Working as a 34a secu­ri­ty guard: What to do when the boss can­cels services?

Working as a 34a security guard: What to do when the boss cancels services?

In the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor, shift work, night work and work on holi­days are com­mon working con­di­ti­ons. Secu­ri­ty guards often per­form chal­len­ging work to ensu­re the safe­ty of faci­li­ties, events and peo­p­le. Unfort­u­na­te­ly the Wages in this sec­tor often in the low-wage sec­tor for exam­p­le, in the sepa­ra­te secu­ri­ty ser­vice. If hours are unex­pec­ted­ly lost, e.g. becau­se the employ­er loses an important con­tract, and the month­ly tar­get working time is not rea­ched becau­se of this (or for other reasons), it can beco­me finan­ci­al­ly dicey as a 34a secu­ri­ty guard. This artic­le looks at the reasons that lead to the can­cel­la­ti­on of working days and shows the pos­si­bi­li­ties that one then has as a secu­ri­ty employee.

What are pos­si­ble reasons why my employ­er sche­du­les me on fewer assign­ment days?

First of all, the secu­ri­ty company’s point of view should also be brief­ly exami­ned at this point. The fact that you are on the duty ros­t­er less often has in most cases (hop­eful­ly) not­hing to do with you per­so­nal­ly, but has ope­ra­tio­nal reasons. If the­se are explai­ned trans­par­ent­ly by the employ­er and you can under­stand them, this offers a bet­ter start­ing point for a solu­ti­on to the pro­blem that can be sup­port­ed by both sides. It is pos­si­ble, howe­ver, that this will lead to a chan­ge of employ­ment or to you start­ing to look for a new job. Or may­be the “lean peri­od” is only short and you can com­pen­sa­te for the hours by working extra hours in the fol­lo­wing month or the employ­er accom­mo­da­tes you in some other way.

Here are ten pos­si­ble reasons why your employ­er might want to redu­ce your working hours:

  1. Lower cus­to­mer demand: The­re could be less demand for secu­ri­ty ser­vices, lea­ding to a reduc­tion in the num­ber of man-hours needed.
  2. Eco­no­mic slow­down: It is pos­si­ble that the eco­no­mic situa­ti­on has dete­rio­ra­ted, lea­ding to resour­ce cons­traints and cost savings.
  3. Chan­ges in the busi­ness stra­tegy: Your employ­er may have chan­ged its busi­ness stra­tegy, lea­ding to an adjus­t­ment of human resources.
  4. Staff rota­ti­on: Pos­si­bly rota­te staff to give all staff the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work and to dis­tri­bu­te working hours more equitably.
  5. New tech­no­lo­gies or auto­ma­ti­on: The Intro­duc­tion of new tech­no­lo­gies or auto­ma­ted sys­tems could lead to fewer employees being needed.
  6. Sea­so­nal fluc­tua­tions: Working hours could be sub­ject to sea­so­nal fluc­tua­tions, for exam­p­le if less secu­ri­ty staff is nee­ded in cer­tain months.
  7. Chan­ges in con­tracts with cli­ents: It is pos­si­ble that con­tracts with cli­ents have chan­ged and this leads to a reduc­tion in the volu­me of work.
  8. Legal rest­ric­tions: The­re could be (new) legal rest­ric­tions, such as maxi­mum limits for working hours or rest peri­ods bet­ween shifts. Or the exis­ting requi­re­ments (e.g. from the Working Hours Act) are now bet­ter fol­lo­wed up.
  9. Com­pa­ny holi­days or sea­so­nal com­pa­ny breaksYour employ­er may have deci­ded to redu­ce working hours during cer­tain peri­ods, such as com­pa­ny holi­days or sea­so­nal breaks (from cus­to­mers). Also, for exam­p­le, the Covid pan­de­mic had cau­sed tem­po­ra­ry dis­lo­ca­ti­on within the industry. 
  10. Inter­nal com­pa­ny res­truc­tu­ring: Your employ­er may car­ry out inter­nal res­truc­tu­ring lea­ding to a reas­sess­ment of working hours and resour­ce allocation.

What opti­ons do I have if my employ­er assigns me to less work?

Of cour­se, it is not worth arguing about one or two hours. Howe­ver, a loss of 20, 30, 40 per cent or even more hours is a big deal, becau­se you also have to make a living. If your boss remo­ves you from the duty ros­t­er, assigns you to signi­fi­cant­ly fewer shifts than usu­al and you don’t work your hours — then you have the fol­lo­wing options:

  1. Check employ­ment con­tract!
    That is the most important point. As a rule, what is decisi­ve is what has been agreed in your employ­ment con­tract. For exam­p­le, if it says “full-time”, the employ­er is obli­ged to employ you accor­din­gly. What is meant by full-time is usual­ly regu­la­ted in the respec­ti­ve coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ment. Often a spe­ci­fic num­ber of hours is also agreed. If, for exam­p­le, 170 hours per month are con­trac­tual­ly sti­pu­la­ted in your employ­ment con­tract, this num­ber of hours must be adhe­red to (apart from minor fluc­tua­tions, e.g. due to sick cover).
  2. Con­sult the duty ros­t­er!
    Duty sche­du­ling in secu­ri­ty ser­vices, e.g. in fac­to­ry secu­ri­ty, is often done on the basis of a fixed shift rhythm. In this way, it is pos­si­ble to plan rough­ly in advan­ce — of cour­se with a cer­tain degree of uncer­tain­ty (e.g. due to eter­nal out­stan­ding holi­day plan­ning). Howe­ver, the actu­al duty ros­t­er for the fol­lo­wing month is decisi­ve: If it sta­tes 20 shifts, for exam­p­le, then you are entit­led to work this num­ber of shifts. Once a duty ros­t­er has been published, it may only be chan­ged again after con­sul­ta­ti­on with the employees.
  3. Seek dia­lo­gue and actively offer work per­for­mance!
    Many things can be cla­ri­fied through com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. Seek to talk to your super­vi­sor and reach a con­sen­sus. Important: Com­mu­ni­ca­te that you do not agree with the chan­ges and expli­cit­ly offer your work per­for­mance! Your employ­er is obli­ged to give you the work accor­ding to the exis­ting employ­ment con­tract, you pro­vi­de your work per­for­mance accor­ding to the contract. 
  4. Your employ­er does not react? Send a writ­ten remin­der!
    Inform your employ­er in wri­ting about the aspects men­tio­ned abo­ve. The writ­ten form is important so that you have pro­of. Set a dead­line for your boss, but con­ti­nue to be poli­te and coope­ra­ti­ve. After all, you usual­ly want to con­ti­nue working for your employer.
  5. If not­hing helps: com­plain!
    If all else fails, the employ­er does not react and talks (pos­si­bly also with the works coun­cil) have not led to suc­cess, the only opti­on is to take legal action befo­re the labour court.

