The security industry for 17-year-olds poses a barrier to legally entering the workforce until you reach 18. Ironic in some ways, given you can enrol into the Australian Army at 16 and serve and die for the country on foreign shores.
I didn’t write the laws, and I would abolish most of them left to my own devices; however, they are what they are, and all you can do in advance of turning 18 is prepare, educate yourself, and carefully choose and research the correct pathway to your ideal position in the security industry.
If you have not yet begun to research the long list of specialised vocations within the security industry, now is a good time to sit down and ask yourself some tough questions to establish your goals and then plan a step-by-step action plan to reach that goal.
There are also downsides to entering the security sector, including the ongoing expense and ever-growing list of endless demands for certifications and pre-requisites to enter the workforce. I am not going to lie to you, the costs are abnormally high, and with each passing year, that is getting worse, not better, to the point it has become a barrier and a problem the industry needs to resolve at a federal level.
The Security Industry Explained
The general perception of the security industry has always been one of relatively overweight wannabe cops working the nightshift to keep businesses and homes secure, or heavily muscled meat head bouncers with bulging biceps crossed over barrel-sized chests pretending they can actually work out how old you are by looking at the year you were born on the ID you hand them. And, for a long time, that image rang fairly true to stereotypes. Then 9/11 happened in America in 2002. The world was transformed by the invention of global terrorism and a slew of hastily enacted laws that changed every facet of the security industry, leaving no area untouched.
Reforms and mandates were created, and protocols began being activated that required more of the security personnel than muscle without brains and a tub of lard too unfit to get out of his own way, let alone chase down a potential terrorist or lone wolf suspect to cross their path.
Criminals got smarter, and fitter with training programs like Parkour, and that meant the industry was forced to change who it hired and what standard of candidate they demanded as employees.
That brings us nicely to where you are at 17, reading this article. Now is the time for you to start preparing, and that means training your physical body and your mind a year before you can take the first step on your journey into the security industry.
Security Industry Requirements
The very first place you can start your journey into the security industry is with the first course off the rank. Like any industry, there are multiple courses that specialise in specific areas, as the security industry is many beasts collectively grouped under one label. We will look at the areas where you can focus your career goals later in the article. Let’s start with the eligibility and entry requirements for a Certificate II In Security Operations.
You don’t need any academic qualifications or pre-requisite training to take a certificate II Security Operations course. This is the first step on your journey. The downside is that you cannot start this course until you have turned 18.
You don’t need to be an A-level student. You do need the basic literacy and numeracy levels that allow you to read documents, briefs, reports, and operating manuals, and comprehend complex and detailed information and operating systems. You must be able to follow orders and execute instructions given to you in a chain of command system in some format.
Some form of martial arts or any ‘self-defence’ speciality has never been a handicap and will be highly favoured.
Most importantly, you must be eligible for a Security Providers Licence in your territory or state. This means that you cannot have a criminal history of any kind. You are not eligible to enter the security industry if you have been convicted of any disqualifying offence.
How Much Does A Security Operations II Course Cost?
Skills Training College offers CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations for only $399!
Researching the internet and choosing an RTO close to you that specialises in providing nationally accredited courses is essential, and the prices will vary depending on multiple factors. It is crucial that you do your research and ask the right questions prior to booking a course.
Ask about employment rates for students who have taken their courses and then ask for references or referees you can contact in person. Never believe the references on the web, as they are predominantly embellished or fabricated bald-faced lies. Reputable RTOs, or their course trainers and instructors, who actively work in the industry or have spent a lot of time in the industry are better options as they will have and freely give contact information for potential employers and previous students willing to provide a reference. Also, remember to volunteer to be a referee once you have finished your course.
If you excel in the subject, you might even find yourself being ‘headhunted’ or given a personal recommendation and a ticket into the industry from someone with the clout to open doors for you. As with any industry, it is not so much what you know, but who you know.
Types of Security Industry Jobs
Successful completion of the above certificate will give you the ability to do entry-level jobs.
- Crowd Control
- Bouncer/Event Security
- Foot patrol
- Facility Security
- Camera Room Controller
- Roving Monitor Patrols for private security companies
- Estate Security
- School Security
From these jobs, you will make contacts and possibly seek to add more arrows to your quiver in the form of more courses. Firearms permits are harder to get in Australia than in any other country on the planet. If you seek to go into a sector dealing with firearms in any format, you are looking at having to explore courses and employment with companies that deal specifically with firearms-related positions. In most cases, that work requires you to already have the job and for the employer to nominate you for the relevant courses with a host of verifications, validations, ASIO background clearances and enough red tape to choke a tribe of bull elephants. I cannot implore how painfully ridiculous the process has become and why so many choose to avoid this sector of the industry.
On top of that, having a Firearm Licence and a Permit To Carry A Concealed Sidearm requires a host of secondary legal requirements and continuous checks and balances that can be a nightmare to deal with.
- Cash Transfer and Transit vehicle operators
- Close Protection Officer
- VIP Bodyguards
- Private Detectives
A lot of candidates think they want to be CPO’s. The role of the Close Protection Officer has been glamorised and even romanticised by movies and blockbuster action thrillers. The truth behind the world of CPO is nothing like the movies. It is long hours of often stationary or sedentary in nature work that is mind-numbingly boring, and that can quickly drive a guy literally crazy and out of the industry.
The number of candidates that enter the CPO industry and are still there after two years is low. However, there is good news for those who have the X factor and excel in this role. CPO roles with companies that hire staff to wealthy clients can make some unbelievably ludicrous jaw-dropping money. With the right contacts, skills, and references, you can make yourself a very wealthy individual within ten years and retire at forty, set for life.
The downside is that your body and life are literally on the line 24/7. So, while you might be making ten grand a week after tax sitting on your duff watching some Asian billionaire’s kids playing at the beach, you could also be taking a bullet for those kids and fighting for your life and their lives in an attempted kidnap and ransom plot instigated by the Triad or the Yakuza. That is a trade-off that has limited appeal to most candidates.
Multiple fields feed off the security industry or act as a launching pad for higher-level industry careers. Off the top of my head, here are some of the most common areas candidates have an active interest in and short, medium, and long-term goals in further pursue after gaining their initial certifications.
- Airport security
- Military /Paramilitary organisations
- Federal Police
- Border Security
- International Security
- Internet Security
- Risk Assessment and Management Security
Security Industry Pathway Resources
A current First Aid certificate and the RSA and RSG certificates are required as essential pre-requisites for working in any venues that serve alcohol or provide gaming services.
Certifications you will also require along with your Certificate II in Security Operations are:
Thankfully, the above three courses can be undertaken at any time from the age of fourteen. That means you can spend your 17th year getting the necessary trio of accompanying certificates and qualifications and then apply for a course that starts the day you turn 18 in the security industry. Thanks to having this information in advance, you will already be well ahead of the majority of your potential rivals for the vacant positions you apply for in the future.
One last piece of advice that is essential. This industry is open to female candidates and is screaming through a megaphone for female candidates willing to undertake CPO work. Given the nature of the job, there are not too many women willing to enter the field, so if you encounter any women in the industry, give them your full support and admiration as they are a rare breed.
Also, remember that she has the same or better skills and qualifications than you do and will likely be more qualified for and worthy of the job over you. Don’t take it personally. This industry has become highly elite and specialised. Employers only opt for the most qualified candidates regardless of their gender. They want the best fit for their teams’ dynamics and individual operational requirements, as you will discover if you are one of the lucky chosen candidates selected to enter the security sector. While it is a largely male dominated industry, it is by no means an exclusive one.