Unarmed Security Guard Requirements For Pennsylvania

Security Guard & Officer Legal Requirements In Pennsylvania

Here on SecurityGuardTraining.io we want to provide you with all of the information you need to successfully become an Unarmed security guard in the state of Pennsylvania!

Locking Things Down is the Key to Security in the Keystone State

It's a hot and muggy day in the great state of Pennsylvania. You gaze at the monitors as people pass by as they make their way in and out of the shopping complex. It's a busy, but orderly scene until you notice one boy running as fast as he possibly can. It's clear that you have a shoplifter on your hands as he's holding what looks like a laptop under his arms. You can see he is being chased by a clerk and you spring into action in an instant. Using your radio, you notify the other security guards of the situation and give them a description of the suspect. Watching the monitors you can see exactly where the wayward teen is, and where he is going. Your team is in position in minutes and you watch as they apprehend the thief before he can complete his getaway. Putting down the receiver, you pick up the phone and police are waiting to meet the now frowny faced teen as he makes his way into the security office.

That's just one of the many situations you might encounter while working as a security guard in the Keystone State. Overall, it's a relatively calm state. The crime rate averages 3.14 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. This is lower than the national median which is 3.8 per 1,000 residents. The median for property crimes is 19.32 per 1,000 residents which is also lower than the national median of 26. Indeed, burglary, petty theft, and motor vehicle theft are the greatest concerns in the state. As can be expected, the crime rates are higher in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh where there are more people, and with more people can come more problems.

The largest cities in the state are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. These are definitely big cities with lots of employment possibilities. If you are looking for something a little quieter, consider Allentown, Erie, or Reading; each have populations of about 100,000 people and all have a true Pennsylvania spirit that you will enjoy. Whatever your pleasure, you will find the perfect community in this highly diverse state.  

You might enjoy working at Philadelphia International Airport, or watching the grounds of the University of Pittsburgh. Or, you might enjoy protecting the bright eyed and bushy tailed brainiacs covered in ivy at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Indeed, the state is home to some top notch employers including the City of Philadelphia, Giant Eagle Grocery, the Lehigh Valley Health Network, Hershey's, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. Each of these employers offer fantastic benefits packages and have reputations for taking care of their employees, so they are well worth taking the time to explore the career opportunities they have to offer.

Salaries can vary widely throughout the state. On the low end, newly minted security guards earn about $21,000. Starting salaries can be as high as $27,000 depending on your employer and your responsibilities. The state average is $25,400. As with all security guard positions, the more training and experience you have under your belt, the higher the salary will go. As you make your way up the ladder, security managers can earn in the neighborhood of $45,000 a year.

The cost of living in Pennsylvania is slightly less than the national average. Groceries cost a little bit more due to taxes on food, but healthcare, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses are about the same as elsewhere. Where you will really save is on housing which is considerably less expensive than neighboring states. A typical four-bedroom home sells for about $153,000 and the market is relatively stable. And, if you are good with budgeting and managing your finances, you can make every dollar you earn count just a little bit more whether you live in Philly, Pittsburgh, Allentown, etc. 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires unarmed security guards obtain a license before they can begin working. This is covered under the Private Detective Act of 1953. Applicants must be at least 18-years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and be a US citizen or have proof that they are legally allowed to work in the United States. Applicants must also submit fingerprints and show evidence that they have completed security guard training to include classes on public relations, the law, ethics, crowd control, and filling out written reports. It costs about $100 to obtain a license and takes about two weeks to complete the process. In addition to the state requirements, employers will want to see that you are physically fit, have good character, and a sharp eye for detail.    

Pennsylvania is a mountainous state. This means that you will have vastly different weather depending on where you are located. The summers are hot and humid with temperatures regularly reaching into the 90's. The winters are cold and chilly and it routinely freezes. The spring can be a bit rainy, but the fall is just right with the leaves changing colors and the temperatures mild and pleasant. The state receives an average of 43 inches of precipitation every year. However, most of this falls in the southeastern and western parts of the state. Up north, near the New York border it tends to rain and snow a little bit less than the average. 

Pennsylvania is a state where history lovers, and those who love to be outside will find plenty of things to see and do. Philadelphia is home to some of America's most famous sights, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. There's also the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Zoo. You can head down to Valley Forge, or head out to enjoy a hike in the Appalachian Mountains in the Western part of the state. If you enjoy sports, you will most certainly want to see the Phillies aim for another pennant, the Eagles score another touchdown, and the Flyers skate across the ice freezing their opponents in their tracks. Indeed, there are so many things to see and do that your greatest problem will be deciding what you want to do, and when you want to do it.     

Minimum Requirements

Must be at least 18 years old
High school diploma, G.E.D or equivalent certificate

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