Lawy­er Jörg Zitz­mann has beau­tiful­ly pre­sen­ted the facts of the case in the You­Tube chan­nel of the Aca­de­my for Secu­ri­ty:

Exami­na­ti­on of exper­ti­se — why? Just buy the 34a licence…

Examination of expertise - why? Just buy the 34a licence...

You don’t feel like taking the exam and pre­pa­ring for it, you’­ve alre­a­dy fai­led the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Commerce’s expert know­ledge exam seve­ral times or you just want to save time and money — all of the­se can be reasons why peo­p­le keep loo­king for “buy a 34a licence”. This artic­le explains why this is not a par­ti­cu­lar­ly good idea.

Can you actual­ly buy the “34a note”?

A short Goog­le search it shows: Yes, you can buy a pie­ce of paper that looks like it is an offi­ci­al docu­ment of a cham­ber of com­mer­ce and indus­try. But be careful! If you use such fake exami­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, you are lia­ble to pro­se­cu­ti­on.
What you are allo­wed to do is hang such a pie­ce of fan­ta­sy paper in your own hall­way for amu­se­ment or use it as a ligh­ter for the next bar­be­cue par­ty. Howe­ver, if you use such a pie­ce of paper in legal tran­sac­tions, i.e. in the con­text of a job appli­ca­ti­on or to regis­ter your secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny, you com­mit for­gery accor­ding to Sec­tion 267 of the Cri­mi­nal Code:

(1) Any per­son who, for the pur­po­se of decei­ving in legal tran­sac­tions, pro­du­ces a fal­se docu­ment, fal­si­fies a genui­ne docu­ment or uses a fal­se or fal­si­fied docu­ment shall be lia­ble to a cus­to­di­al sen­tence not excee­ding five years or to a mone­ta­ry penal­ty.
(2) The attempt is punis­ha­ble.
(3) In par­ti­cu­lar­ly serious cases, the penal­ty shall be impri­son­ment for a term of six months to ten years. […]

The pro­vi­ders of such dubio­us ser­vices also know that offe­ring IHK exami­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, school-lea­ving cer­ti­fi­ca­tes and other cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, inclu­ding doc­to­ra­tes, is legal­ly ques­tionable. They are main­ly inte­res­ted in making money quick­ly. The pro­vi­ders are usual­ly based abroad or are not available and thus avo­id legal dis­pu­tes. This is becau­se sel­lers may also be lia­ble to pro­se­cu­ti­on becau­se they use trade­marks and thus legal­ly pro­tec­ted iden­ti­fy­ing fea­tures (e.g. the logo) of the issuing orga­ni­sa­ti­ons. In addi­ti­on, some sel­lers even deli­bera­te­ly crea­te the impres­si­on that it is a legal­ly issued docu­ment and at the same time adver­ti­se that one may use the­se fake docu­ments in legal tran­sac­tions. Thus, the sel­lers often also pre­tend fal­se facts and thus part­ly also call, at least indi­rect­ly, to use the sold fake like a real docu­ment. As a buy­er, you can always be pro­se­cu­ted and make yours­elf lia­ble to pro­se­cu­ti­on if you actual­ly use such a fan­ta­sy docu­ment professionally.

Whe­re can I buy the cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence?

The only legal way to obtain the “cer­ti­fi­ca­te of suc­cessful com­ple­ti­on of a spe­cia­list know­ledge exami­na­ti­on” (this is the cor­rect term) is to suc­cessful­ly com­ple­te the IHK spe­cia­list know­ledge exami­na­ti­on. You can find many free Tips for exam pre­pa­ra­ti­on, Test ques­ti­ons and a Help forum on this web­site. By the way, taking the real exam can even be che­a­per than some of the ille­gal fake cer­ti­fi­ca­te offers.
Hones­ty is the best poli­cy! Don’t get invol­ved in fake offers with fake pro­ofs! It’s not worth it, becau­se you will be expo­sed. And for the pri­ce you then pay, you could have pre­pared pro­per­ly for the exam and pas­sed it quite regularly.

What does a for­ged cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence cost?

Pri­ces start at just under 10 euros for a per­so­na­li­sed fake cer­ti­fi­ca­te for direct PDF download.

Fake certificate of competence for the 34a licence
Fake 34a cer­ti­fi­ca­te as PDF download
This “low-cost pro­vi­der” of fake pro­ofs empha­si­s­es that you are not allo­wed to use the purcha­sed docu­ments, but for his own secu­ri­ty he has nevert­hel­ess indi­ca­ted a com­pa­ny head­quar­ters in the USA. He knows why.

