As a nightclub bouncer you will be responsible for keeping the peace in a sometimes rowdy setting, where patrons who have over-indulged can sometimes become a handful. While it occurs less often, it is not entirely uncommon to find female nightclub bouncers. Bouncers usually don't use physical force on the job. Instead, an ideal bouncer is someone who can be personable while serving as a visible reminder to partygoers that someone is monitoring their behavior at all times.
Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the minimum educational requirement for most security personnel applicants, although requirements vary by state and employer.
Take a first aid course to learn the basics of rendering emergency assistance. Although this is not a requirement to become a bouncer, this skill likely will be of value to your employer. Here, you will learn how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), proper bandaging procedures, lift techniques and more.
Get basic training in self defense. In most cases, bouncers have no authority to physically remove unwanted nightclub patrons, and instead must call the police. However, in instances of self defense or taking a patron into custody, bouncers are permitted to use force if necessary. A martial arts self-defense class like karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu or kendo will teach you non-lethal techniques.
Obtain a license if your state requires it. Except for California, states do not require nightclub bouncers to receive certification or licensing. In California, prospective bouncers must register to become a proprietary private security officer, which mandates 16 hours of training and a background screening. Many private companies offer training courses that will teach you the general rules and legal liabilities most nightclubs have.
Find a position by utilizing online job boards, or by networking with bouncers and managers at nightclubs that you frequent.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Security Guards
- Crime Doctor: Nightclub & Bar Security
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Security Guard or Gaming Surveillance Officer
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration: Basic Elements of a First Aid Training Program
- Steady Health: Different Types Of Self-Defense Sports
- KESQ: Nightclub Bouncers Face Strict New Law
Based in Atlanta, Pamela Henman has been writing marketing- and advertising-related articles since 2006. Previously, she covered arts and entertainment news for "AUC Magazine," "The Signal" and "The Urbanite." She received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Georgia State University.