Security work has come a long way in the airport sector in the last decade or so since 9/11. Increases in security demands have led to higher standards and strong job growth. This growth has turned airport security guard work into an appealing career path.
Full-time and part-time careers in airport security are as demanding as they are rewarding. If you hope to start a career in airport security, keep reading to find out the best way of achieving it. From basic security training to airport specific training. Airport security professionals need to know it all.
What goes into being an airport security guard?
Airport security guards have many responsibilities. These responsibilities are on top of those learned in basic security training. To prepare you, airport security work will include additional training. This includes Canadian specific air transport security industry training.
Airport security responsibilities will include:
In some cases you’ll need to work with your fellow guards to perform crowd control. In most cases you’ll be conducting normal public engagement. This means you will be greeting, helping, and performing customer service.
It’s part of fostering a positive airport experience for guests. Making sure they all get to their destinations, safely. It also makes good use of your public communication skills.
Performing these duties you’ll also be looking out for any odd or suspicious things. You will always be on the lookout for potential danger.
Patrolling and Monitoring
One of the key responsibilities of a security guard is patrolling and monitoring. It’s no different in an Airport. In some cases you are on higher alert at an airport. But overall, you are performing your typical duty as a guard.
Patrolling and monitoring helps you conduct crowd control. Being seen consistently keeps you front of mind for those at the airport. Guests know that if anything happens there’s help around.
Keeping it safe
As a security guard your main goal on the job is to keep people, place and things, safe. In an airport it means making sure that all guests and employees are following Transport Canada’s guidelines. Use your patrolling and monitoring skills to look for any suspicious situations.
With most security related work you will have some sort of emergency response plan. With aviation security you have a Security Operations Centre (SOC). The SOC is your base of operations. This is where your supervisors and security managers are monitoring all airport activity. Emergency response is directed from the SOC to you, the boots on the ground.
Depending on the type of response they might activate the emergency response notification system. Types of emergencies include violent guests, terminal fires, active threats, aircraft accidents, natural disasters, and also, breaches of the PSL (Primary Security Line).
Your emergency response will abide by the Canadian air transport security authority (CATSA). You will follow the steps laid out in your airport security training programs.
Pass Control and assisting CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)
One of your main jobs as an airport security guard is pass control, or access control. This means you make sure that those coming and going from restricted areas have the proper clearance credentials. Credentials are stored in a Restricted Area Identification Card (RAIC). It’s highly important that only those with proper security clearance are allowed into the restricted areas. Failure to provide appropriate pass control can lead to potential dangerous situations.
Providing support to the CATSA is also a part of your security services. Basically, you will help CATSA with emergency incidents and support the airport authority. You will oversee that the situations are taken care of and act as a liaison for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
How can I get an airport security job?
The simple answer is to become a security guard first and foremost. You can read our article on the Basic Requirements for Becoming a Security Guard. To become a security guard for an airport you need to do the following:
Complete your ABST (Alberta Basic Security Training) and hold a valid security license
Take customer service related training (recommended)
Take crisis intervention training (required) - Tip of Spear offers Tactical Communication training.
Take crowd control training (required) - Find out from the employer which course they need.
Take any additional airport security training once hired through your employer
When it comes to age and security work, in Alberta you must be 18 years of age to be considered for a security position. In other provinces these age requirements will differ. In British Columbia you must be at least 19 years of age.
You must also meet the following requirements:
Must have a clean driver’s abstract and a valid driver’s license
Must have valid first aid and CPR certification
Must pass a criminal record check
Must meet requirements for Transport Security Clearance
Must submit fingerprints
Must have 5 years of unbroken residence, work and education history
There’s a lot that goes into becoming a high performing security guard. There’s even more that goes into becoming an airport security officer. If you have your valid security license and you meet the requirements laid out in this article, register for job opportunities with our hiring partners, or apply for specific positions online! You can find available jobs through job postings and even set up job alerts to get notifications.