Your Guide to Climbing the Career Ladder in Private Security

climbing the career ladder in private security

Your Guide to Climbing the Career Ladder in Private Security

Whether you’ve been working in security for a while and you’re ready to move up, or if you’ve just decided that this is the career is for you, we’ve got you covered with our complete guide to climbing the career ladder in private security.

First things first

If you’re right at the start of your private security journey you will need to complete some initial training to get a foot in the door and start working in security.

The course you will need to complete is the Certificate II in Security Operations. This is the required course to gain your unarmed security guard licence right across Australia.

In Queensland, the course is taught over an eight-day face-to-face workshop. There is also some online work required before and after the workshop. This will differ in other states such as New South Wales which requires a 10 day face to face course with 5 days of online learning. In Western Australia, the course is 15 days face to face and Victoria it is 17 days. Your class is lead through practical and theoretical training with a working security guard and trainer. They will run you through scenarios and training that covers everything you will need to know to work as a security guard.

In the course you’ll learn how to apply effective communication skills, you’ll learn about legal and procedural requirements and how to work effectively within a security team. You’ll also learn about how to apply WHS and emergency procedures. You’ll learn how to apply risk assessment and respond to risk, how to apply security procedures, how to remove persons from premises, how to monitor and control individual and crowd behavior, how to patrol and how to screen people and much more.

The full fee for service cost of this course is $1500 but there is funding available in some states and territories. You can also look into applying for a scholarship.

What’s next?

Once you have completed the Certificate II in Security Operations and applied for your security guard licence, we recommend coming back to Asset College for the employee connections program. This is a free service we offer to our graduates.

In the program we take you through interview tips, how to structure your resume for the security industry and we put you on our job openings email list.

We also run employer connection events. These are kind of like speed dating for a job. Recruiters from security companies come and meet our graduates and do group interviews and individual interviews. We often have graduates walk away with job offers from these events.

What if you’re already working in security?

If you’re already a working security guard and you’re thinking of levelling up there are multiple ways to do this. Before you jump into the first management course you see, think about what you like about your job and what role you want to do.

In security you can level up by niching down as well as climbing the corporate ladder.

Niche down

If you’ve been working as a security guard in crowd control or patrol and you want to find the next step in your career, you could look into niche areas of security that pay well and offer a different role.

There are all kinds of opportunities to niche down with security, we’re going to explore some of the more lucrative ones below.


Cash-in-transit guards are the security guards you see at the ATMs loading and unloading cash. They also drive armoured vehicles. A Cash-in-transit guard is responsible for moving cash or large ticket items such as jewellery or artwork from one location to another.

Cash-in-transit guarding is a coveted job in the security industry as they can make an average of $50 an hour.

In order to be able to work as a cash-in-transit guard you’ll need to complete some additional training after your Certificate II in Security Operations.  The course you’ll need to do is the Cash-in-transit skill set. This course is taught in an accelerated one-day workshop on campus at our North Lakes location.

Most people who complete the cash-in-transit course will also complete the firearms and defensive tactics course, as there is a lot of work for armed cash-in-transit guards. We’ve even packaged these two courses together in order to make it easier to complete both. This course is currently only available in QLD.

Armed Guarding

On average armed security guards make more due to the danger pay. To work as an armed security guard you will need to complete additional training. The course you will need is called the Firearms and Defensive tactics course. This course is taught over a six day face-to-face workshop at our North Lakes location. The workshop includes live fire training. Our armed security guard instructors are industry professionals with years experience in safe weapon handling and security.

The firearms and defensive tactics course costs $1250 on it’s own or you can package the cash-in-transit course with it to give you even more options for niche down and upskilling. This course is also currently only available in QLD.


If you’re looking to niche down in security and you want to become an expert and offer an elite service then bodyguarding might be the right option for you. While most people think of bodyguards as being these suits with an earpiece, large and brawny shielding celebrities form the paparazzi, this is not always the case.

You’re just as likely these days to have walked past a bodyguard or close protection operative without even knowing it. Many bodyguards now work with corporate clients, due to an uptake in corporate private security over the past five years.

Bodyguards often work in a team of security professionals, screening people, monitoring interactions, checking and clearing locations prior to the client’s arrival are all a part of the duties they might carry out.

To become a bodyguard, you would need to complete additional training. The course you’ll need to do is called the Certificate III in Close Protection Operations.

Security Operations Manager

If you’ve been working in security for a while and you’re keen to rise up the ranks and become a manager, then you’ll need to complete some additional training.

Security Managers can do all sorts of different roles and their duties and responsibilties change depending on the company they work for but there are a few skills that will help you excel in this kind of role.

Attention to detail

If you’re the manager, then the buck stops with you and that means you need to be on your game. You have to have excellent attention to detail, no little thing can be lost or forgotten in this role. The devil is in the detail, and you’ll need to be very organised with those details.

Leadership skills

To be a manager you need to be an effective leader, good at handling people. This means having vision and insight into how the business needs to run and what your employees need to do a good job.

Excellent Work Ethic

Rising to the top to become a manager or leader isn’t something you can achieve if you’re not willing to put in the work. You will need to go above and beyond in order to achieve your goals so you’re going to need an excellent work ethic.

The course

There is a course that can help you to become a Security Manager. It’s called the Certificate IV in Security Management. This course is taught online so you can start anytime and study from anywhere in Australia. The Certificate IV in Security Management is taught through self-paced, trainer-supported study. This means you don’t have any specific classes to attend but you have the flexibility of working through the learning when it suits you. The course either takes six months or 12 months depending on the delivery mode you choose.

If you’re ready to level up your career in security but you don’t know which direction you should take, get in touch with us. Our friendly course advisors are experts on security careers and they would be happy to help you find the right path for you.

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