Pos­si­bly the tip of the ice­berg is a pro­vi­der offe­ring all kinds of exami­na­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes and degrees — inclu­ding various pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons, school-lea­ving cer­ti­fi­ca­tes, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from col­leges, uni­ver­si­ty diplo­mas and even doc­to­ra­tes. Such prin­ted papers are available for a “ridi­cu­lous pri­ce” of seve­ral hundred euros — appar­ent­ly a wort­hwhile busi­ness. He also pro­mo­tes the offer com­mer­ci­al­ly through an adver­ti­se­ment on Goog­le, which appears at the top of the results page for the rele­vant search terms — see illus­tra­ti­on below. This frau­du­lent trader even adver­ti­ses that it is a legal offer and “100% genui­ne and regis­tered docu­ments, which can be che­cked by the university/training com­pa­ny, or even by your employ­er”. com­ple­te bullshit!

34a note advertising on Google (fake proof)
Goog­le adver­ti­sing for an “ori­gi­nal proof
Let’s talk tur­key: If you buy a fake or make one yours­elf and print it out, you’ll be caught any­way — and then it will be real­ly unp­lea­sant and real­ly expen­si­ve. You will learn why this is ine­vi­ta­ble in the next sec­tion.

Why it’s real­ly stu­pid to pre­sent a for­ged 34a certificate.…

Just a few years ago, one would have con­side­red a fac­tu­alunThe only way that a know­led­geable secu­ri­ty employee could have been lucky is if the for­ged cer­ti­fi­ca­te had not been noti­ced during the appli­ca­ti­on pro­cess, during a cus­toms or poli­ce check or in the cour­se of an enquiry with the exami­ning Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK). But sin­ce 1 June 2019, the­re is the cen­tral guard regis­ter, whe­re all data con­ver­ge. Your employ­er must report you the­re befo­re you start employ­ment and wait for cle­arance. Only then will you recei­ve a guard ID as a secu­ri­ty guard and be allo­wed to start. In the cour­se of this check and data com­pa­ri­son, it quick­ly beco­mes appa­rent if you have sub­mit­ted a fal­se docu­ment. You bear the full con­se­quen­ces under cri­mi­nal and civil law!

Rather invest in the real thing Exami­na­ti­on of expert know­ledge at the IHK. Inform yours­elf free of char­ge here in the Infoportal. 

The infor­ma­ti­on por­tal on the 34a exami­na­ti­on is now multilingual!

The information portal on the 34a examination is now multilingual!

You don’t speak Ger­man, but ano­ther language?
Qua­li­fied workers are curr­ent­ly urgen­tly nee­ded in many are­as in Ger­ma­ny. One of the­se are­as is the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try. To be allo­wed to work for a secu­ri­ty ser­vice in Ger­ma­ny, you need the fol­lo­wing for many guar­ding acti­vi­ties Exami­na­ti­on of expert know­ledge accor­ding to § 34a of the Trade Regu­la­ti­on Act. You are then a qua­li­fied appli­cant with a 34a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence and have excel­lent Job pro­s­pects with cor­re­spon­ding pay!

Infor­ma­ti­on on the Ger­man 34a-Sach­kunde­prüf­ung (Secu­ri­ty) in your language

You will find a lot of free infor­ma­ti­on on the Ger­man qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on exami­na­ti­on for secu­ri­ty staff here in the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on info por­tal. Navi­ga­te via the main menu at the very top through our Infor­ma­ti­on pages, brow­se the cur­rent blog posts or make tar­ge­ted use of the Search. If you have an indi­vi­du­al request, you can also cont­act us at any time. Post your ques­ti­on in the help forum.

Available lan­guages in the Sub­ject Gui­de Infoportal

Nor­mal­ly, the sys­tem auto­ma­ti­cal­ly detects which lan­guage you are using and sets the 34a por­tal to this lan­guage. The fol­lo­wing lan­guages are curr­ent­ly supported:

You can always adjust the web­site lan­guage via the sel­ec­tion menu at the top left (flag and lan­guage code). Or sim­ply via the but­ton below:

Pre­pa­ra­ti­on and exami­na­ti­on in ano­ther language?

The expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on can only be taken in Ger­man. Howe­ver, the­re are cer­tain­ly some offers that sup­port for­eign lan­guage lear­ners in their pre­pa­ra­ti­on — e.g. lite­ra­tu­re, among others Lexi­cons with 34a tech­ni­cal terms and their trans­la­ti­on.

Your lan­guage is not available?
Feel free to wri­te a com­ment on this page below this blog post. Tell us the lan­guage into which you would like our 34a infor­ma­ti­on trans­la­ted. We will glad­ly take up any sug­ges­ti­ons for impro­ve­ment and imple­ment them if possible.

Under­stan­ding exam ques­ti­ons and ans­we­ring them cor­rect­ly: 10 simp­le tac­ti­cal tips for pas­sing the writ­ten IHK exami­na­ti­on (34a certificate)

Understanding exam questions and answering them correctly: 10 simple tactical tips for passing the written IHK examination (34a certificate)

Free tests and exam ques­ti­ons to prepa­re for the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on (§ 34a GewO) are very useful for prac­ti­sing. Howe­ver, tac­ti­cal tips are almost as important. Becau­se even if you don’t imme­dia­te­ly know the ans­wer to an exam ques­ti­on in the 34a test, you can pass the 34a exam with the help of a few tips & tricks.

No idea, no ans­wer? Plea­se don’t!

You can’t know ever­y­thing. Even if you have pre­pared well for the 34a test with test ques­ti­ons, mock exams and other stu­dy mate­ri­al, you may sim­ply not know what to do with some ques­ti­ons. Yes, you do: Even if you don’t know the ans­wer to an exam ques­ti­on, you can still clear the hurd­le of the expert know­ledge exam!

