September 23, 2017

How To Become A Door Supervisor

Door Supervisor - Bouncer Working In The Nightclub A Door Supervisor or Bouncer, as it is more commonly called is becoming increasingly popular job options.  A door supervisor job is quite challenging but also very rewarding and if this is the sort of position that suits you, then the rewards will be worth the challenges. Before I go into details about how to become a door supervisor, lets take a look what the job is about.

The Positive Aspects of a Door Supervisor Job

Good Wages

Most door supervisors work on self employed basis but most of the work is provided through security companies. When you work for a security company you will start out on a wage of around £10 per hour.  If you are good at your job your pay may increase to £11 or £12 pound per hour.  When you have had some experience you may be promoted to head door supervisor and this position in a busy nightclub can pay around £15 per hour or more.

If you can work directly for the bar, club, pub or whatever the venue may be instead of through a security company, you will usually earn from £12 to £15 per hour, however, independent or in-house work can be hard to find as many clubs, pubs and bars prefer to go through a security company.

However, the average hourly rate is quite good, you have to keep in mind that as a self employed person you will need to do your self assessment tax return and pay your own tax and national insurance contributions.


Working as a door supervisor can give you flexibility to work around your home or work life.  As many door supervisor roles are night shift and weekends, it is a good job choice for a second income.  Many bouncers will work other full-time jobs during the day and then work on doors on Friday and Saturday nights which is the busiest time for this type of work.

If you work for a security company that has lot of contracts you can get door supervisor jobs at many different venues.  They may offer you full-time work, that can be around 40 hours per week or part-time work which many include only Friday and Saturday day nights. Many companies are flexible so you can choose which jobs to take on, allowing you to choose the days and hours that you work.

Interesting and Sociable Job

Working as a door supervisor is certainly a lot more interesting than sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day.  You will meet a lot of interesting and different people each and every shift.  If you work for a large security company then you may find yourself working at different venues, making it even more interesting.  Life is never dull when working as a bouncer!

The Negative Aspects of a Door Supervisor Job

Angry And Aggressive CustomerThere are some negative aspects to working as a door supervisor that you should consider before deciding to work in this field.

As mentioned above, this is a job that gives you flexibility, but the down side to that is that it can sometimes be unreliable.  You are not guaranteed to get the amount of hours to work that you’d like and you may find at times there is not much work at all.

Another disadvantage to working as a bouncer is that you will spend long periods of time standing and this may include standing outside a door in cold weather or in a noisy nightclub next to a large window-rattling speakers.

A door supervisor role can be quite stressful and you may often find yourself dealing with drunk and aggressive people.  Some people may become quite violent and abusive when they are drunk or under the influence of other substances.

And lastly, since a lot of the work as a door supervisor is on weekends and at night, you may need to give up your own social life to work.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Door Supervisor

To decide whether the job of a door supervisor is one that you would like, let’s take a look at some of the tasks that will be required in this role.

  • Enforce the venues dress code
  • Enforce the venues age limit
  • Meet and greet clientele
  • Manage the queue and crowd
  • Enforce no smoking rules
  • Monitor excessive alcohol use
  • Search for dangerous weapons or drugs
  • Communicate with company staff and management
  • Help to provide a safe working environment
  • Evict people for bad behaviour, drunkenness or use of illegal substances
  • Follow health and safety procedures which may include checking fire hazards, looking for broken glass or spillage
  • Manage conflicts
  • Detect and deter any criminal activities
  • Assist with emergency evacuation
  • Give first aid
  • Escort money
  • Complete accident reports
  • Complete rejection book
  • Complete other reports
  • Maintain notebooks
  • Make statements if required
  • Signing clients in and out
  • Hand out visitor passes
  • Checking guest list
  • Order cabs for clients
  • Give directions

Door Supervisors On Duty

Duties required will vary from one job or venue to another, but these duties are the main duties you will need to perform.  Some jobs will have a very low-key, friendly customer service role, while other jobs may be quite strict and involve a full-on security role.  Regardless of the type of role, the main priority for a security door person is to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

All duties must be carried out in a professional manner.  You must be indiscriminate and courteous at all times and duties must be carried out within the bounds of the law and within the requirements of the licence at the particular venue.

Do you like working nights and weekends?  Do you have good communication skills, like dealing with people and have a friendly personality?  Are you physically fit and think you can handle the challenges that this job brings?  Do you think you are the right person for this job?  If so, then let’s take a look at what steps you need to take to become a door supervisor.


SIA Door Supervisor LicenceYou will need to obtain a door supervisor license to work as a door supervisor.  This license is issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

If you work as a door supervisor without a license, it is a criminal offence.  The cost of a door supervisor license is now £220 and it is valid for a period of three years.  You will need to renew the license after the three years if you continue to work in this role.

Door Supervisor Qualifications

You need to have a Level 2 Award in Door Supervision before you can apply for a door supervisor license.


SIA Training Course For Level 2 Award in Door Supervision

You will need to attend a training course that includes four training modules and three exams to qualify for a Level 2 Award in Door Supervision.  The course cost is usually around £150 but may vary from one training centre to another.  Courses run over a three or four day period and there are many courses held throughout the United Kingdom.  The course will always include a final examination in the form of written multiple choice questions.

