Learn How to Become a Security Guard by Following These Requirements

How to become a security guard


The job of a security guard is to protect people and properties from harm, theft, and any other illegal activity. If this is you and you want to learn how to become a security guard, then there are some requirements you must meet. In this blog, we’ll talk all about them.

When working as a security guard, you may find jobs in shopping centers, hospitals, museums, or residential properties. There are specific guidelines and training that you have to follow for each specific place. So, you have to do your research and check if you apply.

Security officers are there to prevent illegal activities such as shoplifting and deter other crimes. If you want to be part of this, then read our blog to learn if you meet the qualifications.

How to Become a Security Guard? Consider These Requirements

When trying to acquire a security guard license, you must know that each state requires specific guidelines. However, there are some basic ones that are the same throughout every state.

Consider these requirements to learn how to become a security guard:

  • Be at least 18 years old (21 years for an armed guard)
  • Pass a background check
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete the security guard training course

First, check if you meet these requirements. Then, find out what other ones your state requires.

For now, let’s discuss the four basic ones.

You Must Be at Least 18 Years Old

The first requirement to obtain a security guard license is to be at least 18 years old. However, this requirement is for unarmed security guards.

For armed security guards, the requirement is to be at least 21 years old.

You Must Pass a Background Check

Pass a background check

The second prerequisite is that you must have a clean record. When you’re in the process of becoming a security officer, you will have to go through a background check. If you don’t pass this check, then you won’t be able to continue the process.

For this, you’ll have to take a drug test. Also, you will get your fingerprints scanned.

If you wish to become an armed security guard, then the process is much more thorough. How thorough the check is will vary between each state.

For example, in Texas, if you want to become an armed security guard, you have to get ready for an “FBI style” background check.

You Must Have a High School Diploma or GED

To become a security officer, you must also have a high school diploma or have passed a General Education Development (GED) test. For some jobs, you may have to get another degree.

Some companies require their security guards to have a two-year degree in criminal justice or police science. In some cases, companies will require a four-year degree.

However, having these degrees is not always necessary to become a security guard. But, if you want to be a more desirable candidate for a job, then we recommend having at least a background in these fields.

If you want to work as a security guard in a casino, then you will need your bachelor’s degree. This is because casinos and other high-class facilities state this as their requirement.

You Must Complete the Security Guard Training Course

Finally, it’s essential that you complete the training course. The training requirements also vary from state to state. So, be sure to search for the ones applicable to where you live.

For example, in Texas, you must complete 30 hours of training at a certified training center. You have to pass the Level II course and test. This is for both unarmed and armed security officers.

If you want to be an armed security officer, then you’ll have to pass the Level III course. You’ll need to take the training at a licensed school with a licensed instructor.

In the state of California, someone who wants to be a security officer must complete a “Power to Arrest” course and pass the exam. After this, you can apply to get a guard license.

However, the training continues after you get hired. In your first 30 days, you have to complete 16 hours of more training. In the first six months, you have to complete another 16 hours. So, in total, you must have 40 hours of security guard training.

In New York, just as in California, you also have to do an eight-hour pre-assignment course if you have no previous law enforcement training. You need to complete this before you can get hired as a security guard.

The difference is that in New York, you have to complete 16 hours in the first 90 days. For armed security guards, however, you’ll have to do an additional 47 hours of training.

Where to Apply to Become a Security Guard?

Apply to become a security guard

Now that you know the requirements to become a security guard, you may wonder where you go to apply.

People who wish to become security officers can go to the Bureau of Security or Division of Criminal Justice in their respective states.

You can get all the information and printable forms on your State’s website. Also, you may be able to find a more detailed step-by-step process, which could save you a lot of time.

Where Do You Find Security Guard Training?

If you have all the requirements but don’t know where to get the training, then go to the website of your State’s Department of Justice or Bureau of Security. There, you can find a list of all the approved training facilities.

You can do the initial eight-hour training requirements at a certified training facility. You can also do it online on one of the certified training websites.

Later on, you may have to do additional job training if you get hired somewhere. This will vary depending on the company that hired you.

If you wish to learn more about how to become a security guard, then we advise you to visit the websites we mentioned above. But, before that, make sure that you also meet all the criteria we mentioned in the blog.

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