10 simp­le tips on how to pass the exami­na­ti­on of pro­fes­sio­nal competence

If you take the fol­lo­wing tips for the writ­ten IHK exami­na­ti­on for exper­ti­se § 34a GewO into account, you can also score points for gaps in your knowledge:

  1. It can a solu­ti­on be cor­rect, or it can two solu­ti­ons be cor­rect. The­r­e­fo­re, never give three or more solu­ti­ons as correct!
  2. Sin­gu­lar or plu­ral? Pay atten­ti­on to whe­ther in the Ques­tio­ning after one or more cor­rect ans­wers is asked! Exam­p­le: In the case of a ques­ti­on that beg­ins with “What pre­re­qui­si­teen, a secu­ri­ty guard must ful­fil,…” beg­ins, the­re is more than one cor­rect solution.
  3. Note the Con­text of the ques­ti­on (sub­ject area)! If, for exam­p­le, a ques­ti­on is asked about a fact in cri­mi­nal law (StGB), an ans­wer refer­ring to civil law (BGB) can­not be correct. 
  4. Pay atten­ti­on to Nega­ti­ve for­mu­la­ti­onsIf the­re is a nega­ti­ve in the ques­ti­on, so may­be the ques­ti­on is asking you to tick what exact­ly you want to tick. not appli­es? Then you need to rethink and choo­se exact­ly the oppo­si­te ans­wer options!
  5. Key terms like “never” or “never or “always” or “always should be war­ning signs! It is rather rare that e.g. pro­hi­bi­ti­ons or per­mis­si­ons always or never app­ly, i.e. are abso­lu­te. For many things the­re are excep­ti­ons or cer­tain frame­work con­di­ti­ons and no strict black and white. Such key terms in an ans­wer indi­ca­te that it is rather wrong. 
  6. Other terms that should set alarm bells rin­ging are tho­se such as “exclu­si­ve­ly” or “wit­hout excep­ti­on”. The same appli­es here as in the pre­vious tip. It is not often that some­thing appli­es wit­hout any exception.
  7. In the writ­ten exami­na­ti­on you have enough time. Take your time and read the ques­ti­ons in detail and, if neces­sa­ry, seve­ral times. If you can­not think of the ans­wer, put the ques­ti­on back. Mark the ques­ti­on so that you do not for­get to look at it again later.
  8. You are unsu­re of the cor­rect ans­wer to a ques­ti­on. Work accor­ding to the Exclu­si­on prin­ci­ple and sort out the pos­si­bi­li­ties that defi­ni­te­ly can­not be true. This often helps.
  9. If you don’t have a clue about a ques­ti­on, don’t lea­ve it unans­we­red. Guess if you have to! Not ans­we­ring a ques­ti­on defi­ni­te­ly gets you 0 points. Even if your gut tells you one or two solu­ti­ons, luck may be on your side.
  10. Final­ly, the most important thing: Even if this artic­le is about “tac­tics tips” in the nar­rower sen­se — it’s not about tac­tics. prepa­re yours­elf! Time­ly and pur­po­seful lear­ning is the essen­ti­al fac­tor for pas­sing the examination.

Insi­der tips

You can get many more tips on how to suc­cessful­ly mas­ter the 34a pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on exami­na­ti­on if you read our free news­let­ter sub­scri­be. Direct­ly after­wards we will send you our 34a PDF with a total of 25 tips for the expert exami­na­ti­on to.

Exper­ti­se tips and exam ques­ti­ons on YouTube

I would like to recom­mend two hel­pful vide­os for the pre­pa­ra­ti­on for the 34a licence, which you can find in the You­Tube chan­nel of the Aca­de­my for Secu­ri­ty find:

How much money does one earn as an employee in the secu­ri­ty ser­vice with a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence?

How much money does one earn as an employee in the security service with a certificate of competence?

Tal­king around it is use­l­ess. One thing is clear: The tra­di­tio­nal secu­ri­ty indus­try is a low-wage sec­tor!
Nevert­hel­ess: the secu­ri­ty indus­try offers varie­ty, respon­si­ble, exci­ting and also quiet jobs. And if you’­re smart, you can make ends meet. But — what do you earn as a secu­ri­ty guard with a cer­ti­fi­ca­te of competence?

What mat­ters when it comes to ear­nings in the secu­ri­ty industry…

If you deci­de to work in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor or are loo­king for a new employ­er, the finan­cial aspects cer­tain­ly play a major role. The­re are seve­ral fac­tors that con­tri­bu­te to a good hour­ly wage. The most important aspects for a more attrac­ti­ve sala­ry are lis­ted below.

Level of edu­ca­ti­on and training

Obvious­ly, the bet­ter trai­ned you are, the hig­her your ear­ning poten­ti­al. As an unskil­led secu­ri­ty guard only with trai­ning accor­ding to § 34a GewO, you will very often not be paid much more than the mini­mum wage. With the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on, you can achie­ve a good bit more basic hour­ly wage with mana­geable effort.. You can go even fur­ther with fur­ther trai­ning to beco­me a cer­ti­fied pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty worker or with trai­ning to beco­me a spe­cia­list for pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty. Inci­den­tal­ly, the mini­mum wage nati­on­wi­de has been 12.43 euros per hour sin­ce 1 Janu­ary 2023. The increase to 13 euros per hour from 1 April 2023 has alre­a­dy been decided.

Addi­tio­nal qualifications

Addi­tio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons, for exam­p­le in first aid or fire pro­tec­tion (e.g. as a fire pro­tec­tion assistant), are very hel­pful and increase the mar­ket value of secu­ri­ty staff. The­se do not always have a direct effect on the hour­ly wage, but they are always a plus point in job appli­ca­ti­ons. Addi­tio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons include the following:

Inter­cul­tu­ral skills and know­ledge of for­eign lan­guages, espe­ci­al­ly at least basic Eng­lish, should also not be underestimated.


