This is the blog page of School Director, Greg Bravo.
Have anything interesting or relative to offer here?
If you want to add your comments or have questions for this blog, please e-mail me by clicking here and I will post them after reviewing them. This is my soap box and not a public forum so please be constructive in your comments. Alliance Group Affiliates has a mission to help people in a number of ways, and I will not post erroneous and misleading information that is routinely posted on many other sites. My information comes from education, experience, and training gained from government assignments in many parts of the United States and foreign countries over the past three decades. This training and experience is kept current to this very day.
October 4, 2011
SECURITY JOBS AND TRAINING
I'll preface the following remarks by saying that the minimum training you will need to apply for your New York State security guard license is one 8 hour Pre-Assignment course (minimum), and within 90 days of initial employment you will need an additional 16 hour On-the-Job Training course. It's called "on-the-job training" but it is classroom based, and must be conducted by a registered security guard training school approved and licensed by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
EVERY SINGLE DAY (including Sundays), people ask me what training they need to take in order to get a job and to be successful in the security field. The answer is not easy, and very much depends on what one wants to accomplish, how much do they want to earn, want to spend.
The more of the RIGHT certifications you have, the more money you can make. In every NYS Eight Hour Pre-Assignment Course we talk about the need for training. Not just the training required by New York State, but other training that may not only help you get hired faster, but can help you advance in an organization as well. Part of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services course guidelines for the Pre-Assignment Course clearly states that training is an ongoing process, and that the minimum training required is not enough. You don't have to take my word for it, ask them!
It makes sense, though. What if you were an employer sitting behind a desk and two people came to interview for a job you are offering. One has only the minimum training for their license, and the other plainly has that plus other valuable certifications that will benefit you and your business. Be honest, which one would you choose if they both want the job?
Don't reach for your check books just yet, though!
There are a number of places one can find this training FREE, including fire departments and government agencies without having to pay for it, and we go over that in class too.
Some cannot be free, though, but when completed can help you earn quite a bit more.
For example: Everybody knows that armed guards earn more than unarmed guards, so therefore you would need to have the additional NYS Forty Seven Hour Training Course for Armed Guards required by law. Very simple concept, and it's an investment in yourself and your career.
But what about other courses?
In addition to formal education, I have been giving and receiving specialized military and law enforcement training for more than thirty (30) years. Although I am a master trainer (a trainer of other trainers), and have enough certificates to wallpaper my office I still go for new and refresher training courses myself albeit some are mandatory for my regular employment. Don't forget: Nobody can know everything, and everyone can learn something new! The right training also helps to keep your skills sharp, and prepares you to handle any situation. Employers like to see this, and that is exactly how I was able to get many specialized assignments including working with Interpol in seven foreign countries.
My latest piece of wallpaper.
Bearing all this in mind, select some courses as you go along (starting with the ones you can use or may need the most) and never stop until you are no longer doing the job.
We do not do that many certifications, but can definitely put you on the right track.
What about costs?
There is only so much time and money to go around for the average person so selecting the right courses is critical. To complicate matters, there are a number of training entities that offer very good courses, and then again there are others offering mediocre or poor quality training, and training that may not benefit you.
What I recommend:
I always recommend that before you select any training, you know what exactly it is that you want to accomplish. Are you training for a full time or part time position? How much money do you want to make? Are you going to be in security or law enforcement for a long time to come? Once you answer these questions, you can make some decisions about what to do.
Most people who contact the school, are looking for a job in security for an array of reasons, mostly because they are unemployed and need a new career. In this case, where security is going to be a career for the foreseeable future then any training that will help you get ahead, make the most money, and do the best job you can is not only relevant but crucial. It is always great to have a career counselor and that is one of the services we provide free to our student members and oftentimes others in the community who need us.
Are you first starting a security guard career in New York State?
If so, in case you missed my opening remarks (above), you will need the following minimum mandatory courses because you are competing with others who may even have their license already, experience, and other advanced training:
1. NYS Eight Hour Pre-Assignment Course for Security Guards (required to apply for your license).
2. NYS Sixteen Hour On-the-Job Training Course for Security Guards (required to be taken within 90 days of employment).
There are many other courses one can take including First Aid, AED, and CPR and sometimes they are a requirement from the employer. In addition, this course can help you and your family even when you're not working! However, if money is tight and you are only going to work part time while going to school in a non critical assignment then maybe you should pass this one up.
