Security is an essential aspect of any society, especially in a country like Kenya where there are various threats and challenges such as terrorism, crime, civil unrest, and natural disasters. Security guards are one of the key players in ensuring the safety and protection of people, property, and information. In this blog post, we will explore what it takes to become a security guard in Kenya, what are their roles and responsibilities, what are the qualifications and requirements, what are the benefits and challenges, what are the salaries and allowances, what are some other careers related to security guard, and where can security guards work in Kenya.
How to become a Security Guard in Kenya
To become a security guard in Kenya, one has to undergo a rigorous process of training and certification by a recognized security company or institution. There are two types of security guarding services in Kenya: trained guards and untrained guards.
Trained professional guards are from recognized service providers such as G4S, Hatari, Brinks, Kali, KK, Lavington, Simba and Wamu Security services.
Trained guards are mainly hired to guard large formal institutions such as banks, hotels, malls, offices, airports, schools, hospitals, and government buildings.
Untrained guards are mainly hired to guard homes and other informal and small institutions such as shops, kiosks, churches, and farms.
The training for security guards varies depending on the recruiting authority and the nature of work.
However, some of the common topics covered in the training include:
- Basic security skills such as patrolling, searching, reporting, communication, first aid, fire fighting, self-defense, and use of weapons.
- Legal and ethical aspects of security such as human rights, code of conduct, rules of engagement, and use of force.
- Security threats and risks such as terrorism, crime, civil unrest, natural disasters, espionage, sabotage, and cyberattacks.
- Security measures and procedures such as access control, alarm systems, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, bomb disposal, escorting VIPs, crowd control, and emergency response.
- Security management and leadership such as planning, organizing, supervising, evaluating, and motivating security personnel.
The duration of the training can range from a few weeks to several months depending on the level of qualification and experience required. The cost of the training can also vary depending on the quality and reputation of the training provider. Some security companies offer free or subsidized training for their employees while others charge fees for their courses.
After completing the training, security guards have to obtain a license from the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA), which is the government body that regulates and oversees the private security sector in Kenya.
The license is valid for one year and has to be renewed annually. The license fee is Ksh 2 000 for individual guards and Ksh 10 000 for security companies.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Security Guard in Kenya
Security guards have various roles and responsibilities depending on their employer and work station. However, some of the general duties of a security guard include:
- Protecting and enforcing laws at the place of work
- Monitoring alarms and surveillance cameras
- Controlling access of the premises and parking space
- Conducting security checks on people, vehicles, and luggage
- Writing reports on daily activities and incidents
- Detaining law violators until the arrival of police or other authorities
- Responding to emergencies such as fire outbreaks or medical situations
- Assisting customers or visitors with directions or information
Security guards may also be assigned other roles specific to the institution of work such as screening passengers at airports or ports, guarding cash or valuables at banks or malls, escorting VIPs or celebrities at events or hotels, or providing personal protection for individuals or families.
Qualifications and Requirements for a Security Guard in Kenya
The qualifications and requirements for a security guard vary depending on the recruiting authority and the nature of work. However, some of the common criteria include:
- A minimum qualification of high school D grade in KCSE
- Past experience in security or related fields
- Good communication skills and fluency in both English and Kiswahili
- Aged between 25 to 40 years
- Physical fitness and medical clearance
- A height of above 5 feet and 8 inches
- Proof of good conduct from the police or local authorities
- Other attributes such as integrity, honesty, loyalty, discipline, and professionalism
Some employers may also require additional qualifications such as:
- A valid driving license
- A certificate or diploma in security studies or related fields
- A firearm license or certificate
- A membership or affiliation with a professional body or association
Benefits and Challenges of Being a Security Guard in Kenya
Being a security guard in Kenya has both benefits and challenges. Some of the benefits include:
- Job security and stability
- Career growth and development
- Respect and recognition
- Social interaction and networking
- Personal satisfaction and fulfillment
- Contribution to national security and peace
Some of the challenges include:
- Low pay and poor working conditions
- High risk and stress
- Long and irregular hours
- Lack of proper equipment and resources
- Harassment and discrimination
- Lack of support and protection
Salaries and Allowances of Security Guards in Kenya
The salaries and allowances of security guards in Kenya vary depending on the employer, the nature of work, the level of qualification, and the experience. However, the salary and licensure requirements are regulated by the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA). According to the PSRA, the minimum wage for security guards in Kenya is Ksh 27 993 per month. This is based on the following breakdown:
|Category||Basic Salary||House Allowance||Transport Allowance||Total|
|A||Ksh 15 000||Ksh 5 000||Ksh 3 000||Ksh 23 000|
|B||Ksh 13 500||Ksh 4 500||Ksh 2 700||Ksh 20 700|
|C||Ksh 12 000||Ksh 4 000||Ksh 2 400||Ksh 18 400|
|D||Ksh 10 500||Ksh 3 500||Ksh 2 100||Ksh 16 100|
Category A refers to security guards who work in high-risk areas such as airports, ports, banks, or government buildings. Category B refers to security guards who work in medium-risk areas such as hotels, malls, offices, or schools. Category C refers to security guards who work in low-risk areas such as homes, shops, churches, or farms. Category D refers to security guards who work as supervisors or managers.
In addition to the basic salary and allowances, security guards may also receive other benefits such as:
- Overtime pay
- Bonus pay
- Medical cover
- Pension scheme
- Uniforms and equipment
- Training and education
Other careers related to Security Guard
Security guard is not the only career option for those who are interested in security. There are many other careers related to security that one can pursue such as:
1. Police officer: A police officer is a law enforcement agent who maintains law and order, prevents and investigates crime, protects life and property, and enforces the law.