The secu­ri­ty indus­try has many facets and the­r­e­fo­re the acti­vi­ties that secu­ri­ty workers per­form are also very diver­se. Accor­din­gly, the­re are some­ti­mes serious wage dif­fe­ren­ces. Secu­ri­ty acti­vi­ties such as sepa­ra­te guards and simp­le guar­ding acti­vi­ties are often rather poor­ly paid. Jobs that requi­re spe­cial skills often pay well. For exam­p­le in the Avia­ti­on secu­ri­ty, in the ran­ge Cash and valu­ables trans­port, during the acti­vi­ty in nuclear faci­li­ties, in which Under­ground and sub­ur­ban rail­way guar­ding or as an NSL spe­cia­list in Emer­gen­cy call and ser­vice con­trol cen­tres the ear­nings are often signi­fi­cant­ly hig­her than the indus­try avera­ge. The exact amount of the wage for the job can be found in the Coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ments take from them. If they have been declared gene­ral­ly bin­ding, which is usual­ly the case, they app­ly to all employees. (It is best to add the fede­ral sta­te to the Goog­le search to nar­row down the results).

Working hours

Anyo­ne who is alre­a­dy acti­ve in the indus­try and works in shifts knows it: Often, bio­rhyth­ms and pri­va­te life suf­fer from the chan­ging working hours. Howe­ver, working night shifts, Sun­days and public holi­days often offers decisi­ve finan­cial advan­ta­ges. Depen­ding on the fede­ral state/collective agree­ment, the fol­lo­wing bene­fits can be ear­ned Night, Sun­day and public holi­day surchar­ges that are well worth see­ing. What’s more, the­se tax-free! On public holi­days in many places 100% Surchar­ge pos­si­blei.e. in addi­ti­on to the actu­al dai­ly wage, you recei­ve the same amount again — but tax-free! View­ed over the month, depen­ding of cour­se on the amount of night, Sun­day and public holi­day hours, the fol­lo­wing can be achie­ved Seve­ral hundred euros on top earn. Espe­ci­al­ly around the turn of the year or at Eas­ter, this can be a lucra­ti­ve affair.


Over­ti­me is, of cour­se, a par­ti­al aspect of working hours. Nevert­hel­ess, I would like to devo­te a sepa­ra­te point to this aspect here. Why? Becau­se expe­ri­ence shows that a lot of over­ti­me is work­ed in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor, often much more than is legal­ly per­mis­si­ble and with too few breaks bet­ween assign­ments. Think careful­ly about whe­ther you want to go along with this and should actual­ly work 200, 220, 240 or even more hours per month. My tip at this point would be to invest in fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on and not to trade so much time for money: Memen­to Mori — your life­time is also limi­t­ed. Set prio­ri­ties and make a good decis­i­on for you, also for your future.


As in other indus­tries, the­re is a West-East divi­de in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor. In the past, the­se wage dif­fe­ren­ces were real­ly gla­ring. Secu­ri­ty workers in Ber­lin ear­ned in some are­as not even half of tho­se who work­ed in Bava­ria.  As a rule, the best-paid fede­ral sta­tes include Bava­ria, Baden-Würt­tem­berg and North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia. Among the lowest paid are still the new fede­ral sta­tes, for exam­p­le Bran­den­burg or Meck­len­burg-Wes­tern Pome­ra­nia. Just a few years ago, one could bare­ly keep one’s head abo­ve water with a job as a secu­ri­ty guard in the East Ger­man sta­tes. Howe­ver, the mini­mum wage and the gra­du­al con­ver­gence of coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ments are incre­asing­ly put­ting the dif­fe­ren­ces into per­spec­ti­ve. In addi­ti­on, one should not for­get that whe­re peo­p­le earn more, they usual­ly earn less. Cost of living (espe­ci­al­ly rents) are hig­her. So think careful­ly — if you are toy­ing with the idea — whe­ther a move is real­ly worth it for you.


Many peo­p­le think of secu­ri­ty ser­vice jobs in the clas­sic way, as the secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny that as a ser­vice pro­vi­der exter­nal cus­to­mers. Whe­re­as in the past, vete­ran employees in fac­to­ries came to the plant secu­ri­ty ser­vice towards the end of their working lives to spend the last years of their care­ers doing less stre­nuous work, the situa­ti­on has chan­ged con­sider­a­b­ly nowa­days. Pro­fes­sio­nal, exter­nal secu­ri­ty ser­vice pro­vi­ders look after a lar­ge num­ber of com­pa­nies from busi­ness and indus­try or the public sec­tor as cli­ents. But they still exist, despi­te the deca­des-long trend towards out­sour­cing. The Inter­nal plant secu­ri­ty. Espe­ci­al­ly in indus­try, pro­per­ty and plant pro­tec­tion acti­vi­ties are when you are direct­ly employ­ed by the manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­ny, very well paid. The reason for this is that you are paid accor­ding to the indus­try pay sca­le to which the bulk of the work­force belongs. Take a look at the Rate tables for the metal and elec­tri­cal indus­try! The­se month­ly sala­ries are in a dif­fe­rent league.


