Most states require that guards be registered with the state in which they work.
Security guards and gambling surveillance officers typically require a high school diploma and on-the-job training. Gambling surveillance officers sometimes need experience with security and video surveillance. Most states require security guards to be licensed by the state, especially if they carry a firearm.
Security guards typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not require formal educational credentials. Gambling surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Although most employers provide instruction for newly hired security guards and surveillance officers, the amount of training varies. Most security guards learn their job in a few weeks, but gambling surveillance officers and investigators may need several months. Employer-provided training typically covers emergency procedures, crime prevention, and proper communication.
Many states recommend that security guards receive about 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8 to 16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. Instruction may include protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training related to the security guard’s assignment.
Training is more rigorous for armed guards because they require weapons training. Armed guards may be tested periodically in the use of firearms.
Gambling surveillance officers and investigators receive training in topics such as the rules of casino games, gaming regulations, identifying cheating techniques, and the proper use of video and radio equipment.
Drug testing may be required both as a condition of employment and randomly during employment.
Work experience in a related occupation
To enter the occupation, gambling surveillance officers and investigators typically need work experience in casinos or with video monitoring technology. Candidates sometimes gain video monitoring experience by working as a security guard.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most states require that security guards be licensed by the state in which they work. Although licensing requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Pass a background check
- Complete training
Guards who carry weapons usually must be licensed by the appropriate government authority. Positions for armed guards have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than do those for unarmed guards. Most states require rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, for armed guards.
Some states and gaming facilities require a minimum age of 21 to work in a casino.
Some jobs may also require a driver's license.
Communication skills. Security guards and surveillance officers must communicate effectively with others, even in stressful situations.
Interpersonal skills. Security guards often regularly interact with the public; in addition, they must be able to handle and deescalate confrontational situations.
Observation skills. Security guards and surveillance officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary.
Problem-solving skills. Security guards and surveillance officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises.