Online Training

How to get a security Guard License

So, you want to be a security guard? The opportunities are plentiful. Security guard firms are always looking for good people. Here are some thoughts to help determine if being a security guard is an option for you, and if so, things you can do to speed the application and licensing process.

Defencify Presents Advice to Get Your Unarmed Security Guard License – and a Job – Faster

First, let’s get some basic requirements on the table. Any of these issues will be a dealbreaker:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a Guard Card in all 50 states.
  • Applicants must be a citizen of the United States, a resident alien (green card holder), or have an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766/EAD).
  • Applicants must be able to clearly communicate in English, both verbally and in writing.
  • Applicants cannot be habitual users or dependent on drugs or alcohol. Security guard firms will conduct random drug testing and dismiss those who fail.
  • Applicants must be free of any felony convictions and be able to clear both state and federal background checks. Fingerprints will be taken.
  • Applicants should review their state’s qualifications for licensure, as requirements for a Guard Card vary by state. In addition to learning exactly which courses/number of hours of training are needed to earn a license, it is highly recommended that you examine the sections pertaining to good moral character and determine if there are any convictions on your record that will be discovered during a background check that could disqualify you from consideration, such as a DUI, domestic violence, or other misdemeanor. If so, you may need to have your record expunged by the proper authorities or, reach out to the state licensing board to see if the offense rises to the level of disqualification before proceeding and wasting everyone’s time.

Provided you can check all these boxes and wish to move forward, the next steps are to register and complete the state-approved training program to apply for an unarmed security guard license, or Guard Card, and then begin the application process with security guard firms hiring in your area.

Wait, isn’t that backwards? Shouldn’t I find a firm willing to hire me first and then get trained?

You could, but put yourself in the shoes of an employer. Wouldn’t you prefer a more marketable applicant who arrives at the interview with Guard Card in hand ready to get to work today, rather than one who must first begin the weeks-long training and licensing process? In fact, some firms offer sign-on bonuses to pre-licensed applicants, as it saves them the time and expense of training and gets officers deployed faster. Answer those ads first.

Toward that end, it’s pretty easy to proactively get the ball rolling.

Do a web search for Security Guard Training in your area. Any trade school or provider that offers “state certified” security guard licensing programs means that upon successful completion of the curriculum, students will receive a certificate that can be submitted for a Guard Card. Avoid those programs that cannot claim a state-approved status.

The number of hours, topics, testing, and method of delivery of the training varies depending upon the state. California, for example, requires security officers complete 8 hours of pre-license training and 32 hours of continuing education to obtain a state-issued Guard Card. Other states have different hourly standards or may involve things like CPR training and mental and/or physical exams to determine fitness for work as a security guard.

Many states still require that security guard training be delivered directly to students by a live instructor in a traditional classroom setting. However, there is not a lot of hands-on training for an unarmed security guard, and firearms training for armed guards is handled separately. As a result, several states have approved the use of self-paced online training for unarmed security guards, removing a huge barrier for candidates unable to attend in-person training for any number of reasons.

That’s where Defencify comes in. We offer state-certified, self-paced online security guard training in 11 states and counting. Defencify courses are designed in partnership with each state licensing authority to ensure they meet the state-specific requirements to earn a Guard Card. Defencify courses are built using modern eLearning standards and incorporate interactivity and engaging scenarios to communicate learning points. Users can take or repeat any course at the time, place, and using the device of their choosing for maximum convenience.

Once you have successfully completed the necessary training, you will need to submit your certificate of completion along with an application for a security guard license to the state licensing board to review your application and if approved, issue a Guard Card. A small fee is usually required to process the application and perform the necessary background checks.

Now, with Guard Card in hand, you're ready to apply for jobs today and get on the payroll tomorrow. Moving to another state? Get pre-certified for your new address now. Check out our course catalog and the growing list of states that accept Defencify’s online security guard training for a Guard Card at and get your career started today!

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