Allo­wan­ces regu­la­ted by coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ment are usual­ly paid for guard/shift lea­ders, for dog hand­lers or in cer­tain faci­li­ties such as mili­ta­ry pro­per­ties. Like­wi­se, the­re are often allo­wan­ces for on-call duties, e.g. for (addi­tio­nal) work in the plant fire bri­ga­de. The­se ran­ge from a few cents per hour up to over 10% more pay. In Bava­ria, the­re is also slight­ly more money if you work in the grea­ter Munich area.
Secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies or their cli­ents also some­ti­mes pay Vol­un­t­a­ry (revo­ca­ble) allo­wan­ces. Some­ti­mes the­re are also one-off bonu­ses for par­ti­cu­lar­ly suc­cessful assign­ments or for out­stan­ding work per­for­mance. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the­se kinds of bonu­ses tend to be the excep­ti­on. Incre­asing­ly com­mon, howe­ver, is a Switch pre­mi­um or, if you like, a kind of “wel­co­me money”. Howe­ver, this alo­ne should not neces­s­a­ri­ly be the sole reason for chan­ging employers.

Con­cre­te numbers

You would like to know con­cre­te figures?
If you have read the artic­le up to this point, you will rea­li­se that this is dif­fi­cult, as it can depend on a num­ber of fac­tors such as the fede­ral sta­te, the job, the working hours and their (addi­tio­nal) qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons. Nevert­hel­ess, a con­cre­te example:

This results in approx. 2520 euros of taxa­ble inco­me (gross) and just under 420 euros of tax-free supplements.With inco­me tax class 1 and no child­ren, a sin­gle per­son thus recei­ves approx. 2170 Euro net trans­fer­red. Howe­ver, this cal­cu­la­ti­on is for illus­tra­ti­ve pur­po­ses only. Your actu­al sala­ry paid out may depend on num­e­rous factors!

Hint: This artic­le was last updated in Febru­ary 2023. As the­re are regu­lar adjus­t­ments to both the mini­mum wage and coll­ec­ti­ve agree­ment regu­la­ti­ons, the frame­work con­di­ti­ons may have chan­ged in the mean­ti­me! (All infor­ma­ti­on wit­hout guarantee.)

What is asked in the examination?

What is asked in the examination?

Exami­na­ti­on topics/contents

The topics of the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on in the guar­ding trade (§ 34a GewO) are

  1. Law of public safe­ty and order inclu­ding trade law,
  2. Data pro­tec­tion law,
  3. Civil Code,
  4. Cri­mi­nal law and cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re, hand­ling weapons,
  5. Acci­dent pre­ven­ti­on regu­la­ti­on for guard and secu­ri­ty services,
  6. Deal­ing with peo­p­le, espe­ci­al­ly beha­viour in dan­ge­rous situa­tions, de-escala­ti­on tech­ni­ques in con­flict situa­tions as well as inter­cul­tu­ral com­pe­tence with spe­cial atten­ti­on to diver­si­ty and social diver­si­ty and
  7. Basic prin­ci­ples of safe­ty engineering.


It is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important for pre­pa­ra­ti­on that some sub­ject are­as count twice. In par­ti­cu­lar the legal con­tents are with regard to the scoring stron­ger weigh­tedname­ly con­cre­te­ly Law of public safe­ty and order, Civil Code and Cri­mi­nal law and cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re.

The num­ber of ques­ti­ons and the maxi­mum points to be achie­ved in the overview:

  • Public secu­ri­ty law: 4 ques­ti­ons / 8 points
  • Gewer­be­recht (GewO / BewachV): 4 ques­ti­ons / 4 points
  • Data pro­tec­tion law (BDSG/DSGVO): 4 ques­ti­ons / 4 points
  • Civil Law (BGB): 12 ques­ti­ons / 24 points
  • Cri­mi­nal law / cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re law: 12 ques­ti­ons / 24 points
  • Wea­pons Act (WaffG): 4 ques­ti­ons / 4 points
  • Acci­dent pre­ven­ti­on regu­la­ti­ons: 8 ques­ti­ons / 8 points
  • Deal­ing with peo­p­le: 16 ques­ti­ons / 16 points
  • Safe­ty engi­nee­ring: 8 ques­ti­ons / 8 points

Exam ques­ti­ons

When stu­dy­ing, it is best to con­cen­tra­te on exam ques­ti­ons on legal topics. Basic know­ledge is rele­vant here (Basic Law, e.g. sta­te structure/principles) as well as the rele­vant para­graphs from the Cri­mi­nal Code (StGB) and the Civil Code (BGB). Clas­sics are ques­ti­ons on the basic struc­tu­re, legal defi­ni­ti­ons, offen­ces with their cha­rac­te­ristics and offen­ces. You should also place a strong focus on the so-cal­led everyman’s rights (grounds for jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on and excu­se). In the area of the Code of Cri­mi­nal Pro­ce­du­re (StPO), the pro­vi­sio­nal arrest found in sec­tion 127 is relevant.

Both the writ­ten and oral exami­na­ti­ons cover the topics lis­ted above.
The legal basis is the Sur­veil­lan­ce Ordi­nan­cename­ly § 9 in con­junc­tion with § 7 BewachV. The list of exami­na­ti­on topics or con­tents can be found in Annex 2 of the BewachV.


In this blog of the Sach­kun­de-Info­por­tal, ques­ti­ons are pre­sen­ted again and again that can occur in the exam in this or a simi­lar way.
For more insi­der tips and to stay up to date, you can sub­scri­be to the news­let­ter for free:

What is a 34a examination?

What is a 34a examination?

The expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on accor­ding to § 34a of the Trade, Com­mer­ce and Indus­try Regu­la­ti­on Act is an ent­ry-level qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on for employees in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try. It ser­ves as pro­of of basic know­ledge, espe­ci­al­ly with regard to fun­da­men­tal legal aspects rele­vant to working in the guard and secu­ri­ty ser­vice. In addi­ti­on, the suc­cessful­ly pas­sed expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on with pro­of from the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce is a pre­re­qui­si­te for car­ry­ing out spe­cial guar­ding tasks and being allo­wed to beco­me self-employ­ed as a secu­ri­ty contractor.

