Becoming a licensed Security Guard in Pennsylvania is different then most states. The difference is that there is no state wide Security Guard license department in PA.
To become licensed as a Security Guard in Pennsylvania you will apply via your city:
So, to begin your journey as a Security Guard in Pennsylvania, you should first contact your jurisdiction's City Clerk. Most jurisdictions will have similar processes on obtaining security licensing.
Average Security Guard License Requirements
Age: You must be 18 or older.
Criminal Record: You cannot have a criminal record. You will have to get a criminal records check from your local PA police force or the records check might be done for you by your local (City Clerk) Security Guard licensing agency.
American Citizen: You need to be a US citizen or be legally allowed to work in Pennsylvania. You must submit a copy of government ID.
English: You must be able to speak and write in American English.
PA Government Approved Security Course: You will need to complete a security license course approved by Pennsylvania and submit proof of completion. This can be an online security license course. Contact the state government body that oversees security licensing for a list of approved courses: City Clerk.
Passport Photo: You have to provide PA state with a certified passport photo.
Fee: You will have to pay a small licensing fee, around $50USD
Submitting: The documents you submit can be sent to the state via mail or online uploading.
What Does a Pennsylvania Security Guard Do?
Pennsylvania Security Guards Patrol Vacant Locations
Pennsylvania Security Guards will do foot patrols of locations for a set number of times per shift.
A common task for a Pennsylvania Security Guard will be checking mechanical rooms for any unusual signs or potential health and safety issues.
Pennsylvania Security Guards watch for hazards and fill out hazard reports (Pennsylvania Guards write a lot of reports).
Guards in Pennsylvania document and report maintenance issues to supervisors.
Many Pennsylvania security sites require Guards to monitor fire extinguishers to ensure that they are not overdue for inspection (official reviews are done by maintenance personnel).
Pennsylvania Security Guards write a lot, including filling in logs as their shifts progresses with what activities are being done at what times. Pennsylvania Guards will have their own security notebooks and will constantly note all unusual sightings, occurrences, and incidents.
Pennsylvania Security Guards will respond to alarms and act accordingly as per the Emergency Response plan set in place by supervisors. This may include,
Evacuation of the security site.
Checking alarm system on the way out for information about where the problem is occurring.
Responding to incidents and completing all reports as necessary.
Pennsylvania Security Guards Protect Sites with Customers
If a Pennsylvania Security Guard is working in a team environment, they will usually meet for a pre-shift briefing at a set location. Once the meeting has been completed the Pennsylvania Security Guards will go directly to their designated sites.
In Pennsylvania security site locations with customers, Guards will do a lot of patrolling. This can be in a building or outside in places such as parking lots.
Pennsylvania Security Guards are usually responsible for site cleanliness when there are no designated cleaning staff. This means as a Pennsylvania Security Guard, expect to be cleaning a lot of trash.
Monitoring CCTV cameras will be a big part of a Pennsylvania Security Guard’s job. This will be on a continuous basis with follow ups on issues seen.
When it comes to security sites in the service industry, Pennsylvania Security Guards will have to assist customers in various non-security ways. This can be giving them directions or carrying items for them. Furthermore, Pennsylvania Security Guards will often be expected to be friendly, outgoing, and talkative with customers in their security sites.
A constant security issue for Pennsylvania security sites with customers will be smoking, alcohol consumption, and narcotics. Pennsylvania Security Guards will often be making sure people aren’t smoking in non-smoking areas, consuming alcohol, or narcotics. For the latter, a Pennsylvania Security Guard will usually report the issue to local police.
If the Pennsylvania security site is a residence, responding to noise complaints will be a big part of the job.
Of course, catching shoplifters will be a constant for a Pennsylvania Security Guard in a site with customers.
Pennsylvania Security Guards Work at Security Gates
Pennsylvania Security Guards will patrol parking areas to make sure vehicles are registered at that security site.
Every person entering through the security gate will produce valid photo ID to the Pennsylvania Security Guard. The Guard will determine if the individual may pass.
During medical emergencies, the Pennsylvania Security Guard will direct traffic to allow easy access for Pennsylvania EMS vehicles.
Pennsylvania Security Guards Deal with Medical Issues
Emergencies at a Pennsylvania security site can happen at any time, day or night. On going communication will be key for all Pennsylvania Security Guards involved to get through the emergency with the best possible outcome.
Pennsylvania EMS/ ambulances will often be called by Pennsylvania Security Guards.
The Pennsylvania Security Guard that places the 911 call will relay info regarding who, what, where, why, and when.
Pennsylvania Security Supervisors will usually take lead on these incidents and direct other Pennsylvania Guards to specific tasks to perform during the emergency.
Pennsylvania Security Guards will always remain calm and professional. Furthermore, they will assist however they can.
About the Author
Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 15 years working in security. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting security operations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of numerous security training programs in various capacities.