Although requirements differ between states, security guards typically must have a high school education, be able to pass a drug screening, possess a clean criminal record and complete security guard training before working for a security company. After completing these steps, prospective guards can apply for a state license.
Before beginning the application process, it’s important to understand specific state requirements. Most states handle security guard applications through either the Bureau of Security or the Division of Criminal Justice, and prospective security guards should check with these organizations to find out about state-specific requirements. For example, most but not all states require security guards to hold at least a high school diploma or a GED, and many require more extensive education for those looking to start their own security companies.
Security guard applicants must uniformly be able to pass both a background check and a drug test before receiving a security guard license. Applicants should also be prepared to explain any previous charges on their record that have been dismissed.
Training requirements for security guards differ between states. Some states require applicants to take state-approved training courses, while others allow training through third-party organizations, whether in-person or online. Some states may require separate permits to carry items, such as batons or tear gas, while on duty. After receiving training, security guards can complete the state application and seek employment.