To enrol in a Door Supervisor training course you need to be 18 years of age or older and should not have a criminal record.  There are no other pre-requisites for this course.  If you do have a criminal record you may not be successful at obtaining a license, although it may depend on the offence that resulted in a criminal record.

All courses in the security industry are both specified and controlled by the SIA and provided by organizations like HABC, EDI, City & Guilds, NOCN and Edexcel.

Let’s take a look at the four training modules that you can expect to complete when attending a Door Supervisor Level 2 Award training course.

Core Learning for Common Security Industry Knowledge

  • Awareness of the law in regards to the Private Security Industry
  • Health and Safety in relation to the Private Security Industry
  • Awareness of fire safety
  • Emergency procedures
  • Aspects of the Private Security Industry
  • Customer care and communication skills

Door Supervisor Specialist Module

  • Behavioural standards
  • Criminal and civil law
  • Searching
  • Arrest
  • Drug awareness
  • Licensing law
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crime preservation
  • Recording incidents.

Conflict Management Module

  • Reducing personal risk and avoiding conflict
  • How to defuse conflict
  • Resolving conflict
  • Learning from conflict
  • Application of communication skills and conflict management

Physical Intervention Skills Module

  • Introduction to required physical skills
  • Techniques for disengagement
  • Escorting techniques.

You will be given the training materials in advance once you sign up for a door supervisor training course, so you will have plenty of time to study and prepare for the final examination.  You should always be wary of providers that may issue fake licenses, always look into the background of providers to ensure you enrol in a legitimate training course.  You can request accreditations such as SIA, BIIAB and Edexcel to ensure that the training provider is authentic.  You can also search the internet for credentials of the company and read testimonials or reviews from former students.  The best courses to attend are ones that have good SIA trainers who will provide you with good security training.  You will want a training centre that has a good venue with the necessary facilities to help with your learning.  You can also ask about the pass rate of exams, the cost to re-sit the exam if needed and what possible job contacts they can give you once you have successfully applied for the licence.

Applying for the Door Supervisor License

Filling In SIA Application FormWhen you have completed the training course and have the full qualifications (Level 2 Award in Door Supervision), you can then apply for an SIA license.  There are quite a few documents that you need to include and send in with your application form. You must follow very strict guidelines when filling out these documents.  If you make any mistakes when filling out the application form, they may be sent back to you for correction which will delay the process of applying for your license.  When you send in your application you will also need to send some proof of identity and proof of address, such as driver’s license, passport or other personal identification documents.  It is best to send your license application in by courier or special delivery mail to avoid getting your application getting lost or fall into the wrong hands.

Time Period for License Application

SIA has a processing rate of at least 80% of applications being processed within 25 working days, based on correctly completed applications.  This processing time begins the day that your application enters their system and finishes the day that they make their decision to issue a license.  If you have filled in your application incorrectly or haven’t attached the required documents, then the clock is stopped while the application is sent back to you and reset when your application is again received by the SIA.

There may be exceptions to the 25-day processing average depending if there are any complex issues to be dealt with, such as inquiries into criminal records or overseas criminal record checks.

The SIA website has a status checker where you can check on the progress of your application.

Finding Work as a Door Supervisor

The Licensing act of 2003 states that employees must wear their SIA badge, on the outside of their clothing with the photograph visible, at all times while on duty.  For this reason, many companies will not employ door supervisors until you have been issued with a SIA license.

However, while you are waiting for your license application to be processed you can already visit some potential employers and introduce yourself and make enquiries so that those employers may keep you in mind for employment when your license is issued.

When you hold a Door Supervisor license you can also work as a security guard and in event security positions at events like music festivals.

If there are any venues that you would like to work at, you can approach the guys working at the door and find out what company they are employed with.  You can inquire about the company and the venue and find out as much information as you can before approaching the company for work.

There are some questions that you should consider asking an employer when seeking work as a door supervisor, such as:

  • What type of venues they are contracted to
  • Where are the venues located
  • What shifts are available
  • What is the pay rate
  • What is the payment method and how often do you get paid
  • What are the uniform and equipment requirements?

You can also search online for door supervisor jobs; particularly look at online job boards like Gumtree and Total Jobs.

Although there is some time required to complete the training course and apply for your license, the effort is rewarded if you think you would enjoy working as a door supervisor.  A door supervisor position can give you an extra income source and can be a very fulfilling and interesting job.

Below Is A Brief Summary Of How To Become A Door Supervisor:

How To Become A Door Supervisor - Infographics






















Find Door Supervisor Training Courses Below:

Important and useful links:

If you are planning to become a door supervisor, already work as one or provide SIA training courses, if you have any comments, questions or helpful tips please comment below or visit our Security, Enforcement & Protection forum to find many related discussions or start your own.

About Hando Kroon

Founder of Editor and Active Writer to This Career Blog.
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  1. If you are looking for door supervisors jobs please visit

    This article is a good guide to give you a good insight to what is required.

  2. John Davies says:

    It is important to keep in mind that seeing growth in these sort of positions, bouncers, doormen, and even bar tenders has a lot to with the death of heavy manufacturing in more developed countries. A good article to read for anyone seeking employment is given here. I actually read it while I was looking for any kind of employment I could find. U.S. or abroad.

  3. High class girl says:

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