A cer­ti­fi­ca­te of com­pe­tence is requi­red for the fol­lo­wing activities

As a secu­ri­ty guard (employee), you need pro­of that you have suc­cessful­ly pas­sed an exami­na­ti­on of com­pe­tence at the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK) (accor­ding to § 34a GewO) if you pro­vi­de secu­ri­ty in the ent­rance area of dis­co­the­ques in the hos­pi­ta­li­ty indus­try (boun­cers), pat­rols in public traf­fic are­as (e.g. city pat­rols), pat­rols in are­as with actu­al public traf­fic, acti­vi­ties to pro­tect against shop­lif­ters (depart­ment store or store detec­ti­ves). (e.g. city pat­rols), pat­rols in are­as of the pre­mi­ses with actu­al public traf­fic, acti­vi­ties to pro­tect against shop­lif­ters (shop detec­ti­ves), guar­ding of asyl­um and refu­gee accom­mo­da­ti­on (only in a mana­ge­ri­al capa­ci­ty) as well as guar­ding of lar­ge events with pro­tec­ted access (only in a mana­ge­ri­al capacity).

The pur­po­se of the expert know­ledge examination

Why the­re is the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on has seve­ral reasons. When pri­va­te indi­vi­du­als — inclu­ding employees of secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies — guard other people’s lives or pro­per­ty, this ent­ails spe­cial duties and a gre­at respon­si­bi­li­ty. As a secu­ri­ty guard, you have to know your rights and the legal limits, i.e. what is allo­wed and what is for­bidden. On the other hand, due to their posi­ti­on as gua­ran­tor, they are obli­ged to pre­vent dama­ge to the cli­ent. In con­trast to the poli­ce, you do not have any spe­cial powers and must the­r­e­fo­re be able to weigh up exact­ly to what ext­ent you are allo­wed to inter­fe­re with the rights of third par­ties in a par­ti­cu­lar situa­ti­on. If you go too far, you run the risk of being char­ged with offen­ces such as depri­va­ti­on of liber­ty or bodi­ly harm. If you sleep on duty and do not com­ply with your duty to pro­tect, you can also end up in court for com­mit­ting an offence by omis­si­on if you cau­se harm. For the­se reasons, among others — lis­ted here as examp­les — it is important to acqui­re the spe­cia­li­sed know­ledge in order to later have the neces­sa­ry con­fi­dence to act in the guar­ding business.

COVID-19 update — IHK spe­cia­list know­ledge examination

COVID-19 update - IHK specialist knowledge examination

In April 2021, in the blog post “Are the­re curr­ent­ly any exami­na­ti­ons at the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce becau­se of Coro­na?” about the cur­rent sta­te of affairs at that time regar­ding the imple­men­ta­ti­on of IHK pro­fes­sio­nal exami­na­ti­ons. For a while, exams were can­cel­led or post­po­ned. A strict hygie­ne regime applied.
After the back and forth of poli­tics regar­ding covid pro­tec­tion mea­su­res and dif­fe­rent rules, some of which were dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend fac­tual­ly, a lar­ge part of the pre­vious requi­re­ments have now been repea­led in most fede­ral states.

If you have tes­ted posi­ti­ve for SARS-CoV‑2 and your exami­na­ti­on date is coming up, it is best to enqui­re at the respon­si­ble IHK about the curr­ent­ly pos­si­ble cour­se of action. It is con­ceiva­ble to with­draw from the exam and take it again at a later date or — depen­ding on the fede­ral sta­te — to take it under cer­tain pro­tec­ti­ve measures.

Note: All infor­ma­ti­on is wit­hout gua­ran­tee (as of 20.11.2022). Plea­se note the cur­rent requi­re­ments of the exami­ning IHK or the fede­ral state!

Why do so many par­ti­ci­pan­ts fail the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on? (§ 34a GewO)

Why do so many participants fail the expert knowledge examination? (§ 34a GewO)

What are the reasons why so many exami­nees fail the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK) exami­na­ti­on in the secu­ri­ty industry?

This ques­ti­on is also posed by Jörg Zitz­mann and Kai Delio­mi­ni in the recom­men­da­ble Pod­cast for pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty (Video below!).

Both Jörg Zitz­mann as well as Kai Delio­mi­ni are very well known in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty industry.
Among other things, both are repre­sen­ted in IHK exami­na­ti­on com­mit­tees in the field of pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty, are acti­ve as aut­hors of books for the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of the expert know­ledge exami­na­ti­on and are repre­sen­ted with many hel­pful vide­os on You­Tube and in podcasts.

Every second or third per­son fails the 34a test!

With not infre­quent fail­ure rates bet­ween 30 and 50%, the ques­ti­on natu­ral­ly ari­ses: What’s the reason?
Some fac­tors for suc­cess or fail­ure are obvious. Some pro­blems can be sol­ved quick­ly and easi­ly, some sim­ply requi­re inten­si­ve lear­ning, prac­ti­ce and per­se­ver­ance. Befo­re I go on to point out what I con­sider to be the main (mis)success fac­tors, here is the very inte­res­t­ing con­ver­sa­ti­on bet­ween Jörg Zitz­mann and Kai Delio­mi­ni on YouTube:

My top 5 reasons why so many peo­p­le fail the writ­ten and oral IHK spe­cia­list know­ledge examination

From my expe­ri­ence, the fol­lo­wing fac­tors are the main reasons for fail­ure with the “34a-licence”:

