Security Officer Requirements in Nebraska
Nebraska does not currently have a statewide licensing program for security officers. Prospective security officers answer to their employers.
Standards can vary a good deal, depending on job duties and budget; contract security agencies and governmental agencies often set standards quite high. A good background is fundamental. Prospective security guards may poise themselves for success through trainings and voluntary certifications.
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Select a Nebraska Security Guard Topic:
- Find Security Training Near You
- General Expectations for Security Officers
- Training Expectations
- Nebraska Public Sector Job Expectations
General Expectations for Security Officers
Nationwide, the expectation is generally that an unarmed security guard will be at least 18 years of age and an armed security guard at least 21. The most basic requirement is professional fitness. Employers often carry out a comprehensive background check; this may include a motor vehicle records check as well as a fingerprint-based criminal background check and an investigation into past employment. Many employers require drug and alcohol testing.
Some Nebraska employment ads are placed by major contract security agencies that have a regional or national presence. These organizations often have a well-established protocol for hiring. Requirements will vary depending on job duties. Some positions require candidate to take a personality assessment like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI (https://www.pearsonassessments.com/store/usassessments/en/Store/Professional-Assessments/Personality-%26-Biopsychosocial/Minnesota-Multiphasic-Personality-Inventory-2/p/100000461.html). This is designed to identify candidates who have mental illness or other issues such as excessive anger. The candidate may need to have a thorough physical examination, including vision and hearing screening. The employer will want to know that the candidate can walk for long periods of time and display a reasonable amount of strength. The employer may also want to know that employees do not have serious conditions that could suddenly render them unable to respond.
Academic proficiency is also given consideration. Employers often cite verbal skills and the ability to write reports. A high school diploma or GED is a typical requirement. Some employers favor candidates with higher education. Coursework in criminal justice may be valued.
Law enforcement and military experience are often valued, especially if the job may entail doing more than just watching and reporting. Customer service experience may be considered as well. This is because many security officers interact with the public during daytime hours; they often spend more time giving directions than responding to emergency situations.
The security industry has its own body of knowledge. States that license security guards typically require training in the following content areas:
- Private security role
- Legal limitations of power
- State rules and regulations
- Access control
- Emergency response
- Writing notes and incident reports
The security company may have its own training program. However, the employer may also value previous knowledge.
Employers cite various third party certifications. An employer may, for example, seek NFM Response to Resistance and PPCT Defensive Tactics training — if not before hiring within a specified timeframe afterward. Some value voluntary credentials such as Certified Protection Officer (CPO). CPO certification is offered by the International Foundation for Protection Officers. Certificate holders need to complete a specific curriculum. An individual will not achieve CPO certification until he or she has the equivalent of six months of job experience.
There are many trainings that are at least occasionally referenced. One recent posting for an Omaha security officer noted that the employee would need to obtain Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) foam deployment certification within a year of employment. In short, businesses have their own protocol for handling emergencies, and employers value both specific training and the ability to learn.
Nebraska Public Sector Job Expectations
State civil service job descriptions can provide a window into employer expectations (https://das.nebraska.gov/personnel/classcomp/jobspecs/P/pdf/P64831.pdf).
Nebraska security professionals are hired in several job classifications, including security guard. A minimum educational level is not specified for security guard positions. CPR certification and driver’s license are among the credentials that may be expected, though they are not necessarily a requirement in all positions. Required skills include the following:
- Learning state and agency policies and procedures
- Learning to operate electronic monitoring devices
- Communicating with various groups, from visitors to government officials
- Operating vehicles and equipment
- Handling emergency situations calmly
- Administering first aid and CPR
Higher level positions include security shift supervisor and security director. A security professional might attain the position of security shift supervisor through experience. While there is no minimum education level stated, candidates may need to take evaluations that measure, among other thigs, the ability to communicate through written and oral means.
Some security officers who work in Nebraska are under the authority of other governmental authorities. An example would be those who work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Candidates are expected to hold a high school diploma or GED or have a year of related experience. The hiring agency gives credit to those with national service experience, whether paid or volunteer. Candidates can expect multiple assessments as part of the hiring process. A candidate will take a computer-based test (CBT) that measures English language proficiency as well as ability to read X-rays.