Helpful Tip: If you volunteer for your local fire or ambulance company you can get these courses and even an EMT certification FREE! This can open up many other job opportunities where employers require the security guards to also be EMTs in places like malls and casinos. These security positions generally pay $17 - $18 per hour (unarmed). You may have to volunteer one night per week, but there also is a great reward in doing this! Not only that, it comes with a lot of benefits including retirement, and it's a very good networking opportunity.
People commonly ask about "fireguard certification training" or "fireguard license". The first thing you need to understand is that the "Fireguard Certificate of Fitness" is only relevant to some security positions in New York City and is only issued by the New York City Fire Department contrary to postings see on the Internet saying that New York State has something to do with it. Applicants basically take a short test at NYC Fire Department HQ in Metrotech Plaza in downtown Brooklyn to accomplish this.
Helpful Tip: More information is available on the New York City Fire Department's official web site here, and there is even a FREE study guide that you can print out and then take the test!
What about Loss Prevention training?
Unless you are taking a college degree program in Loss Prevention to become management or something, you may be wasting your time and money. Employers generally provide this training on site, and you are better off contacting retailers that hire proprietary security guards directly about it. Save your money.
How about handcuff certification?
Most employers do not want security guards to arrest, and even when arrests are authorized by employers it's generally under very narrow circumstances, and even then it's generally limited to loss prevention agents and bodyguards. In the case where arrests are authorized and required by the employer then they will also generally require handcuff certification. If they do not have their own trainers for this we can help you, but advise you not to go for it until absolutely necessary.
October 5, 2011
FINDING A JOB
The first two questions people ask us on the telephone are how much do I have to pay for training, and do you get people jobs?
The answer to the first question is that we charge the most affordable rates possible to cover our costs and also provide top level services that go beyond what is required including free career counseling. For example, the first required 8 hour NYS security course is only $60, and we help you with the application while providing individual attention to your needs. Most people take only this course to try and save some money, some even tell us "somebody told them that is all they need" or words to that effect. Obviously they never checked the state's web site to see what is required or spoke to any number of the known, legitimate companies out there and ask them what they may prefer.
The answer to the second question is that we help you with placement, almost like a college. but just like them we do not guarantee anything. We are a training school that offers free ongoing assistance, not an employment agency that charges weeks' and months' worth of salary to place you in a job or a college that gets government and private grants to operate. The effort is about 10% ours, and 90% the student's. How much can we actually do for free? The course fee students pay to us is for the training, not for job placement. A lot of what we do concerning this is on our own time, and part of the volunteer community based work we are involved in. One other thing, just because we do not charge you do not think that it still does not cost us something or is worthless.
In addition, just as some who we train do not follow our instructions about what they will need, they do not follow our instructions about getting interviews, where to look, what to wear, and a lot of other things we tell them. I hear from employers that some applicants do not even show up to their appointments for interviews, cancel at the last minute, or show up late! Not many, but some.
What we do to help you find a job:
- We can send you to employers that we work with.
- We also post new job listings on our Facebook page that come from directly from employers that contact us. We place government job postings on there, too.
- We also give students training and information about where else to look, and how to land a job by successfully interviewing, doing research, having the right demeanor, dressing properly, making a presentation and closing, et. al.
What we do not do:
- We do not go to people's houses and drag them out to the places we recommend them to go.
- We do not help job seekers to knock on new doors each day, the individual must be motivated and a self-starter.
- We do not sign people up for and remind them to check our Facebook page regularly.
- We do not make calls for job seekers, or make sure that they go to the interviews on time. We also do not dress them properly; create a "brag book" for them; make sure that they take both the 8 & 16 hour courses first, etc. This all takes time, discipline, determination, and effort on the part of the individual. The individual needs to keep in touch with us if they need continuing help. Very simple concept.
- Most of all, we do not charge for this ongoing service! it is FREE.
Tip: Simply sending out resumes and waiting on the phone to ring will not do a thing: You will need to get out there and make an earnest, honest, and concentrated effort. Let nobody stop you! Remember: Excuses will not pay your rent.
Do the math: Putting in no or a minimal effort = getting no or minimal results.
About crazy bloggers/posters on the Internet: A few are well intentioned, but highly misinformed. Some are very self-serving with hidden agendas, and some just plain ignorant! Information from these sources will not help you either!
Follow the advice we give you in class -- including the advice to keep in touch with us even after you have completed your courses -- and you will do (even better than) fine!