Where Can I Earn a Security Guard Certification?

Most security guards earn licensure, rather than certification, from their state. Licensing requirements vary by state and usually include mandatory training hours and additional regulations for guards carrying weapons. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Security Guard Basic Requirements

Security guards must often undergo a short period of formal training before licensure, as well as on-the-job training; programs are typically offered through a professional organization or community college. Security guards are regulated by state governments, and most states require some type of licensure. You should contact your state board for specific requirements, but generally, you must be older than 18, possess a valid driver's license and pass a background check before seeking employment.

Important Facts About This Career

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 12%
Median Salary (2014) $24,410
Similar Occupations Gaming surveillance officer, law enforcement officer, corrections officer, private investigator
Key Skills Observation skills, patience, decision-making skills, physical strength

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the minimum educational requirement for enrolling in a security guard program is a high school diploma (www.bls.gov). Skills and knowledge are typically acquired through training programs and on-the-job training. Although a bachelor's degree is not necessary for employment, some employers may prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees in a relevant field, such as criminal justice or police science, especially for supervisory positions.

Training Guidelines

Some professional organizations provide voluntary training guidelines to improve and standardize the quality of security guard training. A minimum of 48 hours of training is recommended within the guards' first 100 days of service. The following topics are typically covered in training courses and subsequent testing:

  • Report writing
  • Crime prevention
  • Emergency response
  • Working with law enforcement
  • Court testimony
  • Basic first aid
  • Observation and patrol techniques
  • Ethics and legal issues
  • Disaster response

Licensure

Requirements vary by state, but licensure may be granted upon completion of the required number of classroom and on-the-job training hours. Applicants for licensure usually must pass a background test and drug test. Security guards carrying firearms are subjected to additional hours of training. The training covers essential topics, such as laws regarding the use of force and weapons retention. Many states require licensed security guards to complete continuing education classes to keep abreast of current trends and technologies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Maryville University

    Maryville University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Utica College

    Utica College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Utica College:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • American InterContinental University

    American InterContinental University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

    Online Programs Available

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