  1. Lack of moti­va­ti­on / lack of interest
    Many par­ti­ci­pan­ts do not see any added value in the exam. They have no real inte­rest in the con­tent, so they don’t want to learn at all. This is par­ti­cu­lar­ly pro­no­un­ced among peo­p­le who are “sent” by their employ­er or the employ­ment agen­cy and are not actual­ly inte­res­ted in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty sec­tor at all. But even if the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on its­elf is of their own accord: The exami­na­ti­on is often not seen as an oppor­tu­ni­ty but as a neces­sa­ry evil. Lack of moti­va­ti­on and inte­rest, howe­ver, are dia­me­tri­cal­ly oppo­sed to exam success.
  2. No suf­fi­ci­ent pre­pa­ra­ti­on of the content
    Some peo­p­le take the exam light­ly. Mul­ti­ple-choice ques­ti­ons with pre-set ans­wers to tick off and only 50% neces­sa­ry cor­rect ans­wers to pass — what could go wrong, you ask yours­elf. But far from it. The legal topics in par­ti­cu­lar are tough. In addi­ti­on, the­re is exci­te­ment, espe­ci­al­ly in the oral exam, and ques­ti­ons whe­re you may have to think a litt­le out­side the box. If you don’t have the neces­sa­ry know­ledge and thus the con­fi­dence to act, you will quick­ly be eli­mi­na­ted. Com­pre­hen­si­ve pre­pa­ra­ti­on is the be-all and end-all for exam success!
  3. Insuf­fi­ci­ent know­ledge of German
    A lot has alre­a­dy been asked and said about Ger­man lan­guage skills. One thing is cer­tain: many peo­p­le who work in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor are not nati­ve spea­k­ers of Ger­man. Mul­ti­l­in­gua­lism is often important for the job, but so is suf­fi­ci­ent know­ledge of Ger­man. This is becau­se the exami­na­ti­on is offe­red exclu­si­ve­ly in Ger­man and you must also be able to com­mu­ni­ca­te con­fi­dent­ly in Ger­man in your ever­y­day work as a secu­ri­ty guard. Legal texts are writ­ten in dif­fi­cult lan­guage, “offi­ci­a­le­se” is usual­ly just as dif­fi­cult to under­stand, and the exam ques­ti­ons some­ti­mes depend on indi­vi­du­al words that can chan­ge the mea­ning in one direc­tion or ano­ther or pro­vi­de hints for solutions.
  4. Struc­tu­re and man­ner of the exami­na­ti­on are unclear
    Many peo­p­le are not com­ple­te­ly clear about the frame­work con­di­ti­ons of the exam. But only if you know which topics are important and how, and how the exam is struc­tu­red, can you prepa­re for it spe­ci­fi­cal­ly and effi­ci­ent­ly. For exam­p­le, the­re are topics that you can quick­ly get over, which can usual­ly be ans­we­red with com­mon sen­se. Some topics, on the other hand, count twice and some requi­re more inten­si­ve stu­dy. In addi­ti­on, the­re are empi­ri­cal values for the oral exami­na­ti­on and tac­ti­cal tips for working through test ques­ti­ons, which should be con­vey­ed by a com­pe­tent lec­tu­rer or aut­hor, for example.
  5. Dif­fi­cult indi­vi­du­al conditions
    Of cour­se, peo­p­le are dif­fe­rent. Ever­yo­ne has dif­fe­rent per­so­nal pre­re­qui­si­tes and the gene­ral con­di­ti­ons (e.g. fami­ly obli­ga­ti­ons, free time for lear­ning, lear­ning envi­ron­ment, etc.) also play a signi­fi­cant role in suc­cess and fail­ure. You may also know peo­p­le who can memo­ri­se things with a “quick glan­ce” and recall this know­ledge at the snap of a fin­ger. Others, on the other hand, find this signi­fi­cant­ly more dif­fi­cult. Some peo­p­le also have no pro­blem at all spea­king in front of others in an exam situa­ti­on, most are natu­ral­ly ten­se, some par­ti­ci­pan­ts suf­fer down­right from exam anxiety.

Ask yours­elf to what ext­ent the points abo­ve app­ly to you, how you can avo­id mista­kes in your pre­pa­ra­ti­on and com­pen­sa­te for any defi­ci­ts. You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on this right here in the sub­ject know­ledge infor­ma­ti­on por­tal num­e­rous tips and Links to other sites or media such as You­Tube.

The latest book tips for the 34a:

Are the­re curr­ent­ly any exami­na­ti­ons at the Cham­ber of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce becau­se of Corona?

Are there currently any examinations at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce because of Corona?

Whe­ther pan­de­mic-rela­ted 34a exams are curr­ent­ly being con­duc­ted is a hot question

As things stand, the Cham­bers of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (IHK’s) are try­ing to stick to the exis­ting dates for exami­na­ti­ons. Yes! The exams usual­ly take place. Howe­ver, the­re can be devia­ti­ons, becau­se in prin­ci­ple each cham­ber can deci­de for its­elf whe­ther an exami­na­ti­on is car­ri­ed out, can­cel­led wit­hout repla­ce­ment or post­po­ned. In the case of the cur­rent coro­na cri­sis, this also depends on the regio­nal inci­dence value, the cur­rent legal requi­re­ments and poli­ti­cal decisions.

Pan­de­mic plans/hygiene con­cepts and spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons of the IHK

Most cham­bers have hygie­ne con­cepts that spe­ci­fy the con­di­ti­ons under which exami­na­ti­ons can be car­ri­ed out.
For many cham­bers, the fol­lo­wing rules app­ly (wit­hout guarantee):

Up-to-date infor­ma­ti­on!

Fur­ther appli­es: It is best to find out direct­ly from the exami­ning IHK what you have to obser­ve — whe­ther, for exam­p­le, a medi­cal cer­ti­fi­ca­te must be sub­mit­ted or whe­ther chan­ges have occur­red at short noti­ce. The web­site of the respec­ti­ve IHK (key­word News / Coro­na) quick­ly pro­vi­des sub­stan­ti­al infor­ma­ti­on here.

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