There Are More Private Security Jobs Than Ever Before

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There Are More Private Security Jobs Than Ever Before

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Right now, there is an estimated 8000 private security jobs that need filling across the country. The industry is experiencing a growth spike and there’s more private security guards than ever before.  

We are used to seeing security guards at nightclubs, bars, shopping centers and jewellery stores but these days you’ll see them taking up posts at local libraries, strip malls and even some fast-food restaurants.

There seem to be more private security guards popping up in unlikely locations than ever before. When did this start happening? Why are there so many more security guards? And what does this mean for the future of the industry?

More guards than cops  

Right now, there are more than 155,000 licensed security personnel in Australia. The head of the Australian Security Association recently told the ABC, “That’s a greater number than if you add up all the law enforcement and military officers in Australia.”

The security industry has seen significant growth over the last 10 – 15 years and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.  

COVID changed the game  

While security has always been a steadily growing industry, the dramatic shift in public and private requirements, rules and restrictions during the first and second year of COVID-19 had a significant effect on the demand for private security personnel.  

Industries that never needed the services of a private security guard before suddenly needed the help. Where they used to not require the services of a guard or perhaps only employed one, there was now a need for multiple guards. These guards were employed to assist in handling the public in accordance with social distancing rules, mask mandates and vaccination checks.  

After effects and tense climates  

The COVID lockdowns are now behind us, all travel restrictions have eased, social distancing is no longer widely enforced, and mask mandates have been dropped around the country. You might be wondering if a large portion of the employment spike was the result of COVID, why hasn’t there been a drop with the change in requirements.  

The unfortunate truth is that with a cost of living crisis, tense political climate and a rise in vandalism in some communities there has been an ongoing need to protect public and private property with the services of private security firms. 

Where are these security guards?  

While private security has traditionally been employed in industries such as hospitality, banking and healthcare; we now see more private security roles popping up in public spaces like libraries and schools. On top of this, there are more security roles being employed across the board in all industries, from the public to the private sector.  

A well regulated industry  

With more active security personnel than police some people might be concerned about how well regulated and controlled the industry is, what training do these security guards have and how do they get their license?  

The security industry is very well-regulated. The rules and regulations vary depending on which state or territory that security guard is working in. For example, in Queensland the security guard licence is issued by the Office of Fair Trading. All security guards in Queensland must undertake an intensive training program that runs for the better part of two weeks and includes training on negotiation tactics, defensive tactics, communication, assessing risk and first aid. They also must undergo a police check and meet specific requirements.  

Checks are in place  

Not just anybody can become a security guard. For example there are several things that can stop someone from getting a security guard licence in Queensland. People are automatically disqualified if they’ve been convicted of these crimes in the past 10 years:  

  • Any crime set out in the schedule 1 of the criminal code 1899 including but not limited to; murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, assault, stealing, fraud, theft, armed robbery, dangerous driving, consorting.  
  • Any weapons offence punishable by 1 years’ imprisonment or more such as; poisoning certain firearms without a license, dangerous conduct with weapons or failure to adequately store weapons.  
  • Any drug offence punishable by 1 years’ imprisonment or more for example; possessing a dangerous drug and producing or supplying dangerous drugs  
  • Certain Police administration offences such as; Impersonating a police officer or possessing police property.  
  • A prescribed offence listed in the Penalties and Senteces Act of 1992 including; Riot, Robbery or extortion, or organised crime.  
  • Terrorism.  

Someone could also be disqualified for other behaviour such as associating with criminals or using dishonest or harassing tactics. You can learn more about the eligibility requirements here.  

What about the training?  

Security guards must undergo specific training to apply for their licence. This training varies slightly depending on the state or territory that they are studying in. But the course they must complete is called Certificate II in Security Operations.

It’s an intensive, accelerated course taking between two and three weeks depending on the state or territory they’re studying in.  

The training is comprehensive, and it covers a variety of topics including;:

  • Effective communication skills to maintain security 
  • Legal and procedural requirements to work effectively within a security team 
  • WHS, emergency response and evacuation procedures to maintain security 
  • Risk assessment to select and carry out response to security risk situations 
  • How to Protect self and others using basic defensive techniques 
  • Patrol premises to monitor property and maintain security 
  • Screen people, personal effects and items to maintain security 
  • Monitor and control access and exit of persons and vehicles from premises 
  • Monitor and control individual and crowd behaviour to maintain security 
  • Security procedures to manage intoxicated persons 
  • Security procedures to remove persons from premises 
  • Escort and protect persons and valuables 
  • Providing first aid 

You can learn more about the course here.  

An industry on the grow 

According the Security 2025 report from The Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) the Australian security industry generates an estimated 11 billion in annual revenue, employing over 180,000 people. With an estimated 8000 security roles that need filling around the country right now and a projected job growth of 3% per year between now and 2028, the private security industry is growing rapidly.  

If you’re interested in knowing more about getting into the security industry you can join one of our free security information sessions here. Or get in touch with our course advisors they would be happy to help you find the right course for your career.  

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