The steps to becoming a Security Guard in Virginia is similar to a lot of other states: you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual security licensing requirements of this nature.
Furthermore, to get a Security Guard license in Virginia, you need to take an 18hr government approved VA Security Guard licensing course:
Security Officer Core Subjects Entry-level.
In Virginia, the government body that controls a VA Security Guard's license is called Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. So, it is The Department that will have to approve your VA Security Guard licensing course.
The Department will accept the security course if it is taught by an authorized security academy. Finding an official security training provider is easy in Virginia:
Security training info if available on The Department website.
Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements to The Department, you will get your Virginia Security Guard license.
Virginia Security Guard License Requirements
Age: You must be 18yo or older for VA unarmed security and 21yo or older for VA armed security.
Criminal Record: You cannot have a criminal record of any kind. You will need to apply for a records check and fingerprinting.
Passport Photo: You need to submit a passport style photo in your VA application.
U.S. Citizen: You need to be an American citizen or be legally allowed to work in Virginia. You will have to submit a copy of government ID in the application.
English: You must be able to speak and write in English.
VA Approved Security License Course: You need to take a Virginia approved security course.
Specialized VA Security Guard: There are multiple specialized VA security fields you can enter, such as armed security. These fields require approved education.
Application: You can apply online.
What Does a Virginia Security Guard Do?
Virginia Security Guards Patrol Vacant Locations
Virginia Security Guards will do foot patrols of locations for a set number of times per shift.
A common task for a Virginia Security Guard will be checking mechanical rooms for any unusual signs or potential health and safety issues.
Virginia Security Guards watch for hazards and fill out hazard reports (Virginia Guards write a lot of reports).
Guards in Virginia document and report maintenance issues to supervisors.
Many Virginia security sites require Guards to monitor fire extinguishers to ensure that they are not overdue for inspection (official reviews are done by maintenance personnel).
Virginia Security Guards write a lot, including filling in logs as their shifts progresses with what activities are being done at what times. Virginia Guards will have their own security notebooks and will constantly note all unusual sightings, occurrences, and incidents.
Virginia 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.
Virginia Security Guards Protect Sites with Customers
If a Virginia 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 Virginia Security Guards will go directly to their designated sites.
In Virginia 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.
Virginia Security Guards are usually responsible for site cleanliness when there are no designated cleaning staff. This means as a Virginia Security Guard, expect to be cleaning a lot of trash.
Monitoring CCTV cameras will be a big part of a Virginia 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, Virginia Security Guards will have to assist customers in various non-security ways. This can be giving them directions or carrying items for them. Furthermore, Virginia Security Guards will often be expected to be friendly, outgoing, and talkative with customers in their security sites.
A constant security issue for Virginia security sites with customers will be smoking, alcohol consumption, and narcotics. Virginia Security Guards will often be making sure people aren’t smoking in non-smoking areas, consuming alcohol, or narcotics. For the latter, a Virginia Security Guard will usually report the issue to local police.
If the Virginia 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 Virginia Security Guard in a site with customers.
Virginia Security Guards Work at Security Gates
Virginia 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 Virginia Security Guard. The Guard will determine if the individual may pass.
During medical emergencies, the Virginia Security Guard will direct traffic to allow easy access for Virginia EMS vehicles.
Virginia Security Guards Deal with Medical Issues
Emergencies at a Virginia security site can happen at any time, day or night. On going communication will be key for all Virginia Security Guards involved to get through the emergency with the best possible outcome.
Virginia EMS/ ambulances will often be called by Virginia Security Guards.
The Virginia Security Guard that places the 911 call will relay info regarding who, what, where, why, and when.
Virginia Security Supervisors will usually take lead on these incidents and direct other Virginia Guards to specific tasks to perform during the emergency.
Virginia 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.