Home Security Ex-Military Guide to a Security Career
Ex-Military Guide to a Security Career

Ex-Military Guide to a Security Career


Civvy street can be daunting. But all the skills, training and experience you have gained while serving make you an ideal candidate for the security industry. 

So what makes you a perfect candidate for this exciting industry? When a survey of British Security Industry Association (BSIA) members was conducted, it was found that around 90% had or do currently employ ex-military security guards. Members discussed why they felt that ex-armed forces veterans make excellent security team members. They cited qualities such as the discipline gained by serving. They also felt that ex-military had a greater understanding of security threats and were alert and motivated. It is well known that if you have a military background, you will certainly stand out of the crowd and bag a role as soon as you get your SIA licence. 

As ex-military personnel, you will likely have an almost perfect skill set for working in security. Those skills and qualities include:

  • Being physically fit with the ability to observe and write basic reports of your findings. 
  • Self -reliance
  • Self-confidence
  • Common sense
  • Ability to work in a team 
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Ability to react well to emergencies

Security is the perfect way to align the skills and qualities you possess with a new exciting, and rewarding career. 

Here are some of the roles that ex-military are sought for in the security industry:

Static and mobile security guard

An ideal first job in security for ex-military might be as a static or mobile security guard. Static guards patrol premises and ensure the property is always secure from thieves and trespassers. Mobile guards might handle dropping off cash and valuables and can be targeted by gangs of thieves.  

Store security officers

According to shop demands, a store security officer role can bring regular hours and long-term work, often six days a week. You will work in a team to spot suspicious behaviour and apprehend shoplifters. You might also be called on to help in an emergency, such as a child getting lost, an accident, or a sick customer.  

Specialist dog handlers

The security industry often requires guards to have dog-handling skills. This could be to detect drugs or explosives, or cadavers following a natural disaster or accident. Or it could be to patrol with a dog as a security measure to deter thieves. If you have had previous experience in the military handling dogs, this could be a natural role for you in security, where you’ll excel. 

Close protection

Close protection is an excellent way to go for ex-military. You can make an excellent living with your background and skills as a close protection officer. Close protection or bodyguarding is also known as private security detail, personal protection officers, executive protection and residential security. You could take on several roles with a close protection qualification. These include: 

Asset protection

Often a high-value item is transported or loaned, and the company that owns the item on loan needs to ensure that it is not stolen while on loan. Items might be anything from luxury cars, racehorses, historical items, art, and jewellery. Items might be displayed in public places and museums or used on a film set. You might be involved during transportation, or the contract might last weeks while the item is displayed. 

VIP protection

Celebrities and VIPs are often those that need a security team. A person who wears expensive items, including jewellery, will always be a prime target. Thieves know where wealthy people stay and can hang around expensive hotels waiting for their opportunity to steal a Ferrari or grab a designer watch worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. You might work in a team doing this kind of work which involves excellent awareness, surveillance and great attention to detail. This kind of work has several perks. Not only will you command a high salary, but the perks of this role could be to drive supercars and stay in the best hotels. While CPOs cannot carry weapons in the UK if travelling abroad, many clients prefer ex-military CPOs with firearms experience. 

What do I need to do?

To train to become a security guard, it’s a short course lasting from 4-6 days that will equip you with the skills to work as a security guard or as a door supervisor, where you can also have the flexibility of being able to work in more roles because you will be licensed to work where alcohol is consumed. The courses start from £179.99 for the 4-day security guard course and from £209.99 for the 6-day door supervisor course.

However, if you want to work in close protection, the 16-day course starts from £1994. While it is more expensive, you can pay over six weeks or three months, boosting your earning potential. With your military background, you are sure to be ahead of the pack in gaining a close protection role, and the financial rewards are undoubtedly worth it. Close protection officers earn around £200-400 per day. So, you could return the investment you paid for the course in just a week! 

Download the free Guardpass app today to look at some mock tests, see if you like the course content, and gain the confidence to succeed. Then, when you have chosen the right course, check online to find your ideal location and dates. A new career awaits you on civvy street in the security industry, so what are you waiting for? Book today. 

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