role. The legal age for security professionals in Canada varies by province.
18 is the required age in all provinces except in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia which all require workers to be at least 19 years of age.

2

Prerequisites by Province

Many provinces in Canada have varying regulations to become a working security professional. In New Brunswick you have to be employed by a security guard company before applying for a security license.
In Alberta and British Columbia you must be fluent in English to apply for a security position.
It is also important to note that you should have a clean Canadian criminal record to enter the security sector. If your position requires you to operate a vehicle you may also need a clean driving abstract.

3

Training Requirements

Every province and territory requires you to complete a 40-hour security training program including CPR and First Aid. After you have finished the 40 hours of security education you will receive a training completion number, which you will use to register for the provincial security guard test. After successfully completing the test, you will need to apply for a security licence with your province or territory. Once the security licence has been issued and mailed to you, you will be able to begin your career in security.

The provincial security guard test is $50 per exam. You are allowed up to three attempts and after the third attempt you will have to complete the training program again. The Canadian Academy of Guard Training can help you get licensed in: AlbertaManitobaSaskatchewanOntarioNova ScotiaPrince Edward IslandNew Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador

A security guard wearing sunglasses reaches for the radio on his belt.

What is Security Guard Training?

To become a licensed security guard you need government approved training - thats where the Canadian Academy of Guard Training comes in.

Students who participate in security industry training through the Canadian Academy of Guard Training will learn:

  • The Role of a Security Guard
  • The Law and Your Rights and Responsibilities
  • Crowd Control
  • Powers of Arrest
  • Dealing with Angry and/or Disturbed People
  • Patrol techniques
  • Use of Force
  • First aid

Online training through the Canadian Academy of Guard Training begins as soon as you register. You will be able to learn at your own speed and finish whenever you choose. You are able to access course materials 24/7, and when you feel ready, take the licensing exam.

Basic Security Training Course Topics

1. INTRODUCTION TO THE SECURITY INDUSTRY 

Learn about the history of security, your role and responsibilities.

2. SAFETY AWARENESS AND FIRST AID

Being able to assess risks, fix them or help those in need is a vital skill for a licensed security guard. 

3. CONDUCT OF SECURITY

Fundamentals of becoming a security guard. How do you work with your department to help those in need, managing difficult situations and people, observing body language and much more. 

4. THE LEGAL SYSTEM

As a security guard, you'll need to understand how the legal system works not only for your role, but for others around you. 

5. ACCESS CONTROLS AND ALARM SYSTEMS

If you are working as a security officer, it's vital you understand how to keep people and property safe. This includes managing and responding to alarm systems, and ensuring that only people who are supposed to be in area are. 

6. PATROL TACTICS AND TECHNIQUES 

What is the best way to keep an area safe and ensure that you watch everywhere. In this chapter, you'll learn the best patrol tactics, and hone your observational skills. 

7. CRISIS RESPONSE 

What if the worst happens? Security guards must remain calm and ensure that situations are managed logically and without emotion. The best way to do this is to ensure you understand your role in emergency situations and have a solid plan. 

8. TRAFFIC CONTROL 

Many security officers work in areas with parking lots or handle traffic issues. Ensure that you keep pedestrians and motorists safe by knowing the best way to manage traffic situations.

9. LABOR DISPUTES 

You may need to manage strikes and labor disputes. Your role will be to keep employees and property safe during this stressful time. 

10. INTERACTING WITH THE PUBLIC 

Public relations and customer service is a vital aspect of your job as a security guard. Many people will use you as a resource to know where to go and how to get there. 

11. NOTE TAKING AND REPORT WRITING 

While working as a guard, you'll need to write reports and make notes about situations and people you see. Being clear and understandable is a skill we will help you get. 

12. FINAL EXAM 

This exam prepares you for the provincial exam - there is no limit on the time you can take to complete it. And if you need to, go back and study it before your licensing exam.

Salary Expectations in the Security Sector

Average Canadian Security Guard Salaries

The salary of a security guard can depend on location and responsibilities.

According to the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada:

  • Hourly pay for security guards ranges from $11.50 to $24.86
  • The median hourly wage* is $15.96

These hourly wages are based on 2016-2017 data from Statistics Canada. (See table below from the Government of Canada Job Bank site.) Across Canada there have been minimum wage increases in 2018. The hourly wage for security guards will reflect this change.

What Equipment Will You Use?

Security professionals are reliant upon their equipment to efficiently carry out their daily tasks and prevent serious incidents from occurring.

The following are common pieces of equipment a majority of security professionals use daily.

  • Mobile phone - Although almost every security guard will still utilize a radio on a daily basis, a mobile phone can be a great way to communicate and access pre-programmed important numbers.
  • Less-lethal weapons - To protect the public, you may be authorized to carry less-lethal weapons while on duty. These weapons may include batons, pepper spray or stun guns. ​​
  • Security clothing - The clothing that a security professional is required or expected to wear may differ based on the position and employer, but generally these key pieces of equipment can help make you safer while on duty.
    • Bullet-proof vest: Not every security professional will be in situations where this piece of equipment is required. However, many in the industry rely on this single piece of equipment every day to protect their lives.
    • Boots: Although a great pair of work boots may not keep you safe from bullets, they will save you over the long run as a security professional. Many security guards are expected to spend prolonged amounts of time on their feet and investing in a high-quality set of boots can save you from a life of back and leg pain.
    • High-visibility clothing: As a security professional, you should stand out from the general public. Distinguishing yourself from the public will make it easier for you to be called upon when there are issues requiring a security professional’s attention. This can vary depending on your position, however.

Ready to Start Your Career in the Security Sector?

Start your online training today!

A security guard wearing a hard hat and hi-vis security jacket.

Career Advancement in the Security Sector

Security guards can advance to more senior positions in security.

Experienced, qualified security guards can become:

  • Supervisors
  • Team Leaders
  • Trainers
  • Managers
  • Security specialists
  • Directors
  • Heads of Security

Many of these jobs are very well paid.  A typical supervisor job role pays $35 per hour, according to Indeed.ca. Many management/team lead positions pay about $50,000 per year.

If you prefer to branch out, you might apply for work in related fields, for example with job titles like:

  • Private investigator
  • Sheriff
  • Special constable
  • Peace officer
  • Protective services officer
  • Enforcement officer
  • Transit safety officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Parking enforcement
  • Transit fare inspector

Get Started Now!

The start of your career in the security sector is closer than you think! To get started, browse the wide array of available courses made possible through the Canadian Academy of Guard Training here.

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