Updated: Mar 14
Canada is a land of opportunity – if you are willing to work hard for it! Many people come to Canada from other countries looking for a greater quality of living. If you are looking for work as a new immigrant, becoming a security guard is a great career. This article will help you learn about the requirements (and opportunities!) of becoming a security guard in Alberta as a new Canadian.
Tip of Spear is proud to be an accredited training provider for Alberta Basic Security Training and Alberta Private Investigators Training. Our mission is to provide you with the resources, information, and opportunities you need to get into a rewarding career path. We have even partnered with organizations that assist those who are new to Canada with getting jobs! Read the section for people who are New to Canada in our Free Security Guard Training Programs article for information on support programs.
Let's talk about what becoming a security guard for new Canadians looks like! In this article we'll explain:
Why is a security guard job a great choice for new Canadians?
Becoming a security guard is a solid option to kick-start a career as a new Canadian. Why? Because the security guard training is not too lengthy (only 40 hours) and the entry requirements are simple and accessible for most people.
The security guard industry provides:
Lots of jobs
Full-time or part-time positions
Opportunities for promotion
A sense of purpose
A chance to learn new skills
The ability to build your network
Opportunities to get into other related careers
As a security guard, you get to help protect people, property, and information. In this role, you are not a police officer. Your role is to watch for anything unusual and report it to those who can address the situation appropriately. Read So What Exactly Does a Security Guard Do? to learn more.
What are the requirements for new Canadians to get a security guard job in Alberta?
If you are looking to become a security guard, you need to know a few things. A security guard must understand that their job is both a physical and a mental experience; a security guard is always a professional presence there to maintain the peace.
The following are the requirements you must meet to qualify to get your security guard licence in Alberta.
1. Legally Allowed to Work in Canada
First, you need to be legally allowed to work in Canada. Without the legal ability to work in Canada, there is no chance of becoming a security guard.
As a new Canadian, the two ways you can work (aside from being a Canadian citizen) in Canada are:
2. Can Speak and Write Well in English
To become a security guard, you must also meet a specific English fluency benchmark. This requirement is a level 5 benchmark according to the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks. Not sure what your current benchmark is? Use this free online test to see.
If you do not meet the benchmark, you can use the following resources to improve your fluency:
Once you meet the English fluency benchmark you are one step closer to becoming a security guard.
3. Must be at least 18 years old
The legal age where a person is considered to be an adult in Canada is 18 years old. Therefore, because this job comes with responsibilities, you must be at least 18 years old to work as a security guard in Canada.
4. Cannot have a serious criminal record, or have outstanding charges or investigations
Since a security guard job has a level of authority, leadership and morality that is given and expected, anyone who applies for their security guard licence must not have a serious criminal record. You also must not have any criminal charges that have not been resolved, or be under investigation from the police.
5. A Security Mindset
Do you like protecting people? Do you have a strong understanding of right and wrong?
To be a security guard, you need to have a security mindset. This mindset, as well as your training, is what will show employers that you have what it takes to be a security guard.
The security mindset includes these key qualities:
Integrity - having a solid moral compass and always chooses to act on what's right
Communication - the ability to communicate effectively, clearly, professionally, and timely
Quick-thinking - the ability to recognize problems and determine and propose creative solutions
Teamwork - even when working alone, collaboration is essential
Reliable - must be able to show up to work on time, and have others depend on you
Employers expect you to have a security mindset. As a new Canadian, if you meet the requirements laid out above, you may have what it takes to become a security guard.
What education do you need to get a security guard job in Alberta, Canada?
Your previous education from your home country can't be used to get you a security guard job in Alberta. You will need to:
1. Complete a Security Guard Training Course
Basic security guard training prepares you to pass your licensing exam. It gives you all the necessary knowledge you need to become a security guard. This is a 40-hour course that you can take in-person in a classroom setting with an instructor and other students in Edmonton, or you can take it online at your own pace.
If you want to guarantee your chances of becoming a security guard, choose Tip of Spear’s Alberta Basic Security Training course.
2. Pass the Government Licensing Exam
Once you complete the Alberta Basic Security Training course you can then take the government exam. The supervised exam is available to take either online or in-person at the Tip of Spear facility in Edmonton.
To pass your provincial mandated exam you must receive a grade of 80% or higher. Your certificate is then mailed to you by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General.
(Please note that this certificate is NOT your security licence.) After you pass the exam, you are then eligible to apply for your security license.
To learn more about the exam, register for upcoming exam dates, and how to prepare yourself, visit our exam page.
3. Apply for your Security Licence
Once you have passed your government exam and received your certificate from the government, you are eligible to apply for your security licence! To learn more on how to complete the application, read our Security Licence Application page.
Note that you cannot start working as a security guard until you have received your temporary licence, or your permanent licence in the mail. You may, however, start looking for jobs!
What job experience do you need to get a security guard job as a new Canadian? How do you apply for a security job?
It does not matter what your job history was in your home country, but if you have any type of protection experience it will help. As a new Canadian looking to get into the security field, employers want to see that you were productive before you came to Canada. They are putting their trust into you as a protector, so the more you can link your previous experience to your potential as a great security guard, the better. Experience that stands out to employers is customer service. Having experience dealing with people in a professional setting lends itself well to the security industry.
It is important to craft a relevant resume based on the security job in question. Include any experience that would be a benefit to a role in the security industry. This experience could be anything from previous education, to past jobs, or even volunteering. The key is to connect the experience to your skills as an individual and as a professional.
To learn more on how to prepare yourself for a job in the security industry, read our other available resources:
A great tool you can use to make a resume is the design platform Canva. Quick and easy, Canva has free templates that you can choose from to build a resume that stands out to employers.
How Tip of Spear can help you
Security work is a respected opportunity for new Canadians to kick-start their careers. Thanks to Tip of Spear, training is made easy. With both online and in-person programs and industry professionals to help guide you to success, Tip of Spear can help you become a great security guard.
Tip of Spear is there for you along the way:
Looking for financial help to become a security guard?
Tip of Spear has partnered with Action for Health Communities (A4HC) for help. They offer eligible new Canadians free training for many licences and certificates.
Please note, this program is only hosted a few times throughout the year. If you are not willing to wait to start your new career, we encourage you to take initiative and go through the training yourself. Tip of Spear can help you with your paperwork and support you along the way.
Ready to Start Now?
If you are new to Canada and ready to begin your training to become a security guard in Alberta, you can register for training today! If you choose online training, you can begin immediately.