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  • Career Question

    Hello everyone, another lurker from the cold here with some career questions.

    I've been working mall security for a some four and a half years, and would like to get into other types of security. Problem is, they usually require military or LE experience. Even when you do meet said companies criteria, they offer wages too low for even someone with no experience to bother.

    My question is, other than going to school and also getting the appropiate certifications, what else can I do to break out of the warm body firm companies?

    Any help will be appreciated, thanks.

  • #2
    Check your local community colleges. Today all of these institutions offer both security and law enforcement courses leading to a certificate, associates' or bachelor's degrees.
    Why not apply to your local law enforcement agencies for positions? All of them need dedicated personnel both male and female.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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    • #3
      I am currently back in school (community college) for my criminal justice degree. The problem is, that living in Michigan, LE jobs are pretty tight and decent paying security jobs are unheard of... So I guess it's off to out of state when I graduate.

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      • #4
        Where in MI? I know in a couple of the larger cities, GR, Detroit and such you can find a couple good size companies where you can get good work and a reasonable rate. Unfortunately throughout MI the rate of pay in any job is not good for the cost of living. Just depends if you wanna stay in the area. I worked in GR for a few years and can give you a couple companies to look at there.

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        • #5
          I live in Ypsilanti township, next to the lovely People's Republik of Ann Arbor (my home-town). You're right about the pay to cost of living ratio here MI. This is why I am looking to leave the state (if necessary) after I'm done with school.

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          • #6
            If your still in your CJ program, can you actually get a job with a police department in your state? I know that down south, that's very hard to do (All applicants must be state certified before being sworn in), but up north, they give deferments on college to agencies with less than X amount of folks in the city, etc...

            If your looking to leave the state, I suggest that you find a job that will suppport you - and tidy away moving expenses, and calculate when you'll have your degree. Start filling out applications across the country for LE agencies. Amtrak Federal Police is hiring, as are a bunch of other agencies.

            Depending on the company you hire on with, security can be completely useless as a stepping stone into law enforcement (You'd get better customer service/public interaction skills at Wal-Mart), or it can be useful. Usually alarm response and mobile patrol companies will give you some insight into the public interaction and maintenance of order aspects of law enforcement.

            But, a traditional guard post has very little to do with law enforcement, and more to do with physical security. Unless you count homeland security functions, the police do very little physical security operations.
            Some Kind of Commando Leader

            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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            • #7
              Most departments here Michigan require an associates degree to get into an academy, which is how most people get certified in this state. Detroit and the Michigan State Police have their own academies so no college is necessary with them. The problem is that Michigan's economy is preventing many departments from hiring due to lack of funding.

              As for me leaving the state, I plan on saving money as soon a possible, maybe even a another job (part time) to help with moving expenses. This especially true once I graduate. I'll also start the applying when I get close to graduating from college.

              I noticed your points about the difference between LE and physical security. Too true, many of our S/Os get pretty put out by that very realization. I on the other hand understood this from the beginning. Though we deal with the public, most of our duties here at the mall are of course customer service related, not law enforcement. I also have a lot of experience with physical security working mainly midnights and enjoy it alot actually. Too bad that the only jobs I see pay less that what I make, even armed, with less benefits to boot.

              Once again thanks, you guys are great, I hope to see a lot of here get into the managemnet side of things one day. If that happens, I believe this industry will benefit greatly.

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              • #8
                While I cannot speak for where you live as I have never been there. Here in Colorado we have a few companies that will make "exceptions" for the right person, albeit you may have to make a little less to start they will usually bump you up fairly quick once you have proven worth the "gamble". You may want to look into section 8 security if you are looking for a little more, it can be tough but very rewarding, until I get into LE I can't imagine any other kind of security I would want to do.

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