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How Do I Become a Security Contractor?

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  • Written By: Meghan Perry
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2019
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A willingness to be in high-risk scenarios is one of the traits needed to become a security contractor because the main job duty is to provide protection. This is especially true if the contractor is working in areas of war or areas that may be dangerous for other reasons. Beyond high school, there is not necessarily an educational requirement to become a security contractor; however, obtaining a college degree may increase job opportunities. Experience is generally more important than education for this career.

Security contractors, sometimes known as private security contractors, may gain practical experience in several ways. The most common background for security contractors is the military. This type of experience is especially useful when contractors are working in areas of war as they will have a better understanding of war zones and combat operations. However, experience in law enforcement or other government agencies may also be sufficient to become a security contractor.

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The educational requirement to enter the military is a high school diploma, but law enforcement or other government agencies often require additional education. College educations can also help those who enlist in the military as they can often advance faster than those without degrees. Some common degrees for people going into the military or hoping to work for government agencies may include communications, criminal justice, or psychology. There are also some schools that offer graduate degrees or programs in the areas of homeland security or defense. The focus within these areas may include counterterrorism, military strategy, or security studies, for example.

Other abilities that are generally required to become a security contractor include knowledge of weapons, in particular guns, and self-defense. Knowledge of security service is also important. Understanding the responsibilities in particular situations is another necessity when working as a security contractor. Being able to listen and communicate are also important qualities. A willingness to travel to places all over the world is another trait a potential security contractor should possess.

Reputation is also important in this field as organizations that hire security contractors trust them with people's lives. A willingness to undergo background criminal and financial investigations is also generally required for someone who wants to become a security contractor. If bidding for a contract with the Department of Defense, for example, examination of financial and criminal records will be part of the process. In addition, if working for a government department, security clearance is often needed.

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