So you want to know how to become a security consultant. Just as with any other business professional, becoming a security consultant takes years of education and work experience. Most security consultants specialize in a particular industry such as: the hotel industry, hospital industry, real estate or retail industries. Most security consultants work for major companies and are responsible for overseeing all security related tasks and issues associated with that company. Those consultants with a wide range of experience in several different types of industries often start their own consulting business and are hired on an as needed basis. During the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, many security consultants have been hired by the US Government to train security and police forces abroad. Independent security consultants often make a six figure income, which can double if the work is in a high risk area.
There are several different paths one could take to become a security consultant. Here are just a few recommendations to keep in mind as you explore your desire to become a security consultant.
How to Become a Security Consultant
- Obtain a degree from an accredited university. Although your degree may be in any field, I would personally recommend a criminal justice degree with a minor in English. Additional language courses will be a plus.
- Decide which industry you would like to work in as a security consultant. If you have ever been convicted of a felony crime, you may find it difficult, if not impossible, to find a legitimate program to certify you as a security consultant. Speak with an attorney to find out how to have your felony conviction expunged from your record.
- Get a security job in the industry you have chosen. Even if it’s an entry level position, you should move up the ladder quickly with your degree. If you are not offered positions with greater authority and responsibility, seek employment elsewhere in the same industry. Always give two weeks notice before you leave any employment and never burn bridges!
- Work your way up to a management position, which you should hold for at least three years. If you do did not complete your bachelors degree, most professional certification courses may require up to eight years of verified work experience in the security field.
- For additional information about how to become a security consultant, visit the International Association of Professional Security Consultants or ASIS. Both IAPSC and ASIS are respected and well known throughout the security industry as leaders in security consultation certification courses.
- Once you complete a certification course, let your employer know that you wish to begin doing some consulting work. If your employer does not offer this type of service, ask if you can head up a new division. If your request is denied, seek employment with an agency that can use your level of experience.
If you have prior military or law enforcement experience, some of your years of service may count as verifiable work experience. If you are a retired law enforcement officer, you may have enough training and experience to qualify as a security consultant. As with any job, continuous self education is a must. Subscribe to a wide variety of security management, loss prevention and investigative magazines to help in your study efforts.
So back to our original question “how to become a security consultant”. The simple answer is years of education, years of experience at different levels within a particular industry and continuous study. Within time, you just might have what it takes to be in business for yourself as an independent security consultant.