Working as an Armed Guard or Cash-in-Transit Officer

working as an armed guard

Working as an Armed Guard or Cash-in-Transit Officer

[Updated January 23rd, 2023]

As an organisation that delivers quality security training to over 100 trainees a month, we frequently get asked what it’s really like to work as an Armed Guard. I once heard from a student that they were interested in getting into armed services because ‘Boys like their toys’ in reference to working in an industry that requires you to be armed in a public place. 

Working as an Armed Guard or Cash-in-Transit Officer requires you to be calm yet alert, for your company to trust in your abilities as an Unarmed Officer first and for you to have experience with firearms. It’s not for just anyone and it’s certainly not a role to join because you just like firearms.

While cash-in-transit and armed security may be enticing to some, these roles carry with them a huge responsibility and must be viewed with the utmost respect. That is because armed guard roles come with risks that are outside of the day-to-day risks that most Security Officers face and must be managed accordingly. 

Understanding the risks 

These risks can include robberies, hold-ups and hostage situations but can also include employee health risks such as fatigue and stress of the job.

Armed Guards should consider attending workshops specialising in risk management or looking to further professional develop such as a Certificate IV in Security Risk Analysis qualification to assist them to effectively mitigate risks on the job. 

According to a study conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology, CIT armed robbers will also always choose a heavy firearm, most likely obtained illegally to intimidate and control. 

This report also discusses the reasons why CIT are highly attractive to robbers including: 

  • Profitability 
  • Visibility of the target 
  • Ability to profile and ‘stalk’ the target due to run times 
  • Close to escape routes if the vehicle is already on the road or close to a sidewalk 
  • Exit opportunities are not limited to one entry/exit point 

Based on just a small sample of information from this report, you can understand why Cash-in-Transit Officers and Armed Guards do usually get a higher salary.

While Unarmed Security Officers are also required to understand risk management procedures and can also face high-risk situations on the job, they differ from those in CIT. 

What does a cash-in-transit officer do?  

Cash-in-transit guards are responsible for keeping valuables safe and transporting them from one place to another. They can transport large sums of cash, bullion, jewellery, artworks, or other valuables in their role.  

Cash-in-transit guards are sometimes covert, dressed in plain clothes and flying under the radar, or they can be uniformed and armed, doing everything in plain sight.  

What do cash-in-transit guards study?  

Cash-in-transit guards need two specific qualifications in order to have the appropriate licenses to work as a cash-in-transit guard.  

The first is the Certificate II in Security Operations. This course is the standard requirement for anyone wanting to gain an unarmed security guard licence. The course can be completed in an eight-day face-to-face workshop with some online study required.

In the course they learn how to:

  • Apply effective communication skills to maintain security 
  • Apply legal and procedural requirements to work effectively within a security team 
  • Apply WHS, emergency response and evacuation procedures to maintain security 
  • Apply risk assessment to select and carry out response to security risk situations 
  • Provide quality services to a range of security clients 
  • 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 
  • Apply security procedures to manage intoxicated persons 
  • Apply security procedures to remove persons from premises 
  • Escort and protect persons and valuables 
  • Provide first aid  

The next course you need to be able to add cash-in-transit to your licence in QLD is the cash-in-transit course. This skillset is taught over a one-day intensive workshop with online learning. The trainer will take you through scenarios, role plays, groups discussions and then an assessment. 

In the cash-in-transit course you’ll learn how to: 

  • Inspect and test cash-in-transit security equipment & rectify faults 
  • Implement cash-in-transit security procedures 
  • Load and unload cash-in-transit in secured and unsecured environments 

What does an armed guard do?  

Armed security guards do many different roles in the security industry. From cash-in-transit roles to personal protection, to patrols. There are all kinds of roles for armed guards. Armed guards have a lot of pressure in their role. They need to keep people and property safe while employing the safe management of firearms and other weapons.  

What do armed security guards study?  

Armed guards need to have completed the qualifications we spoke about earlier in this article, plus a Firearms and Defensive Tactics course

In this course you’ll learn how to: 

  • Carry, operate and maintain revolvers for security purposes 
  • Carry, operate and maintain semi-automatic pistols for security purposes 
  • Carry, operate and maintain shotguns for security purposes 
  • Manage conflict and security risks using negotiation 
  • Determine and implement response to security risk situation 
  • Maintain operational safety and security of the work environment 
  • Control security risk situations using firearms 
  • Control persons using baton 
  • Restrain persons using handcuffs 
  • Demonstrate the safe use of category H firearms 

This will then allow you to apply for an Occupational Firearms Licence through Weapons Licensing QLD.

Interested in a career as an Armed Guard? You know what training you need to do, so contact us today to arrange. You can also start your research on companies you would like to work for. Armaguard and Prosegur are two large CIT companies operating throughout Australia.

Final Thoughts  

Armed guarding and cash-in-transit are fantastic career paths for industrious security professionals. While these disciplines require more caution and carry more risk, for many guards the pay is worth it.  

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