2. Military officer: A military officer is a member of the armed forces who participates in defense operations, combat missions, peacekeeping operations, or humanitarian assistance.
3. Intelligence officer: An intelligence officer is a person who collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on security threats, risks, or opportunities for national or organizational interests.
4. Security consultant: A security consultant is a person who provides expert advice, guidance, or solutions on security issues or challenges for clients or organizations.
5. Security analyst: A security analyst is a person who monitors, evaluates, and reports on the security status or performance of systems, networks, or devices.
6. Security auditor: A security auditor is a person who conducts audits or assessments on the security policies, procedures, or practices of an organization or system.
7. Security engineer: A security engineer is a person who designs, develops, or implements security solutions or systems for an organization or system.
8. Security researcher: A security researcher is a person who conducts research or experiments on security topics or problems for academic or professional purposes.
Where can Security Guards work in Kenya
Security guards can work in various sectors and industries in Kenya such as:
- Government: Security guards can work for government agencies or departments such as the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Intelligence Service, or the Kenya Revenue Authority.
- Private: Security guards can work for private companies or organizations such as banks, hotels, malls, offices, airports, schools, hospitals, or NGOs.
- Self-employed: Security guards can also work as self-employed individuals or entrepreneurs by starting their own security firms or agencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for a security guard job in Kenya?
To apply for a security guard job in Kenya, you need to have the relevant qualifications and requirements such as a high school certificate, a good conduct certificate, a physical fitness certificate, and a PSRA license.
You also need to have a CV and a cover letter that highlight your skills and experience in security. You can then look for job vacancies online or offline through websites, newspapers, magazines, or referrals. You can also contact security companies or agencies directly and inquire about their recruitment process.
How much does it cost to start a security firm in Kenya?
To start a security firm in Kenya, you need to have a minimum capital of Ksh 500 000. This is based on the following breakdown:
- Registration fee: Ksh 10 000
- PSRA license fee: Ksh 10 000
- Office rent and equipment: Ksh 100 000
- Uniforms and weapons: Ksh 200 000
- Training and salaries: Ksh 180 000
These are the minimum costs and may vary depending on the size and scope of your security firm.
What are the best security companies in Kenya?
There are many security companies in Kenya that offer different types of services and solutions. Some of the best security companies in Kenya according to customer reviews and ratings are:
G4S is one of the world’s largest and most reputable security companies. It operates in over 100 countries and employs over 500 000 people. In Kenya, G4S offers services such as manned guarding, cash-in-transit, electronic security systems, risk management, and consultancy.
2. KK Security
KK Security is a leading security company in East Africa that has been operating since 1967. It has over 18 000 employees and serves over 3 000 clients. In Kenya, KK Security offers services such as manned guarding, cash-in-transit, electronic security systems, dog handling, fire safety, and training.
3. Lavington Security
Lavington Security is a premier security company in Kenya that has been operating since 1994. It has over 2 000 employees and serves over 1 500 clients. In Kenya, Lavington Security offers services such as manned guarding, cash-in-transit, electronic security systems, alarm response, CCTV monitoring, and VIP protection.
Securex is a leading security company in Kenya that has been operating since 1970. It has over 5 000 employees and serves over 6 000 clients. In Kenya, Securex offers services such as manned guarding, cash-in-transit, electronic security systems, alarm response, CCTV monitoring, and event security.
What are the challenges facing the security sector in Kenya?
The security sector in Kenya faces various challenges such as:
- Inadequate regulation and oversight: The PSRA is the main regulatory body for the private security sector in Kenya. However, it faces challenges such as lack of resources, capacity, and enforcement. As a result, there are many unlicensed and unprofessional security providers who operate illegally or substandardly.
- Low standards and quality: The private security sector in Kenya lacks uniform standards and quality across the board. There are variations in terms of training, equipment, remuneration, and performance among different security providers. This affects the credibility and reliability of the sector.
- High competition and low margins: The private security sector in Kenya is highly competitive and saturated with many players who offer similar or identical services. This leads to low margins and profitability for the sector. It also creates pressure to cut costs and compromise on quality or ethics.
- Security threats and risks: The private security sector in Kenya faces various threats and risks such as terrorism, crime, civil unrest, natural disasters, cyberattacks, espionage, sabotage, and corruption. These pose challenges for the sector to provide effective and efficient security solutions for its clients.
Security guard is a vital career that contributes to the safety and protection of people, property, and information in Kenya.
To become a security guard in Kenya, one has to undergo training and certification by a recognized security company or institution, and obtain a license from the PSRA.
Security guards have various roles and responsibilities depending on their employer and work station, such as protecting and enforcing laws, monitoring alarms and cameras, controlling access, conducting checks, writing reports, detaining violators, responding to emergencies, and assisting customers or visitors.
Security guards also have various benefits and challenges such as job security, career growth, respect, social interaction, personal satisfaction, contribution to national security, low pay, poor working conditions, high risk, stress, long hours, lack of equipment, harassment, discrimination, and lack of support.
Security guards can work in various sectors and industries such as government, private, or self-employed. Security guard is not the only career option for those who are interested in security.
There are many other careers related to security such as police officer, military officer, intelligence officer, security consultant, security analyst, security auditor, security engineer, or security researcher.