The security industry in North America is massive. It is also complex. And steadily growing. There are more jobs and different types of jobs emerging all the time. That said, it can be called “The Invisible Empire” because so few people are familiar with it.
Military folks have an ease of entry into this industry. They have all had some exposure to the protection of assets in various ways. They have mastered the art of dynamic problem solving; something that is integral to security. Some have worked security assignments, others may have held part-time jobs in contract security while being full-time soldiers.
For those who don’t see a career in security; that’s OK. Getting civilian security employment can be a truly transitional phase of one’s career. When I was in college working security as a student, one of my fellow officers was a management major. He wanted the campus security experience to demonstrate that he could hold a position of trust and responsibility.
The industry can be easily entered at several junctures. Security service firms are continuously hiring. Employment with them can be obtained on a full or part-time basis. Licensing requirements vary by state but are generally minimal. Becoming an unarmed or armed security officer is not an insurmountable challenge as with some other fields (medical).
Networks in security can be developed through ASIS International. There are 200 plus chapters worldwide. Veterans can go to meetings and meet managerial personnel. ASIS also has an Appreciation Day for military and first responders at the Global Security Exchange each year. This is an excellent opportunity to view and interact with security managers and directors.
The International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) strongly supports veterans and first responders. There is a substantial discount on membership (a network) as well as professional certification programs (a credential). The latter are internationally recognized and COOL approved. The IFPO Career Center provides a snapshot of the security industry. A 10-15 minute read provides the information one needs to start the journey.
By Chris A. Hertig, CPP, CPOI, member of the IFPO Board of Directors.