Career Focus: How to Become an Armed Guard in Alberta?

 June 30, 2023    Alberta Security Hub Staff

In this fifth edition of our Career Focus series, get insight on becoming an armed guard: from licensing and requirements, to being on the job.

Training at a firing range

This career has some key distinctions from that of a typical security guard, mainly due to the fact that you're armed on your shift. You will be protecting valuable goods such as when transporting cash from banks and ATMs or at jewellery stores. You would be paid higher compared to an unarmed guard, but at the same time have more responsibility. Mobility is a big part of the job, so in-turn you may need a Drivers Licence to transport cash or jewellery. You may also be working various shifts including nights. Pickups at banks typically take place in the evenings and nights after they have closed. If interested in working as a bodyguard, keep in mind in Canada bodyguards are not armed. Only the police who protect heads of state are armed.

Let's get into some skills that are critical when working as an armed guard. For one, being able to work flexible hours will help you get hired. This is because a fair number of shifts can be overnight ones. Collaboration and your ability to work with others as a team is also crucial to ensure tasks such as pick ups or deliveries are done in a safe manner. Attention to detail are key for safety and not being complacent. Customer service skills and being able to deal with a wide range of people, some difficult to deal with, is also typically expected of you the applicant.

Here are the licensing and typical requirements in Alberta to become an armed guard:

To get certain licences or permits, you may need to provide a Criminal Background Check, this will likely also be necessary during the application process when you apply for a job. Having First Aid and CPR Certification can be beneficial both in the job selection process, and while on the job as your skills could save someone's life.

The median wage for a bodyguard in Alberta is $19.00/hour on the Government Of Canada Job Bank. The low is listed as $16.00 and the high is $26.50 per hour. While these wages are listed similarly to other security positions such as an unarmed guard, you will likely make more as an armed guard and the increases in pay over time may be higher. Certain employers may even offer Signing/Hiring Bonuses once you successfully complete probation. Bonuses can range anywhere between $500.00 and $1000.00.

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